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  1. Abstract

    Openly shared low-cost electronic hardware applications, known as open electronics, have sparked a new open-source movement, with much untapped potential to advance scientific research. Initially designed to appeal to electronic hobbyists, open electronics have formed a global “maker” community and are increasingly used in science and industry. In this perspective article, we review the current costs and benefits of open electronics for use in scientific research ranging from the experimental to the theoretical sciences. We discuss how user-made electronic applications can help (I) individual researchers, by increasing the customization, efficiency, and scalability of experiments, while improving data quantity and quality; (II) scientific institutions, by improving access to customizable high-end technologies, sustainability, visibility, and interdisciplinary collaboration potential; and (III) the scientific community, by improving transparency and reproducibility, helping decouple research capacity from funding, increasing innovation, and improving collaboration potential among researchers and the public. We further discuss how current barriers like poor awareness, knowledge access, and time investments can be resolved by increased documentation and collaboration, and provide guidelines for academics to enter this emerging field. We highlight that open electronics are a promising and powerful tool to help scientific research to become more innovative and reproducible and offer amore »key practical solution to improve democratic access to science.

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  2. Abstract

    Drought stress causes crop yield losses worldwide. Sorghum is a C4 species tolerant to moderate drought stress, and its extensive natural variation for photosynthetic traits under water-limiting conditions can be exploited for developing cultivars with enhanced stress tolerance. The objective of this study was to discover genes/genomic regions that control the sorghum photosynthetic capacity under pre-anthesis water-limiting conditions. We performed a genome-wide association study for seven photosynthetic gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence traits during three periods of contrasting soil volumetric water content (VWC): control (30% VWC), drought (15% VWC), and recovery (30% VWC). Water stress was imposed with an automated irrigation system that generated a controlled dry-down period for all plants, to perform an unbiased genotypic comparison. A total of 60 genomic regions were associated with natural variation in one or more photosynthetic traits in a particular treatment or with derived variables. We identified 33 promising candidate genes with predicted functions related to stress signaling, oxidative stress protection, hormonal response to stress, and dehydration protection. Our results provide new knowledge about the natural variation and genetic control of sorghum photosynthetic response to drought with the ultimate goal of improving its adaptation and productivity under water stress scenarios.