Authors retract Cell paper amid ongoing investigation
Here’s the notice for “A PLETHORA-Auxin Transcription Module Controls Cell Division Plane Rotation through MAP65 and CLASP:”
Our paper reported that Arabidopsis PLETHORA transcription factors regulate cell division planes by transcriptional activation of MAP65, which interacts with the CLASP protein to guide microtubule orientation. We recently identified mistakes affecting Figures 4N, S4B, and S6E in which original data were processed inappropriately such that the panels do not accurately report the original data. At least in one case, the original data did not support the figure’s conclusion. We believe that the most responsible course of action is to retract the paper. We sincerely apologize to the scientific community for any inconvenience that this might cause.
The paper has been cited 27 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
The authors of the paper span labs in countries from Canada to Japan. One of the corresponding authors, Ben Scheres, of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, tells Retraction Watch he was alerted by a colleague to “suspicious anomalies” in the paper on April 24 of this year:
I immediately contacted my co-authors, Cell, and Utrecht and Wageningen Universities about the concerns regarding the paper. We performed our own investigation and identified serious issues with several figures.
The co-authors and I have requested an official retraction of the Cell paper, which has now been posted. Further independent investigations about the cause of these issues are still ongoing, and I cannot yet inform you about their outcome. Once the investigations are completed, I will however be in a position to provide you with details of the case and try to answer questions that you may have.
Please see an update on this post.