GPC Members Login
If you have any problems or have forgotten your login please contact [email protected]

People and plants: Working together for the planet

We rely on plants for food, shelter, fuel and fibres for clothing, for our gardens, landscape, and artistic inspiration. We live on a planet where life is powered by plants through photosynthesis, on land and in the sea; plants connect all of us. Human civilisation exists because of plants.

Plants, People, Planet, a cross-disciplinary Open Access journal, launches its first issue. Plants, People, Planet will publish peer-reviewed articles, opinion and review that focuses on the connections between plant science and society. The new journal aims to celebrate everything new, innovative and exciting in plant sciences that is relevant to society and peoples' daily lives.

Issue 1 of Plants, People, Planet, includes insights into the unbreakable bond between people and plants from Sandra Knapp (Natural History Museum, London), seven ways for plant scientists to protect the planet's plant diversity by Peter Raven (Missouri Botanical Garden), and the challenge for botanical gardens by Paul Smith (Botanic Gardens Conservation International, BGCI). Chris Thorogood (Oxford Botanical Garden) introduces us to Hydnora, possibly the world's strangest plant.

Our complex relationship with plants shapes societies, cultures, and the Earth's ecosystems, resulting in the world as we know it today. As the human race grows the work of plant scientists has never been more important, as it seeks to meet the global challenges of the 21st Century.

Plants, People, Planet will publish emerging plant science that has the potential for impact on society - Societal Impact Statements will highlight how each contributed article is relevant to society. The journal will publish across six themes:

  • Plants and society
  • Plant conservation
  • Plant genomics applications
  • Plant diversity
  • Plants and global change
  • Plant natural assets

Plants, People, Planet is owned and produced by the New Phytologist Trust, the not-for-profit organisation behind the peer-reviewed plant science journal, New Phytologist, which was founded by Sir Arthur Tansley over 100 years ago.

Plants, People, Planet will be available online at: https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/25722611



Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth 40%

Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis; however, most crops on the planet are plagued by a photosynthetic glitch, and to deal with it, evolved an energy-expensive process called photorespiration that drastically suppresses their yield potential. Researchers from the University of Illinois and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service report in the journal Science that crops engineered with a photorespiratory shortcut are 40 percent more productive in real-world agronomic conditions.

Should researchers engineer a spicy tomato?

The chili pepper, from an evolutionary perspective, is the tomato's long-lost spitfire cousin. They split off from a common ancestor 19 million years ago but still share some of the same DNA. While the tomato plant went on to have a fleshy, nutrient-rich fruit yielding bountiful harvests, the more agriculturally difficult chili plant went defensive, developing capsaicinoids, the molecules that give peppers their spiciness, to ward off predators.

European wheat lacks climate resilience

The climate is not only warming, it is also becoming more variable and extreme. Such unpredictable weather can weaken global food security if major crops such as wheat are not sufficiently resilient – and if we are not properly prepared.