Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Congress and Meetings links are updated

The links to some of the most interesting Congresses of 2009 are already updated on the side bar of the blog.

See you there.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

List of recently published papers on plant flow cytometry - October and November

As I told in the previous post, I've had limited time to dedicate to the blog. Because of that I bring you the list of the recently published papers of the two last months, October and November. There are some very interesting papers in this package... so, I wish some nice readings.

Genome size:
Palomino G, Hernandez LT, Torres ED. Nuclear genome size and chromosome analysis in Chenopodium quinoa and C. berlandieri subsp. nuttalliae. Euphytica (2008) 164: 221-230.

Robert ML, Lim KY, Hanson L, Sanchez-Teyer F, Bennett MD, Leitch AR, Leitch IJ. Wild and agronomically important Agave species (Asparagaceae) show proportional increases in chromosome number, genome size, and genetic markers with increasing ploidy. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society (2008) 158: 215-222.

Achigan-Dako EG, Fuchs J, Ahanchede A, Blattner FR. Flow cytometric analysis in Lagenaria siceraria (Cucurbitaceae) indicates correlation of genome size with usage types and growing elevation. Plant Systematics and Evolution (2008) 276: 9–19.

Costa IR, Dornelas MC, Forni-Martins ER. Nuclear genome size variation in fleshy-fruited Neotropical Myrtaceae. Plant Systematics and Evolution (2008) 276: 209–217.

Rosado TB, Clarindo WR, Carvalho CR. An integrated cytogenetic, flow and image cytometry procedure used to measure the DNA content of Zea mays A and B chromosomes. Plant Science 176 (2009) 154–158.

Temsch EM, Greilhuber J, Hammett KRW, Murray BG. Genome size in Dahlia Cav. (Asteraceae–Coreopsideae). Plant Systematics and Evolution (2008) 276:157–166.

Ploidy level:
Arvanitis L, Wiklund C, Ehrlen J. Plant ploidy level influences selection by butterfly seed predators. Oikos (2008) 117: 1020-1025.

Singliarová B, Chrtek J, Mráz P. Loss of genetic diversity in isolated populations of an alpine endemic Pilosella alpicola subsp. ullepitschii: effect of long-term vicariance or long-distance dispersal? Plant Systematics and Evolution (2008) 275: 181-191.

Fortune PM, Schierenbeck K, Ayres D, Bortolus A, Catrice O, Brown S, Ainouche ML. The enigmatic invasive Spartina densiflora: A history of hybridizations in a polyploidy context. Molecular Ecology (2008) 17: 4304-4316.

Ricca M, Beecher FW, Boles SB, Temsch E, Greilhuber J, Karlin EF, Shaw AJ. . American Journal of Botany (2008) 95: 1606-1620.

Perera PIP, Perera L, Hocher V, Verdeil JL, Yakandawala DMD, Weerakoon LK. Use of SSR markers to determine the anther-derived homozygous lines in coconut. Plant Cell Reports (2008) 27: 1697-1703.

Astarini IA, Plummer JA, Lancaster RA, Yan G. Identification of 'Sib' plants in hybrid cauliflowers using microsatellite markers. Euphytica (2008) 164: 309-316.

Kaushal P, Malaviya DR, Roy AK, Pathak S, Agrawal A, Khare A, Siddiqui SA. Reproductive pathways of seed development in apomictic guinea grass (Panicum maximum Jacq.) reveal uncoupling of apomixis components. Euphytica (2008) 164: 81-92.

Cell cycle:
Bagniewska-Zadworna A. The root microtubule cytoskeleton and cell cycle analysis through desiccation of Brassica napus seedlings. Protoplasma (2008) 233:177–185.

Functional studies:
Zonno MC, Vurro M, Lucretti S, Andolfi A, Perrone C, Evidente A. Phyllostictine A, a potential natural herbicide produced by Phyllosticta cirsii: In vitro production and toxicity. Plant Science (2008) 175: 818–825.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A hell of a joke on Impact Factors

In a recent issue of Genome Biology, Gregory Petsko published a very funny commentary on impact factors. Basically, it tells the story of a recently departed genome biologist that discusses the impact factor of his life with St Peter at the Pearly Gates.

You can get it here LINK.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wordle of the blog

The Wordle ( of the blog. This utility generates word clouds from the text that is inserted. In this case the whole blog. Unfortunately I've had little time to update the blog recently. I will try to catch up soon. Sorry....

Friday, November 07, 2008

Two in a row... Another Science paper using flow sorting on plant protoplasts

Can it be two in a row? It is indeed. Two weeks ago de Smet and co-authors published a study entitled "Receptor-Like Kinase ACR4 Restricts Formative Cell Divisions in the Arabidopsis Root" on Science. It is a very interesting application of flow sorting of plant perycicle cells undergoing lateral root initiation to identify the receptor-like kinase ACR4 of Arabidopsis.

One of the authors told me that this important and interesting study resulted from a fruitful collaboration between Philip Benfey's group from the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University and the Root Development Group in Ghent headed by Tom Beeckman with cell sorting being done in both Departments.

Congratulations to all the persons involved in such groundbreaking investigation.

During the development of multicellular organisms, organogenesis and pattern formation depend on formative divisions to specify and maintain pools of stem cells. In higher plants, these activities are essential to shape the final root architecture because the functioning of root apical meristems and the de novo formation of lateral roots entirely rely on it. We used transcript profiling on sorted pericycle cells undergoing lateral root initiation to identify the receptor-like kinase ACR4 of Arabidopsis as a key factor both in promoting formative cell divisions in the pericycle and in constraining the number of these divisions once organogenesis has been started. In the root tip meristem, ACR4 shows a similar action by controlling cell proliferation activity in the columella cell lineage. Thus, ACR4 function reveals a common mechanism of formative cell division control in the main root tip meristem and during lateral root initiation.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another great achievement of plant chromosome flow sorting

It was with great pleasure that I received an alert of the publication of the physical map of the 1-Gigabase bread wheat chromosome 3B on the top ranking journal Science. Not only because it is another very important contribution of plant flow sorting, but mostly because I know some of the people involved on this great achievement and all the efforts that were made within this worldwide research team to achieve this outcome. To Jaroslav Dolezel and all his team my sincere greetings.

As the staple food for 35% of the world’s population, wheat is one of the most important crop species. To date, sequence-based tools to accelerate wheat improvement are lacking. As part of the international effort to sequence the 17–billion–base-pair hexaploid bread wheat genome (2n = 6x = 42 chromosomes), we constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)–based integrated physical map of the largest chromosome, 3B, that alone is 995 megabases. A chromosome-specific BAC library was used to assemble 82% of the chromosome into 1036 contigs that were anchored with 1443 molecular markers, providing a major resource for genetic and genomic studies. This physical map establishes a template for the remaining wheat chromosomes and demonstrates the feasibility of constructing physical maps in large, complex, polyploid genomes with a chromosome-based approach.

Friday, October 03, 2008

List of recently published papers on plant flow cytometry - September

September issues have been quite generous for flow cytometry related works... This month will contemplate 8 highlights from many different areas... A sign that flow cytometry is being more and more applied in different fields of plant sciences.

Genome size:
Fuchs J, Jovtchev G, Schubert I. The chromosomal distribution of histone methylation marks in gymnosperms differs from that of angiosperms. Chromosome Research (2008) 16:891–898.

Smarda P, Bures P, Horová L, Rotreklová O. Intrapopulation genome size dynamics in Festuca pallens. Annals of Botany (2008) 102:599–607.

Ploidy level:

Lim WS, Earle ED. Effect of in vitro and in vivo colchicine treatments on pollen production and fruit set of melon plants obtained by pollination with irradiated pollen. Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture (2008) 95:115-124.

Weber J, Georgiev V, Pavlov A, Bley T. Flow cytometric investigations of diploid and tetraploid plants and in vitro cultures of Datura stramonium and Hyoscyamus niger. Cytometry (2008) 73A:931-939.

Consaul LL, Gillespie LJ, Waterway MJ. Systematics of three North American polyploid arctic alkali grasses (Puccinellia, Poaceae): morphology, ploidy, and AFLP markers. Botany (2008) 86:916-937.

Flow sorting:
Kofler R, Bartos J, Gong L, Stift G, Suchánková P, Simková H, Berenyi M, Burg K, Dolezel J, Lelley T. Development of microsatellite markers specific for the short arm of rye (Secale cereale L.) chromosome 1. Theoretical and Applied Genetics (2008) 117:915–926.

Algae physiological studies:
Li Y, Huang J, Sandmann G, Chen F. Glucose sensing and the mitochondrial alternative pathway are involved in the regulation of astaxanthin biosynthesis in the dark-grown Chlorella zofingiensis (Chlorophyceae). Planta (2008) 228:735–743.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Software evaluation - FlowJo

Following this year's ISAC congress I've been aware of many commercial software packages for the analysis of flow cytometric data. After attending to the FlowJo's commercial tutorial I was very curious to test it in the analysis of plant DNA flow cytometry results. But, what advantages can this powerful package (it was designed to ease the analysis of multiparametric results, besides other things) have in the analysis of simple, one to two parameters results, as it is the analysis of DNA histograms obtained from the isolation of plant nuclei? That is to say, which positive features FlowJo has that are not present in the software packages that are provided with your flow cytometer and that may improve your daily analysis of the obtained results?

Having used only a few of its huge list of features, I highlight two of them: batch operations (repetitive analyses performed on multiple samples) and output generation (e.g. easy exportation of tabular data to an excel file, for example). Both these features enable a much faster and easier analysis of the obtained results. For example, you can create the necessary regions and gating in a specific histogram (file) and then just copy those settings to all the other ones. I.e. to say that it is very easy to apply common procedures to all the files of an experiment; you should only do slight adjustments, but even this can be done in a very quick and efficient way. After all the analysis is done it is also very easy to export your results in the form of a table (among other options) to a variety of external platforms, let's say Excel, so that you can make further analysis. You can also create a workspace that contains all the files of your experiment and within the workspace several groups that may have specific assays. This enables the fast and easy organization of your files. Another interesting feature for the plant DNA flow cytometry community is the cell cycle analysis procedure. However, I've still not been able to test it appropriately.

The biggest disadvantage that I can point out is the price of FlowJo. Despite that it can be quite acceptable for the users from the clinical area, I find that it is still quite high for the users in plant flow cytometry. Another minor negative point is the somehow stylized presentation of the DNA histograms, that sometimes seem slightly better than they were when obtained using the standard software of the flow cytometer. However, the enormous array of available statistics provide you the real values (e.g. CV values) of your data.

So far, my experience has been very good and I personally recommend you to download a fully functional 30 day trial version of the software. It's quite straightforward to use, despite that I must confess that the tutorial that I attended in the ISAC's Congress proved to be very useful for a faster start. I would say that there's nothing better than to try it yourself.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The European Cytometry Network webpage

The webpage of the recently created European Cytometry Network (for further info click here) has been in beta testing already for several months. This may be a very useful and attractive platform created as a social network for the easy exchange of ideas and information between European scientists interested on cytometry. There's a special group exclusively dedicated to plant flow cytometry, which has already 15 members from several areas of plant sciences. So, it may be another web platform (together with the forum) for the discussion of general topics in plant flow cytometry as well as the place to pose any question or doubt related with the cytometric applications in plant sciences.

As the network works as invitation only, in case you are interested in joining us, please just send me an e-mail that I will promptly reply to you.

Make a good profit of it... it was created for you.

Monday, September 08, 2008

List of recently published papers on plant flow cytometry - June, July and August

Exceptionally, due to my recent busy times exposed in a previous post, this highlight of the recently published articles on Plant Flow Cytometry will include the months of June, July and August.

Genome size:
Thompson JN, Merg KF. Evolution of polyploidy and the diversification of plant-pollinator interactions. Ecology (2008) 89:2197-2206.

de Abreu IS, Carvalho CR, Clarindo WR. Chromosomal DNA content of sweet pepper determined by association of cytogenetic and cytometric tools. Plant Cell Reports (2008) 27:1227-1233.

Brito G, Loureiro J, Lopes T, Rodriguez E, Santos C. Genetic characterisation of olive trees from Madeira Archipelago using flow cytometry and microsatellite markers. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (2008) 55:657-664.

Consaul LL, Gillespie LJ, Waterway MJ. Systematics of North American Arctic diploid Puccinellia (Poaceae): Morphology, DNA content, and AFLP markers. Systematic Botany (2008) 33:251-261.

Garcia S, Canela MA, Garnatje T, Mcarthur ED, Pellicer J, Sanderson SC, Valles J. Evolutionary and ecological implications of genome size in the North American endemic sagebrushes and allies (Artemisia, Asteraceae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2008) 94:631-649.

Stahlberg D, Hedren M. Systematics and phylogeography of the Dactylorhiza maculata complex (Orchidaceae) in Scandinavia: insights from cytological, morphological and molecular data. Plant Systematics and Evolution (2008) 273:107-132.

Eilam T, Anikster Y, Millet E, Manisterski J, Feldman M. Nuclear DNA amount and genome downsizing in natural and synthetic allopolyploids of the genera Aegilops and Triticum. Genome (2008) 51:616–627.

Ploidy level:
Izumikawa Y, Takei S, Nakamura I, Mii M. Production and characterization of inter-sectional hybrids between Kalanchoe spathulata and K. laxiflora (= Bryophyllum crenatum). Euphytica (2008) 163:123-130.

Skrlep K, Bergant M, De Winter GM, Bohanec B, Zel J, Verpoorte R, Van Iren F, Camloh M. Cryopreservation of cell suspension cultures of Taxus x media and Taxus floridana. Biologia Plantarum (2008) 52:329-333.

Jin SX, Mushke R, Zhu HG, Tu LL, Lin ZX, Zhang YX, Zhang XL. Detection of somaclonal variation of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) using cytogenetics, flow cytometry and molecular markers. Plant Cell Reports (2008) 27:1303-1316.

Yang XM, An LZ, Xiong YC, Zhang JP, Li Y, Xu SJ. Somatic embryogenesis from immature zygotic embryos and monitoring the genetic fidelity of regenerated plants in grapevine. Biologia Plantarum (2008) 52:209-214

Zdravkovic-Korac S, Calic-Dragosavac D, Uzelac B, Janosevic D, Budimir S, Vinterhalter B, Vinterhalter D. Secondary somatic embryogenesis versus caulogenesis from somatic embryos of Aesculus carnea Hayne.: developmental stage impact. Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture (2008) 94:225-231.

Lubinsky P, Cameron KM, Molina MC, Wong M, Lepers-Andrzejewski S, Gomez-Pompa A, Kim SC. Neotropical roots of a Polynesian spice: The hybrid origin of Tahitian vanilla, Vanilla tahitensis (Orchidaceae). American Journal of Botany (2008) 95:1040-1047.

Mereda P, Hodalova I, Martonfi P, Kucera J, Lihova J. Intraspecific variation in Viola suavis in Europe: Parallel evolution of white-flowered morphotypes. Annals of Botany (2008) 102:443-462.

Schenk MF, Thienpont CN, Koopman WJM, Gilissen LJWJ, Smulders MJM. Phylogenetic relationships in Betula (Betulaceae) based on AFLP markers. Tree Genetics & Genomes (2008) 4:911-924.

Siena LA, Sartor ME, Espinoza F, Quarin CL, Ortiz JPA. Genetic and embryological evidences of apomixis at the diploid level in Paspalum rufum support recurrent auto-polyploidization in the species. Sexual Plant Reproduction (2008) 21:205-215.

Plant breeding
Martinez-Reyna JM, Vogel KP. Heterosis in switchgrass: Spaced plants. Crop Science (2008) 48:1312-1320.

Teyssier E, Bernacchia G, Maury S, Kit AH, Stammitti-Bert L, Rolin D, Gallusci P. Tissue dependent variations of DNA methylation and endoreduplication levels during tomato fruit development and ripening. Planta (2008) 228:391-399.

Cell Cycle:
Da Silva EAA, Toorop PE, Van Lammeren AAM, Hilhorst HWM. ABA inhibits embryo cell expansion and early cell division events during coffee (Coffea arabica 'Rubi') seed germination. Annals of Botany (2008) 102:425-433.

Short resume of the Xth Symposium of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematics

Before updating all the usual sections of the blog, I want to leave you a very short overview of the Xth Symposium of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematics. Overall, the Symposium was a success both in organization and scientific value. The venue was held on the beautiful High Tatras which was another positive aspect.

Flow cytometry speaking it was nice to see that there are more and more researchers using this technique to help solving byosystematic and taxonomy problems. The number of posters where flow cytometry was used exceeded the 20 and several talks also referred its usefulness and potential for large scale ploidy level and genome size analyses. The only regret was the unexpected cancelling of D. Soltis talk due to passport issuing problems. Maybe next time...

Finally, Jan Suda wonderfully and enthusiastically presented a talk addressing all the potentialities that the technique has in the field of Biosystematics, which was a sure highlight of the congress's second day.

I leave you some other pictures from the Tatras journey:

The return of the blog

Dear friends,

I know! It has been already more than two months without any posts in the blog. Since the Symposium of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematics in Slovakia that I've been most of the time out of office in several field trips for collection of Aster amellus. This beautiful daisy has been studied throughly by Zuzana Münzbergova in the Czech Republic where a secondary contact zone between two cytotypes (diploids and hexaploids) can be found. In order to understand the distribution of both cytotypes Sílvia Castro and I have been collecting this species in the neighbouring countries of the Czech Republic. So far, we have thoroughly explored the Slovak Republic and Austria, but there's still Poland to come. However, before leaving to the Polish land for the last week of field season of this year I will post the usual Articles of the Month section and one of several software highlights.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Xth Symposium of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematics

The next Symposium of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematics will occur next week (from the 2nd to the 4th of July) in Visoké Tatry, Slovakia. This year the meeting will be devoted to the evolution of plants in montainous and alpine habitats. The impact that flow cytometry has been having in this area is well patent in the Symposium Scientific Programme as there will be one talk totally dedicated to it (Jan Suda, Praha - From individuals to populations: the impact of flow cytometry on understanding polyploid evolution in mountain plants) and some more talks that will certainly focus on data obtained using this powerful and high throughput technique.

The main topics that will be focused are:

There is still the possibility to register on site, so do not miss this opportunity to, besides enjoying a Symposium with a rather interesting programme (which should be the main purpose!), discover this beautiful mountain area of Slovakia.

I hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Plant Flow Cytometry - Far Beyond the Stone Age Commentary on Cytometry Journal

In a close association with the review of Sergio Ochatt on the application of flow cytometry in plant breeding (see previous post) that appears in the current issue of Cytometry Part A journal we have been invited to write a commentary on the current state of flow cytometry in plant sciences. It is a short overview of the applications of flow cytometry to analyse plant cells and once again the blog, forum and FLOWer database were not forgotten. We hope that you enjoy the reading.

You can download it for free in here: Plant Flow Cytometry - Far Beyond the Stone Age

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The first reference in a manuscript to the Plant FCM blog and forum

In the last issue of Cytometry a review on the application of flow cytometry to plant breeding is presented by Sergio J. Ochatt from INRA (Dijon Cedex, France). The manuscript explores some of the interesting uses of flow cytometry in the area of plant breeding and, by the end, in an overview of the progress in recent years, both this blog and the plant flow cytometry forum are referred with the respective web address. We are very thankful for this mention and it is already a victory that we are slowly gaining some visibility within the plant FCM community.

Thank you all for being so supportive.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ISAC Congress - Plant FCM Workshop Presentations

Despite that the Congress was already over almost one month ago, we are still summarizing some of the plant related events. Now, it is time to provide you with the presentations given in the plant FCM workshops (click on each image for download). The presentations may be used without copyright restrictions except for commercial or for profit use, provided there is some credit to the author and reference to this blog.

Workshop - Plant genome structure and gene expression - organized by David Galbraith and Jaroslav Dolezel

Presentations available by Jan Suda (Preparation and storage of plant samples for DNA flow cytometry), João Loureiro (The effect of cytosol on quantitative staining of nuclear DNA), Johann Greilhuber (Standardization and Standards), Jaroslav Dolezel (Chromosome analysis and sorting) and David Galbraith (Analysis of gene expression, including flow analysis and sorting of organelles and large cells)

Workshop - Plant evolutionary biology, biosystematics and ecology - organized by Brian Husband and Jan Suda

Presentations available by Jan Suda (The impact of FCM on plant Biosystematics and Taxonomy), Paul Kron (Flow Cytometry: Applications in the Study of Plant Reproductive Systems) and Brian Husband (Flow Cytometry and The Evolutionary Dynamics of Polyploids).

We hope that you enjoy the presentations.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Flow Cytometry Blog

While surfing the net for some information about FCM courses I found this blog (link provided bellow) that lists some of the courses that will be lectured this year.

There are not Plant FCM-specific courses listed, but the basis of FCM is the same for all the fields of biology, so if you are interested in learning more about FCM, you should try some of the courses listed in that page, some are hands-on so you will get a lot of practical knowledge as well.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

List of recently published papers on plant flow cytometry - May

Below is the list of papers that came to our hands/knowledge during the month of April. In here there are already included some of the contributions made through the FLOWer database webpage. Many thanks for the authors that contributed with their work.

Genome size:
Carvalho CR, Clarindo WE, Praça MM, Araújo FS, Carels N. Genome size, base composition and karyotype of Jatropha curcas L., an important biofuel plant. Plant Science (2008) 174:613-617.

Rossi AAB, Clarindo WR, Carvalho CR, Oliveira LO. Karyotype and nuclear DNA content of Psychotria ipecacuanha: a medicinal species. Cytologia 73 (2008):53–60.

Ayres DR, Grotkopp E, Zaremba K, Sloop CM, Blum MJ, Bailey JP, Anttila CK, Strong DR. Hybridization between invasive Spartina densiflora (Poaceae) and native S. foliosa in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. American Journal of Botany (2008) 95:713-719.

Makowczynska J, Andrzejewska-Golec E, Sliwinska E. Nuclear DNA content in different plant materials of Plantago asiatica L. cultured in vitro. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (2008) 94:65–71

Ploidy level:
Kantartzi S, Roupakias DGProduction of aneuploids of the cotton hybrid G. barbadense x G. hirsutum L. via intergeneric pollination with Abelmoschus esculentus. Euphytica (2008) 161:319-327.

Orbovic V, Calovic M, Viloria Z, Nielsen B, Gmitter FG, Castle WS, Grosser JW. Analysis of genetic variability in various tissue culture-derived lemon plant populations using RAPD and flow cytometry. Euphytica (2008) 161:329-335.

Guillemin ML, Faugeron S, Destombe C, Viard F, Correa JA, Valero M. Genetic variation in wild and cultivated populations of the haploid-diploid red alga Gracilaria chilensis: how farming practices favor asexual reproduction and heterozygosity. Evolution (2008) 62-6: 1500–1519

Functional cytometry:
Tilbrook J, Tyerman SD. Cell death in grape berries: varietal differences linked to xylem pressure and berry weight loss. Functional Plant Biology (2008) 35:173-184.

Monday, June 02, 2008

FLOWer database version 1.0 has just been launched

I am very pleased to announce that version 1.0 of the FLOWer database is finally ready and online ( After some serious problems with the programming of the previous version of the database, we are very glad that the first release of the database is up and running. You are welcome to visit it and I encourage you to use the database as a unique resource of publications on DNA flow cytometry in plant sciences. Your opinion is very important to us, so it would be nice to receive any feedback through the shoutbox available in the home page or directly to this e-mail. The database presently harbours 826 publications, and you are welcome to provide us with any missing ones through the contribution area available in the menu bar of the home page.

This is part of the e-mail that was sent to many colleagues of the plant flow cytometry area, where this blog and the forum of plant flow cytometry were also promoted. I hope that you like all these resources that were made available to you.

Many thanks for stopping by.

The "naughty" orchid

I know that it is somehow offtopic, but I couldn't resist... A. Gaskett and co-workers have just discovered that sexually deceptive orchids from genus Cryptostylis, when mimicking female insects, frequently lead to pollinators ejaculation and waste of sperm. The consequences of such "naughty" behaviour are discussed in detail by the authors. Worth reading!

Abstract: Sexually deceptive orchids lure pollinators by mimicking female insects. Male insects fooled into gripping or copulating with orchids unwittingly transfer the pollinia. The effect of deception on pollinators has been considered negligible, but we show that pollinators may suffer considerable costs. Insects pollinating Australian tongue orchids (Cryptostylis species) frequently ejaculate and waste copious sperm. The costs of sperm wastage could select for pollinator avoidance of orchids, thereby driving and maintaining sexual deception via antagonistic coevolution or an arms race between pollinator learning and escalating orchid mimicry. However, we also show that orchid species provoking such extreme pollinator behavior have the highest pollination success. How can deception persist, given the costs to pollinators? Sexually-deceptive-orchid pollinators are almost exclusively solitary and haplodiploid species. Therefore, female insects deprived of matings by orchid deception could still produce male offspring, which may even enhance orchid pollination.

The access to the full article can be found here.

Some other ISAC posters related with plant flow cytometry

After having talked with some of the participants related with plant flow cytometry, some of them agreed in sending me a jpg version of their posters. Please click on each image for the full size of the poster. As soon as I receive more posters, I will update this post.

Tomas Urfus - Department of Botany, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Sara V. Petersson - Umea Plant Science Center, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umea, Sweden.
Jingly Zhang - HortResearch, New Zealand.

Many thanks to all the contributors.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First review to the book Flow Cytometry with Plant Cells

The last issue of Cytometry part A (Volume 73A Issue 6) has just published the first review to the book Flow Cytometry with Plant Cells: Analysis of Genes, Chromosomes and Genomes that was launched last year (see the side bar for full details). The review was made by Dr. Sergio Ochatt from the INRA, Dijon, France and the author carefully summarized what the book has to offer.You can download it for free by clicking this link.

As an author of one chapter I am very happy to finally see a review to the book. I am positive that it will be a good promotion to the book, helping it to reach an even broader number of researchers.

Just one final remark: on the review there is an error on the link to the FLOWer database. The correct link is:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

ISAC Congress - The plant sciences team

For prosperity the picture of the organizing team of the plant sciences sections of the ISAC Congress.

(from left to right: Jaroslav Dolezel, João Loureiro, David Galbraith, Jan Suda, Johann Greilhuber, Brian Husband and Paul Kron)

ISAC Congress - Day 5

And so the last day of the XXIV ISAC Congress came, and since the morning we could see the difference in the number of participants that were present in the Budapest Sportsarena. After 4 long days, the exhaustion was already felt, personally speaking, but there was still time for some last chatting with the commercial exhibiters and most importantly, to profit from another interesting workshop dedicated to the plant sciences. Jan Suda, Brian Husband and Paul Kron brought for the first time the world of plant evolutionary biology, biosystematics and ecology to the ISAC Congress, and I was very happy to witness that at least a dozen participants were interested. As expected, the workshop was very good with the speakers presenting several examples on the potentialities that flow cytometry has on such fields together with some "controversy" related topics on best practices.

Then was time to relax, drink some hungarian beers in a local pub and eat some typical food, before going to rest with the idea that everything was done to fulfil the objectives of the Congress. Of course, we leave the evaluation for the participants... and we hope that they have enjoyed as much as I did.