Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Plant scientist Voinnet’s correction count grows to 22

with 10 comments

nature structure molecular biologyWe have found another correction for high-profile plant scientist Olivier Voinnet, bringing his total count to 22. Voinnet, who works at ETH Zurich, also has seven retractions, a funding ban, and a revoked award.

Voinnet’s most recent corrections involve problems with figures; the same issue is cited in this latest correction notice, for “Competition for XPO5 binding between Dicer mRNA, pre-miRNA and viral RNA regulates human Dicer levels.”

The correction notice in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, issued earlier this year, explains:

In the version of this supplementary file originally posted online, an incorrect scan was mistakenly used in Supplementary Figure 2 (the western blot of TAP in the unbound material, bottom left panel). The error has been corrected in this file as of 22 January 2016.

The 2011 paper — which lists Voinnet as the second to last author — has been cited 40 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Hat tip: Anonymous

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Comments
  • Morty April 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Are there any trust left when you have to correct or retract so many articles?
    I am really surprised that Voinnet still is employed by ETH Zurich.

  • DTx April 19, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Anonymous – Thanks for posting that! It gives much more depth to the issue.

    I also agree with Morty – 22 corrections and we can still trust the work???

  • Aaron April 20, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    there is a difference between a correction and retraction though; yet, so many corrections indicate the scientist(s) could have a sloppy work-style and it is enough to limit all the trust and raise questions of how reliable he is(they are).

  • Anonymous April 20, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Aaron. It is easy to point the finger exclusively at Voinnet. But a paper reflects a team and is a team that is supposed to have checked the quality an content carefully prior to submission. 7 retractions and 22 corrections indicates 29 “sloppy work-style” issues and reliability of these teams.

  • Anonymous May 6, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    PLoS Pathog. 2016 May 5;12(5):e1005627. eCollection 2016.
    Correction: Misregulation of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 8 Underlies the Developmental Abnormalities Caused by Three Distinct Viral Silencing Suppressors in Arabidopsis.
    Florence Jay, Yu Wang, Agnès Yu, Ludivine Taconnat, Sandra Pelletier, Vincent Colot, Jean-Pierre Renou, Olivier Voinnet
    doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005627
    http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1005627

    Original
    http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1002035

  • Anonymous June 2, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Vicky Vance’s findings contradict those of Olivier Voinnet published in, then corrected in, PLOS Pathogenesis:
    http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/05/31/056366

    Contradictory Results
    A Re-examination of the Role of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 8 in Developmental Abnormalities Caused by the P1/HC-Pro Viral Suppressor of RNA Silencing
    Sizolwenkosi Mlotshwa, Gail J. Pruss, John L. Macarthur, Jason W. Reed, Vicki Vance
    doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/056366

  • Anonymous June 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

    A second correction is published for Voinnet’s 2004 Genes & Development paper:
    http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/30/10/1251.long
    doi: 10.1101/gad.283721.116

    “Figure 1B was a composite made of two segments extracted from the same RNA blot, but this operation was not indicated on the original figure. In addition, in retrieving the digital data used for the loading control, we realized that the loading order of the corresponding preparatory agarose gel was inverted compared with the loading of the samples in the Northern blot. We have now corrected the figure to disclose the gel splicing procedure by separating the samples appropriately, which are also now shown with their cognate rRNA loading control, taking into account the inverse loading.

    Figure 3O was a composite of segments extracted from the same RNA blot, but this operation was not indicated on the original figure. We have now corrected the figure to disclose the gel splicing procedure by separating the samples appropriately. In addition, the amended figure now displays ethidium bromide staining of rRNA from the original formamide gel used for Northern blotting instead of the nonerroneous preparatory agarose gel depicted in the initial figure.

    The protein loading controls of the Western blots originally depicted in Figure 1, E and F, and Supplemental Figure S3B have been mixed up. In addition, the noninfiltrated (ni) negative control track of Figure 1F was incorrect and should have been separated from the experimental data with a line. We have now corrected Figure 1F to disclose the gel splicing procedure by separating the samples appropriately and have assigned the correct protein loading controls to the corresponding tracks of the Western blots displayed in Figure 1, E and F, and Supplemental Figure S3B.

    All of the corrections were made based on the original raw data provided to the editors. The errors did not alter the data in any material way that could be construed to benefit the authors, and the conclusions drawn from these data remain unaffected. The corresponding author, Olivier Voinnet, takes full responsibility for the mistakes, as none of the other authors was involved in the final mounting of the figures.”

  • Anonymous July 12, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Olivier still funded until mid-2018.

    https://erc.europa.eu/high-resolution-and-chemical-genetic-approaches-rna-silencing-mechanisms

    High resolution and chemical genetic approaches to RNA silencing mechanisms
    Project details:
    Researcher (PI):
    Olivier Robert Georges Voinnet
    Host institution:
    Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zuerich, Switzerland
    Project:
    High resolution and chemical genetic approaches to RNA silencing mechanisms, (Frontiers of RNAi-II)
    ERC call:
    Advanced Grant , ERC-2012-ADG, panel LS2
    Max ERC funding:
    2,251,600 €
    Duration:
    Start date: 2013-07-01, End date: 2018-06-30

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