What Caught Our Attention: A previous collaborator with high-profile plant biologist Olivier Voinnet (who now has eight retractions) has issued an interesting correction to a 2010 PNAS paper. Susana Rivas is last author on the paper, the correction for which notes some images were duplicated, and others were “cropped and/or stretched to match the other blots.” Rivas is currently a group leader at The Laboratory of Plant-Microbe Interactions (LIPM), “a combined INRA-CNRS Research Unit.” Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Voinnet co-author issues another correction
According to the retraction notice, the authors believe the contamination affects the main conclusion of their paper. Continue reading Authors retract plant biology paper after they realized sample was contaminated
Plant scientists have issued two retractions after noticing several images had been duplicated within and across the papers.
The papers both appeared in March 2002 in The Plant Cell and The Plant Journal.
The last author on both papers — Jonathan Jones, a professor and group leader at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK — took responsibility for the duplications. He told us:
As last author I was responsible for checking the papers but did not notice the similarities between figures in the different papers. I regret this and took action as soon as I realized there was an issue. Both papers went through peer review and the issue was not picked up at that point either.
The editor-in-chief of TPJ Christoph Benning said that, after the authors contacted them, the journals looked into the issue, confirmed the duplications and then retracted the papers: Continue reading Authors retract two plant biology papers over duplicated images
According to the new retraction notice in The Plant Cell, some figures in the paper were manipulated, as well as “inappropriately duplicated and reused from a previous publication.” The authors assert that they believe the conclusions remain valid.
The journal has also issued two corrections that include some of the same authors — including one that cites inappropriate image manipulation.
Here’s the retraction notice, issued last month: Continue reading Journal issues three notices for plant biologist, two citing manipulation
Plant biologists have issued a major correction (what we dub “mega“) after realizing a significant mistake in their experiment.
The 2014 paper shows that a protein known as RAP plays a key role in chloroplast biogenesis. But as Ludwig Maximilians University-based authors Alexandra-Viola Bohne and Laura Kleinknecht continued to do their research, they found an error in the design of primers they used to synthesize the RNA for their experiments — and told us they are concerned other researchers could run into the same problem.
Although the authors considered retracting the paper, since its main conclusion was unaffected, they issued a correction notice, published in April in Plant Cell:
A commenter first posted a comment about an image in one of the papers in 2013; after more comments on other papers appeared in November 2015, author Zoya Avramova at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln received emails alerting her to the threads. She has responded, including to the 2013 comment, noting “the said images should have been assembled more carefully.”
After repeating some of the experiments to verify the results, she has now issued corrections on three papers, about the genetics of model organism Arabidopsis. The papers share a first author, Abdelaty Saleh, who was a postdoc in Avramova’s lab at the time of the work.
The correction notice for “Dynamic and stable histone H3 methylation patterns at the Arabidopsis FLC and AP1 loci,” appearing in the July 2016 volume of Gene, explains: Continue reading Prompted by PubPeer, biologist corrects three papers
A paper on how plants respond to bacteria has an invader of its own — data manipulation.
The “irregularities and inappropriate data manipulation” were found in a figure produced by the first author, Ching-Wei Chen, whose LinkedIn page lists him as a student at the National Taiwan University. The authors were unable to replicate the results in the figure, according to the note.
The authors are doing more experiments to verify the main conclusion of the 2014 paper, “The Arabidopsis Malectin-Like Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor-Like Kinase IOS1 Associates with the Pattern Recognition Receptors FLS2 and EFR and Is Critical for Priming of Pattern-Triggered Immunity,” published in The Plant Cell.
The retraction note explains the what happened in more detail:
Olivier Voinnet — a plant researcher who was recently suspended for two years from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) after an investigation by
ETH Zurich and CNRS found evidence of misconduct — has issued his second retraction and two more corrections.
PNAS posted the retraction earlier this week for a 2006 article after an inspection of the raw data revealed “errors” in study images. Authors confirmed the issues in some figures and revealed “additional mounting mistakes” in others.
Voinnet has promised to issue retractions and corrections for every study that requires them. These latest notices bring our tally up to nine corrections, two retractions and one Expression of Concern.
Olivier Voinnet, a researcher at ETH in Zurich who has corrected a number of his papers following critiques on PubPeer dating from late last year, is retracting a 2004 paper in The Plant Cell, according to the journal’s publisher.
Voinnet, the winner of the 2013 Rössler Prize, is a high-profile scientist, and scrutiny of his work has only grown since the initial revelations. In an unusual move, the journal and its publisher, the American Society of Plant Biologists, put out a press release about the situation today. Here’s the statement: Continue reading Retraction to appear for beleaguered plant researcher Olivier Voinnet