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Announcement of "The Plant Molecular Evolution Newsletter"

Klaus Schumann [Biologie] schumann at rhrk.uni-kl.de
Mon Jun 21 05:51:18 EST 1993

Dear Netters,

below find enclosed an announcement of "The Plant Molecular Evolution
Newsletter". I am posting this on behalf of Dr. Martin (see below), who is
responsible for organization and distribution. So if you have any questions
or comments, please contact him direct.
This announcement is posted on bionet.general, bionet.plants and bionet.molbio.
evolution. Apologies for this cross-postings, but I want to reach everybody
being potential interested.

Klaus Schumann
Fachbereich Biologie
Universitaet Kaiserslautern
D-67653 Kaiserslautern
schumann at rhrk.uni-kl.de

-------------------------------Clip here------------------------------------

Announcement: "The Plant Molecular Evolution Newsletter"

At a recent meeting*, it was concluded that a number of research 
groups worldwide are working on similar or related questions of plant 
evolution through study of the same gene(s). It was furthermore noted 
that an enormous backlog of molecular sequence data exists which, for 
various reasons, is reaching neither the database nor the literature. 
As a consequence, some efforts in current plant molecular phylogenetic 
reasearch are redundant. The general opinion was that there is a genuine 
need for a rapidly distributed and informal newsletter for groups 
working on or interested in molecular phylogenetics of plants. Thus, 
as of July 1, 1992, we have been issuing "The Plant Molecular 
Evolution Newsletter" as an informal forum for exchange of ideas and 

The Newsletter distributes - U N R E F E R E E D - all contributions 
submitted which contain either i) experimental data, ii) data evaluation 
and/or iii) discussion as concerns molecular evolution in plants. 


-	cannot be used or cited by others without express consent of the 
-	should concern higher plant and eukaryotic algal, but not fungal 
-	should be in English
-	may be of the simple "For the Record" type, i.e. just the data 
-	need not contain complete sequences
-	may contain just ideas
-	may just report what topics the authors have recently been 
	working on
-	may include figures and discussion
-	will not require database accessions to sequences
-	should be on A4 or 8 1/2" x 11" paper with at least 3 cm margins
-	should not be longer than five double-spaced typewritten pages
	(excluding data) 
-	will be reproduced and distributed precisely as submitted (full 
	author responsibility) 
-	and importantly, should not contain detailed analysis of 
	unavailable data (since this is precisely the problem which 
	needs to be solved). 

The Newsletter should stimulate cooperation and deal primarily with 
research in progress. It should facilitate access to unpublished 
comparative data, and represent a forum for new ideas and 
interpretation of data. It is a quarterly forum within which the 
reader can find out "who's doing what" or "who may wish to cooperate 
on a formal paper". It will be of value to the scientific community to 
precisely the extent that authors contribute. A grant from UNESCO 
covered costs for the first issue, so that this may be obtained free upon  
request. Subsequent subscription costs DM 25.00 (US $15.00) per year. 
To ensure that the Newsletter will be a forum for 

			e  x  c  h  a  n  g  e, 

subscribers are encouraged to submit at least one full page contribution 
per twelve month period.   

If you wish to receive the first free edition of the Newsletter or submit 
a contribution to the next issue, forward your correspondence to 

		Bill Martin
		Institut fuer Genetik
		Technische Universitaet Braunschweig
		Spielmennstrasse 7
		D-38106 Braunschweig
		fax 		49-531-391-5765
		e-mail	martin at venus.gbf-braunschweig.dbp.de
		telephone 	49-531-391-5785.

* UNESCO Conference on Plant Molecular Phylogenetics
  Jan. 13 - 15, 1992, Cologne, Germany

Subscribers to the first issue currently include the UNSECO Conference 

	A. Antonov, Moskow, Russia
	W.-H. Li, Houston, USA
	W.-Y. Liu, Shanghai, China
	P. Martin, Adelaide, Australia		
	W. Martin, Braunschweig, Germany
	V. Ratner, Novosibirsk, Russia
	H. Saedler, Cologne, Germany
	and many others including
	I. Akatsuka, Tokyo, Japan
	R. Alberte, Arlington, USA
	K. Bachmann, Amsterdam, Netherlands
	J. Beardall, Clayton, Australia
	W. Bennert, Bochum, Germany
	B. Bremer, Uppsala, Sweden
	G. Brown, Laramie, USA
	M. Chase, Chapel Hill, USA
	S.-M. Chaw, Taipei, Taiwan
	C. Colacino, Potenza, Italy
	M. Crisp, Canberra, Australia
	S. Douglas, Halifax, Canada
	M. Duvall, Riverside, USA
	F. Ehrendorfer, Vienna, Austria
	P. Gadek, Kensington, Australia
	M. Gardiner-Garden, Sydney, Australia
	D. Graur, Tel Aviv, Israel
	M. Gray, Halifax, Canada
	M. Hasebe, Tokyo, Japan
	R. Herrmann, Munich, Germany
	J. Heslop-Harrison, Norwich, England
	H. Hurka, Osnabruck, Germany
	V. Huss, Erlangen, Germany
	M. Ito, Tokyo, Japan
	R. Jansen, Austin, USA
	U. Jensen, Bayreuth, Germany
	C. Jung, Munich, Germany
	T. Kajita, Sendai, Japan
	S. Kresovich, Geneva, USA
	J. Learn, Riverside, USA
	A. Liston, Corvallis, USA
	J. Logsdon, Bloomington, USA
	S. Loiseaux-de Gor, Roscoff, France
	J.-F. Manen, Chambesy, Switzerland
	H. Micheals, Bowling Green, USA
	G. McFadden, Melbourne, Australia
	M. Melkonian, Cologne, Germany
	B. Mishler, Durham, USA
	N. Murakami, Tokyo, Japan
	B. Ness, Angwin, USA
	D. Nickrent, Carbondale, USA
	Y. Ogihara, Yokohama, Japan
	J. Palmer, Bloomington, USA
	D. Penny, Palmerston N., New Zealand
	M. Ragan, Halifax, Canada
	C. Quinn, Kensington, Australia
	N. Saitou, Mishima, Japan
	V. Savolaienen, Chambesy, Switzerland
	D. Schweitzer, Vienna, Austria
	T. Shimizu, Kanazawa, Japan
	P. Sitte, Freiburg, Germany
	D. Soltis, Pullman, USA
	D. Steane, Oxford, England
	K. Stueber, Cologne, Germany
	S. Swenson, Knoxville, USA
	T. Terachi, Kyoto, Japan
	R. Terauchi, Kyoto, Japan
	K. Ueda, Osaka, Japan
	J. Wendell, Ames, USA
	K. Wolfe, Dublin, Ireland
	K. Yamada, Toyama, Japan
	K. Yoshinaga, Shizuoka, Japan
	F. Zechman, Philadelphia, USA
	K. Zetsche, Giessen, Germany
	E. Zimmer, Washington, USA

I was "elected" to be responsible for organization and distribution of 
the Newsletter. Therefore, if you wish to be included in the list of 
subscribers, please let me know. You will receive 
confirmation of your correspondence within two weeks.  

If you have further questions or suggestions, please contact me. Hoping 
to hear from you soon and looking forward to your contribution, I remain 

Yours sincerely, 

Bill Martin


That was the original announcement which was sent last summer 
as hard copy to about 150 addresses worldwide and by e-mail to a 
few addresses which I had obtained. Recently, Klaus Schumann 
(Kaiserslautern, Germany) suggested the idea of BIONET distribution 
of the announcement. That seemed like an excellent idea and this 
file is the result. The following excerpt from the Preface to the 
first issue of the Plant Molecular Evolution Newsletter contains some 
further information. 

International reasonce to the idea of an informal newsletter dealing 
specifically with this field was very positive, as documented by the 
list of over 100 scientists from 17 countries (see pages 39-42, thanks 
to all) who have expressed interest to date. Thus, there clearly exists a 
"demand" for information on plant molecular evolution, it is up to us to 
provide "supply" in the form of contributions. The question is then just 
what a contribution should contain? The original announcement for the 
Newsletter (reproduced above in this document) described a few very 
general stipulations which represent the consensus of many long 
discussions with numerous scientists. I should briefly delineate 
the reasoning behind each. 

1. Submissions will not be refereed, all contributions will be 
distributed as submitted. We need a newsletter, not another journal. We 
can express our ideas and opinions precisely as we wish directly to 
those who very likely will have an interest in what we have to say. Lack 
of a refereeing process puts full responsibility for the content of 
contributions upon the authors, speeds up the distribution process and 
provides us with a degree of freedom we currently do not have 

2. Submissions cannot be used or cited by others without express 
consent of the authors. This is common practice for many newsletters 
and is intended promote an open atmosphere. Distribution of 
information through the Newsletter does not preclude formal 
publication in journals and vice versa. 

3. Submissions should concern higher plant and eukaryotic algal, but not 
fungal evolution.  This point hinges on the definition of a plant, which 
poses no problem if you work on angiosperms, but becomes increasingly 
relevant the further back you go in eukaryotic evolution. 

4. Submissions should be in English. There already IS a plant molecular 
evolution newsletter in Japanese. As a second language, English was the 
logical choice. 

5. Submissions may be of the simple "For the Record" type, i.e. just the 
data. This provides an opportunity to make data available rapidly to 
those who will likely have an interest in it or who may have been 
planning to sequence precisely that gene. Getting sequences "out" 
quickly helps avoid redundant work. Remember point (2) above. 

6. Submissions need not contain complete sequences. Many PCR and 
reverse transcriptase approaches yield incomplete sequences which, of 
course, are phylogenetically very valuable. 

7. Submissions may contain just ideas. There should be sufficient 
subject matter for comment or debate in the field of plant evolution. No 
referee will lament the fact that submitted discussion is, in his or her 
opinion, "too speculative." 

8. Submissions may just report what topics the authors have recently 
been working on. This aspect should be particularly valuable to those of 
us who, for various reasons, are unable to attend all such international 
meetings as might be of interest. 

9. Submissions may include figures and discussion. This was just to 
make it clear that figures are welcome. 

10. Submissions will not require database accessions to sequences. 
This point may be somewhat controversial. It was intended to further 
promote an open and informal atmosphere and to avoid the "threshold" 
of filling out database submission forms, should this represent a 
deterrent to contribution. In my opinion, requiring accession numbers is 
the responsibility of a journal, not a newsletter, and would surely tend 
to reduce the number of contributions, which cannot be in Newsletter 
participants' best interest.

11. Submissions should be on A4 or 8 1/2" x 11" paper with at least 3 
cm margins. The emphasis here is on "paper" which can be easily 
reproduced. Many scientists suggested e-mail submission and/or e-mail 
distribution. E-mail submissions would have to be formatted and 
printed in my office, which albeit involves only a minimal of time per 
contribution, but moreover places final responsibility for appearance of 
the contribution upon me, not the authors. I beg participants' 
understanding on this point. E-mail distribution? In my opinion, that is 
a good idea in principle, but lack of an electronic mailbox would 
preclude participation, which wouldn't be fair. Figures would also be 
difficult to distribute. I would strongly urge all participants to make 
their e-mail address available. 

12. Submissions should not be longer than five pages (excluding data). 
This is an arbitrary but not unreasonable limit. "Data" is intended to 
mean sequences.  

13. Submissions will be reproduced and distributed precisely as 
submitted (full author responsibility). This is a reiteration of point (1) 
above for clarity. The desired goal is rapid and efficient distribution. 

14. Submissions should not contain detailed analysis of unavailable 
data. The emphasis is on "unavailable" and should merely encourage 
participants, in the general interest of all concerned,  to make available 
sequence data that has been analysed and discussed here or elsewhere. 

These conditions for contributions appear to cover most of the relevant 
apsects. The Newsletter can fulfill various functions and can grow in a 
number of directions. Meeting reports, announcements of forthcoming 
symposia, minireviews, notes on recently published and forthcoming 
papers, etc. would surely all be welcomed by readers. If the primary 
goal is to keep concerned scientists abreast of new developments and 
ongoing projects, it seems to me only logical that contributions of a 
"meetings abstract" type should be both highly suitable for the 
Newsletter and sincerely welcomed by those receiving it. Longer, more 
elaborate submissions involving figures, etc., will, of course, also be 
welcomed and should fulfill a different function for both readers and 

If you are interested in participating in the 
Plant Molecular Evolution Newsletter 
or have further questions, contact 

Bill Martin					
Institut fuer Genetik				
Technische Universitaet Braunschweig	
Spielmannstrasse 7
D-38106 Braunschweig
Federal Republic of Germany

telephone 	49-531-391-5785
fax 		49-531-391-5765
e-mail martin at venus.gbf-braunschweig.dbp.de

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