Valerie Pence, of the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, was awarded a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for 3 years for the project, Establishing the Exceptional Plant Cryo Bank:  Collaborative Research for the Ex Situ Conservation of Endangered Exceptional Plants.  Endangered exceptional plant species are those for which seed banking is not a workable method for ex situ conservation, and alternative conservation methods for these species rely heavily on in vitro and cryopreservation methods.  The project has three major components:  1) CREW will partner with the Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii and the University of Cincinnati to cryopreserve in vitro cultures and analyze the genetic diversity of several critically imperiled Hawaiian species; 2) CREW will facilitate in vitro and cryopreservation research on exceptional species in 11 other institutions, with seed money from the grant; and 3) CREW will facilitate the Exceptional Plant Conservation Network (EPCN) through a website hosted by the CZBG that will provide informational resources for supporting research on exceptional species.  In addition, the grant is supporting a new travel award, the Exceptional Plant Research Award, to be offered by the SIVB for the next three years https://sivb.org/meetings/home/2019-student-and-post-doc-opportunities/sivb-student-award-program.html. Interested students working on in vitro or cryopreservation research that will benefit one or more endangered exceptional species are strongly encouraged to apply (deadline, January 31, 2018).

Dr. Paula M. Pijut retired on December 29, 2017 after 29 years with the USDA Forest Service including 17 years with the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC). Paula was a Research Plant Physiologist with the Northern Research Station, HTIRC, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Depts. of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University. Paula received her B.S. in Medical Technology from Maryville College of the Sacred Heart, her M.S. in Horticulture from Murray State University, and her Ph.D. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University. Her research program focused on plant cell, tissue, and organ culture for tree improvement, production, and conservation. Dr. Pijut developed protocols for in vitro selection, somatic embryogenesis, adventitious shoot regeneration, rooting, micropropagation, genetic transformation, induction or control of flowering, clonal propagation, and vegetative propagation of hardwood tree species. Paula conducted research on black walnut, northern red oak, black cherry, butternut, white oak, and green, white, pumpkin, and black ash. In addition to her research, Dr. Pijut was an editor for four scientific journals, and advised numerous graduate students who are now contributing to science; extending her research legacy beyond her own career. A more complete list of her research publications and accomplishments can be viewed at: https://ag.purdue.edu/fnr/Pages/Profile.aspx?strAlias=ppijut&intDirDeptID=15 and https://ag.purdue.edu/fnr/Documents/faculty-pdfs/PijutCV.pdf

NSF Plant Transformation Workshop

 HYEYOUNG LEE, Plant Transformation Core Facility, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211. Email: zhangzh@missouri.edu


Plant transformation has been a bottleneck in advancing plant functional genomics study and genome editing. Transformation of recalcitrant cereal crop species has been challenging. The National Science Foundation – Plant Genome Research Program sponsors this training workshop. The goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with hands-on experience in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of cereal crop species. Attendees will have the opportunity to walkthrough advanced protocols for transformation of cereal crops with focus on three recalcitrant cereal species; including Zea mays inbred lines, Sorghum bicolor public genotype, and Brachypodium distachyon public genotype. Trainees will have the opportunity to learn how to utilize plant morphorgenic regulator genes to transform B73 as well as the best practice for cereal transformation. In addition, the workshop will offer two lectures and host a discussion forum. The first lecture will focus on the mechanism of plant somatic embryogenesis whereas the second lecture will center on how to establish and implement cereal transformation systems. The Plant Transformation Core Facility at University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA, will host this workshop from July 30 to August 3, 2018. For workshop pre-registration (free), please visit Plant Transformation Core Facility website at  https://plantsciencesweb.missouri.edu/plantbiotechlab/ and for any workshop update. Seats are limited. Pre-registration is required by June 20, 2018 to secure your spot and facilitate our workshop organization. Please contact Dr. Zhanyuan J. Zhang for any workshop related questions.

NSF_Plant Transformation Workshop Poster




SIVB members Lauren A.C. Alt (Laboratory Manager, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL), Nalini Chandar (Dept. Chair and Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL), and Michael J. Fay (Program Director and Professor, Depts. of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacology, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL) published the article titledPreclinical evaluation of the Aurora kinase inhibitors AMG 900, AZD1152-HQPA, and MK-5108 on SW-872 and 93T449 human liposarcoma cells” in In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Animal (Noronha S, Alt LAC, Scimeca TE, Zarou O, Obrzut J, Zanotti B, Hayward EA, Pillai A, Mathur S, Rojas J, Salamah R, Chandar N, Fay MJ. Preclinical evaluation of the Aurora kinase inhibitors AMG 900, AZD1152-HQPA, and MK-5108 on SW-872 and 93T449 human liposarcoma cells.  In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Animal, 54(1):71-84, 2018).

Use the following link to read the abstract for this publication: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29197031 

Joshua Gasiorowski (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL) was appointed as the Faculty Advisor for the newly established Research Core Facility on the Downers Grove, IL campus of Midwestern University.