Research Topic

Growing plants for science - crop protocols for controlled environments

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Plant researchers depend on the cultivation of their model organism under controlled environment conditions like greenhouse and climate chamber, ideally all year round. The cultivation conditions considerably affect the results of measurements done on the plant material, for transcript and metabolite ...

Plant researchers depend on the cultivation of their model organism under controlled environment conditions like greenhouse and climate chamber, ideally all year round. The cultivation conditions considerably affect the results of measurements done on the plant material, for transcript and metabolite concentrations as well as for the habitus or the developmental patterns of the entire plant. Especially young scientists are often unaware of critical cultivation parameters. In small groups, this leads to a long trial-and-error period to before a reliable plant cultivation method is established. In larger institutions, where dedicated staff cultivates the material, scientists are often unaware, which parameters critically affect their results. This increases the risk that relevant cultivation information lacks in the publication of the results. For the model species Arabidopsis, information on optimal or standard growth conditions are comprehensively published in dedicated books. For many other model crops, however, this knowledge is often spread to many different publications or restricted to field cultivation methods. In many institutions, the cultivation method has been developed by technical staff and is thus never completely published.
The Research Topic ‘Growing Plants for Science’ will provide a forum to publish these methods and discuss the critical parameters for each species. Ideally each method description shall contain experimental evidences to support claims on the relevance of cultivation parameters. Furthermore, the publication shall include information on supply sources for required materials as well as genetic resources. Each publication shall furthermore include a method file in one of the standard formats for metadata (e.g. XEML) to facilitate the documentation of any method and the standardized submission of the method with the results gained on the material. In the end, the aim is to provide a manual of established methods for each model plant, especially those that have been sequenced. Thus, each novice starting to work with a model organism can obtain a validated standard protocol, which will save time and effort and increase the comparability of results between groups.


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