editorial The work of many plant biologists has garnered prizes and plaudits in recent months. But will we continue to see plant researchers overlooked for the ultimate scientific awards? n the entertainment industry, the early fourth recipient of the Tsuneko & In 2018 these include: Joy Bergelson from months of each year are ‘Awards Season’. Reiji Okazaki Award, presented by Nagoya the University of Chicago, whose current IStarting with the Golden Globes in University in Japan. This commemorates research looks at microbial communities early January, continuing with ceremonies the husband and wife team after whom the on plants; the University of California, including the Grammys, Baftas and Brits, short discontinuous fragments of DNA Riverside’s Sean Cutler, who employs and culminating in the Oscars in early that form during DNA replication on the genetics and chemical biology in the March. Scientists too, have their awards lagging template strand (and so have to be study and manipulation of drought recognising outstanding achievements and it joined by a DNA ligase to form a continuous tolerance; Susan McCouch of Cornell is good to see that this year quite a number strand) are named. The prize recognises the University, who studies natural variation of plant scientists have been honoured. ‘extraordinary efforts and accomplishments’ in wild and cultivated rice; University of For instance, the Gruber prize for of young scientists and so encourage their Minnesota ecophysiologist, Peter Reich, genetics has been awarded to Joanne Chory future success. Zipfel’s successes in the who investigates the effects of natural of the Salk Institute, and Elliot Meyerowitz field of plant immunity are already and human-related environmental of the California Institute of Technology. considerable and he is in the process of change on forest ecosystems; and This prize is one of three awarded by the moving his group from the Sainsbury Richard Vierstra, whose studies at the Yale University-based Gruber Foundation, Laboratory in Norwich, UK, of which he University of Washington concentrate on each worth $500,000, recognising excellence has been Head for several years, to the signalling involving protein degradation. in cosmology, neuroscience and genetics. University of Zurich to head its Molecular Finally, photosynthesis researcher Chory and Meyerowitz are certainly worthy and Cellular Plant Physiology group. Eva-Marie Aro, from the University of of such recognition, the difficulty being Along with prizes, the start of the year is Turku, Finland, joins as a Foreign Member. deciding which of their many achievements when new members are elected to a number Also elected to the NAS this year is to single out. The Gruber foundation of scientific societies. Of the 53 other new the University of Chicago economist, recognised Chory for her discovery and members of the European Molecular Richard Thaler. Thaler was awarded characterization of the hormonal signalling Biology Organisation (EMBO), there are the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic mechanisms central to plant growth- three plant biologists. Zipfel, again, along Sciences in 2017, which might suggest that regulation in response to light and other with Eugenia Russinova, who works on joining the NAS is harder than winning a environmental signals, and Meyerowitz for brassinosteroid signalling at the Center Nobel Prize. That is not the case for plant pioneering the use of Arabidopsis thaliana in for Plant Systems Biology at the Vlaams biologists, who are almost absent studying plant development. Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), from the ranks of Nobel laureates. Less lucrative than the Gruber (only University of Ghent, Belgium, and Marja Barbara McClintock was awarded the $5,000) is the Southeastern Universities Timmermans, who investigates sRNA Physiology or Medicine Nobel in 1983 for Research Association Distinguished Scientist signalling and leaf development at the her discovery of transposable elements in Award. As with the Gruber, 2018 is the first University of Tübingen. maize, and remains the only woman to have year in which this award has gone to a plant In the UK, three plant biologists are won a science Nobel unshared. Other than biologist: Pam Soltis of the University of among the 50 new Fellows of the Royal her, Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber and Florida’s Museum of Natural History. Soltis Society (FRS): Richard Dixon, of the Hagler Hartmut Michel were awarded the 1988 is a geneticist and systematician, using Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M Chemistry prize for their determination of molecular techniques to investigate the University; and two researchers working in the structure of a photosynthetic reaction phylogeny and evolution of plants. Norwich, UK, Cathie Martin and Sophien centre, but none would consider themselves The award though, does not simply relate Kamoun. Both Dixon and Martin are known plant biologists and the complex was from to her research but also her involvement for their work on plant metabolism. Dixon's the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas last year in a multimedia arts project called is concerned with secondary cell wall viridis. Norman Borlaug received a Nobel One Tree, One Planet (https://go.nature. formation, especially in grasses, for his work improving crop yields, but com/2kfZkHh), which aimed to increase while Martin has most recently focussed on rather than a ‘research’ award he was given public understanding of biodiversity. polyphenol production in fruits, leading to the 1970 Peace prize. Other examples of plant biologists her engineering of ‘purple’ tomatoes All plant biologists who have received gaining general scientific prizes is Wolf high in antioxidant anthocyanins. recognition in this scientific awards season Frommer and Cyril Zipfel. Frommer, Kamoun, like Zipfel, works on plant defence deserve hearty congratulation. It is to be head of the Institute of Molecular Physiology and was Zipfel’s predecessor as Head of hoped that these may soon result in more at Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, the Sainsbury Lab. He is also the first plant biologists receiving long overdue received the Tsungming Tu Award, Tunisian scientist to be made an FRS, invitations to Sweden. ❐ Taiwan’s highest academic honour for a prompting the Tunisian Embassy in London foreign researcher, which commemorates to personally congratulate him on Facebook. the first Taiwanese scientist to receive a May also heralds new members of the Published online: 5 June 2018 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0186-x doctorate. Meanwhile, Zipfel has become the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), USA. Nature PlaNts | VOL 4 | JUNE 2018 | 311 | www.nature.com/natureplants © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.
Nature Plants – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera