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.