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Sep 16
New Episode of Microgreens! Meet Podcast Cohost Elizabeth (Tess) Deyett


Microgreens Episode 4 is the first of a three-part series featuring Jennifer Lewis, an adjunct professor at the University of California Berkeley. Lewis leverages the field's current knowledge in genetics and bioinformatics to discover potential methods to fight the devastating citrus greening disease, also known as huanglongbing (HLB).

Listen to the podcast here or find Microgreens on your preferred podcast platform, where you can subscribe to be notified when the next episode comes out in September. Keep reading to meet podcast cohost Elizabeth (Tess) Deyett.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you got involved in Microgreens?

Hi, I'm Elizabeth (Tess) Deyett, Ph.D. I'm a current postdoc at the University of California Riverside. I work as a bioinformatician and data scientist exploring plant-microbe interactions. During the start of the pandemic, I grew increasingly aware of the scientific literacy crises in the world, so I started my own science communication business and later started my own podcast The Microbe Moment. Around this time, I was also given the opportunity to become an assistant feature editor for the Phytobiomes Journal and MPMI journal. It has been a wonderful experience so far.

In these roles, I have been able to develop not only my writing, editing, and reviewing skills but had the chance to cohost the Microgreens podcast. I love learning about the ways microbes affect our world, whether it be through crops or the environment. More importantly, I love learning about the researchers behind these discoveries. Being a cohost of Microgreens gives me the opportunity to engage with researchers throughout the MPMI community and share their stories with all of you! My life goal is to research the limitless potential of the microbial world and share the unique microbe moments everyone has.

2. You're involved with two podcasts—what draws you to this medium?

I've been listening to podcasts for about six years now, and it is a wonderful platform to learn something new while you are commuting to work, working out, or cleaning around the house. It allows me to escape from some of these mundane tasks and make these moments feel more meaningful. For me, podcasts have made me feel less isolated throughout the pandemic, broadened my horizons, and taught me a lot about the world in which we live.

Being a podcaster is like being a storyteller—you're an entertainer with the goal of educating. I hope as a podcaster, I am helping others the same way my favorite podcasts have helped me, even if it's just helping others get through the dishes. I really do hope that if you are listening to the Microgreens podcast it helps you feel a little more connected and part of the MPMI community.

3. Who should listen to your three-part series on Jennifer Lewis?

The three-part series on Jennifer Lewis, while short, is extensive in its reach and really has something for everybody. The first part is on her research using comparative genomics to find novel ways to combat the devastating citrus pathogen HLB. I found Jennifer Lewis to not only be a great researcher, but an amazing person with some wonderful initiatives. This is more than a story about how science can save the citrus industry. It's a story about how Jennifer Lewis manages her lab, not for the sake of surviving the "publish or perish" system, but for the sake of inspiring and mentoring the next generation of scientists. It's a story about how she promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in her lab as the foundation of scientific excellence. Even though this is a three-part series on a single researcher, each episode is unique, with a different tone and message. I think everyone in academia, especially plant scientists from undergraduate students to tenured professors, will enjoy listening to this series.

4. What's next for Microgreens?

Raka Mitra and I are very excited for what's next for Microgreens! One of our biggest projects is creating podcasts for each of The Top 10 Unanswered Questions in MPMI. The first episode of this series is already out, and you can listen to it here. We will have one podcast exploring each of the Top 10 Unanswered Questions in MPMI. These podcasts will be released throughout the remainder of 2021 and 2022—if you don't want to miss them, make sure you subscribe to Microgreens on your favorite podcast app or follow us on Twitter: @MPMIMicrogreens.​

Jun 09
Submit Your Research by July 24 for Inclusion in the 2022 MPMI Focus Issue


The 2022 MPMI special issue will focus on the next question of importance identified by the community—Top 10 question number 2: What Is the Role of the Abiotic Environment on the Interactions Between Plants and Microbes?
Learn more.

Jun 09
The MPMI Journal Accepted by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

MPMI_2021Cover.jpgThe MPMI journal is now included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)! The community-driven DOAJ indexes and provides access to high-quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals from around the world. The DOAJ database includes more open access journals than any other major indexing service and currently represents 80 languages, 126 countries, and 11,775 journals.

MPMI's admittance to the database confirms its compliance with many open access initiatives around the world, including Plan S in Europe and Capes/Qualis in Brazil, that may require authors to publish in journals that meet the requirements of the DOAJ. The journal will also be more discoverable, with increased visibility in search engines.

Learn more about DOAJ or the MPMI journal.

Sources: and

Sep 10
MPMI Journal Goes Gold Open Access to Bring Its Science to the World

IS-MPMI represents an international community—the last IS-MPMI Congress was attended by scientists from more than 50 countries—and this diversity is reflected in the authorship of articles in the MPMI journal. Changes in the publishing landscape, both in the ways authors publish their work and the ways readers access content, as well as a growing awareness that research should be available to teachers, students, and colleagues worldwide, have led to the decision to turn MPMI into a gold open access journal. Beginning January 2021, all MPMI content will be fully available to everyone.

Jeanne Harris, MPMI editor-in-chief, envisions the journal as a place to tackle the big questions in molecular plant–microbe interactions. “We want to position MPMI to be a place where the community discusses these big questions. Not just what we’ve done but looking forward at the big questions that face us.” She sees this move to open access as a way to foster inclusion, drawing all voices into the discussion.

Since Harris took over as editor-in-chief in 2018, MPMI has transitioned from being a print publication to online-only delivery and made all technical advances freely available, which were important first steps toward becoming open access. “Plants live all over the world; microbes live all over the world,” Harris said. “When we look at the people who make up our IS-MPMI community, we see that the members are from all over the world, and not every place has subscription access. It was clear that MPMI had to go open access to reach our entire community.”

According to Krishna Subbarao, chair of The American Phytopathological Society’s Publications Board, it was “especially vital that MPMI move to open access because many of the journals in the molecular area were already gold open access,” and some European authors were prevented from publishing in journals without full open access due to constraints from funding agencies or institutions. Subbarao states, “We hope that the European authors will welcome this change and that this move to gold open access attracts authors from every part of the world.”

MPMI currently makes both resource announcements and technical advances open access so that they can be a resource for the community, and review articles are freely available for a month. However, Harris has championed the move toward fully open access. “These ideas and the findings really should be shared,” she said.

With the gold open access launch in 2021, the MPMI journal will become more accessible than ever and can serve as a community meeting place for all. Authors are encouraged to submit their articles now to be included in the first open access issues. Articles submitted today will be openly available for everyone in our community as they are published. Learn more about the journal.

Sep 10
Thoughts about the What’s New in MPMI! Virtual Seminar Series

The free virtual seminar series What’s New in MPMI! launched on June 10 with a presentation by Matt Neubauer from the Roger Innes lab. Since then, there have been six installments in the series, each featuring a 25-minute talk and a Q&A session. This series was conceptualized and is hosted by Jeanne Harris, the editor-in-chief of MPMI, who shares her thoughts on the value of virtual seminars for the IS-MPMI community.

I think there’s a real hunger for connection right now. We’ve always been a far-flung society with members across the world, but with the increased isolation that the pandemic brings, along with the cancellation of conferences, seminars, and classes, people really want to connect, learn about new findings, and think about new ideas. Many IS-MPMI members do not have colleagues at their home institutions who share their interests in plant–microbe interactions. For us, attending conferences or hosting colleagues from other institutions gives us a chance not only to learn new things but also to develop our own thinking.

I’m excited about the What’s New in MPMI! virtual seminar series, because it provides new ways for the IS-MPMI community to connect and for MPMI to engage with readers and authors. The interaction is outside the regular publication cycle and is much more personal, giving readers and listeners the chance to directly interact with the authors. Listeners can ask questions and learn more about how the research happened and where it’s going, as well as technical details. Presenting a published MPMI paper in this way is also exciting for authors as they get to hear what readers think and talk directly to people all over the world about their findings.

This series also strives to build connections within our international community and to foster inclusion. Because our seminar series is freeno subscription, membership, or registration fee is requiredit is accessible to everyone. We are alternating presentations between two times to appeal to different time zones. As a result, we draw participants from around the globe to each live session.

Because each session is recorded, it makes it possible for people in different time zones or who have conflicting commitments to access the entire seminar, including the extensive Q&A. The recording makes it easier for people for whom English is not a first language, as they can relisten to different sections. The extended Q&A session gives people time to formulate and type questions and opens the opportunity for everyone to engage with the speaker.

To increase the ability of listeners to engage with the MPMI journal, each article that is presented is freely available to read through the end of the year, an important step in our transition to making the journal gold open access starting in January 2021! Providing full access to the paper gives listeners a chance to dive more deeply into the data or check out the methods.

Since this series launched, we have hosted six seminars and have more scheduled. We’ve received positive feedback from around the world. People are excited to have a way to interact with the authors, and some have told me that they plan to use the videos as teaching tools in their graduate seminar discussions.

This new venture has been one of the most personally satisfying aspects of being editor-in-chief—opening up the research in MPMI to new audiences and deepening engagement with our community. You can find all the recordings and upcoming seminars here. Please join us!

Sep 10
The MPMI Virtual Seminar Series as a Resource for Online Teaching

With many conferences and regular seminar series cancelled, and many courses being held remotely this fall, the MPMI virtual seminar series, What’s New in MPMI!, is being used by teachers looking for scientific seminars for their students or additional content for a course. Each virtual seminar is given by the author of a recent MPMI article, highlighting that article. Thus, students or faculty wanting more depth can follow the link to the paper itself and dive into the details. All seminars are freely available, and the corresponding papers are open access through the end of the year, when the entire journal is going gold open access. Because all talks are recorded, they can be used throughout the fall semester and are especially helpful for students for whom English is not their first language, who can relisten to especially difficult sections. Recordings of previous talks can be found on the IS-MPMI YouTube channel. The schedule for upcoming seminars is available online here.

Do you use What’s New in MPMI! for your teaching? Tell us how you use it. What have you found most useful? What would you like to hear more about? Use the comments section below to let us know what you think, or contact Jeanne Harris.

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