Plant, Cell & Environment

Cover image for Vol. 40 Issue 9

Edited By: Keith Mott

Impact Factor: 6.173

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 12/211 (Plant Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1365-3040

Author Guidelines

Guidelines for Submission

Plant, Cell & Environment has now adopted ScholarOne Manuscripts for online manuscript submission and peer review. The new system brings with it a whole host of benefits including:

  • Quick and easy submission

  • Administration centralised and reduced

  • Significant decrease in peer review times

From now on all submissions to the journal must be

submitted online at Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. If you require assistance then click the Get Help Now link which appears at the top right of every ScholarOne Manuscripts page. If you cannot submit online, please contact the Editorial Office (

Download the Author Guidelines as a PDF.

Manuscripts must be submitted exclusively to Plant, Cell and Environment and are accepted on the understanding that they have not been, nor will be, published elsewhere.

This journal works together with Wiley’s Open Access Journal, Ecology and Evolution, to enable rapid publication of good quality research that is unable to be accepted for publication by our journal. Authors will be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editor of Ecology and Evolution. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. The Editor of Ecology and Evolution will accept submissions that report well-conducted research which reaches the standard acceptable for publication. Accepted papers can be published rapidly, typically within 15 days of acceptance. Ecology and Evolution is a Wiley Open Access journal and article publication fees apply. More information can be found here.

Images suitable for the cover of the journal are particularly welcomed and should be accompanied by a suggested caption. Free colour reproduction of the cover image and 25 free copies of the cover will be provided to the author supplying the photograph reproduced thereon.

Plant, Cell and Environment is now collaborating with The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR) to collect data about Arabidopsis genes. Authors whose manuscripts are accepted for publication in the journal are encouraged to provide functional annotation data about Arabidopsis genes that are described in their study. This includes molecular function, physiological role, subcellular location, expression patterns, and interactions.

Authors are directed to the TAIR submission website ( for more information or to submit their information.

Manuscripts describing mathematical models must conform to PC&E’s policies concerning equation and parameter sets. A description of these policies can be found here.

PC&E strongly recommends, for controls, the use of wildtype seed batches that are generated at the same time as the transgenic seed lines or, even better, wild-type plants in segregating populations derived from selfing or backcrossing of heterozygous plants (or in the case of a transgene, hemizygous plants). These seeds should be collected and stored in the same conditions as the mutant seed. PC&E recognizes that this is not always possible, but it is especially important for studies addresses phenotypic traits that are known , or are likely, to be affected by seed quality.

Categories of papers
Plant, Cell and Environment will consider manuscripts in the following categories: Full Papers, Opinions, Technical Reports, and Reviews. Plant, Cell and Environment does not publish Short Communications or papers that report preliminary information in a brief format. Full papers are up to 8000 words in length and present the results of a completed research project. Opinions are intended to provide an opportunity to present a particular viewpoint on a matter of topical interest. Technical Reports should present new methods that are likely to be of interest to a broad readership, and should be no more than 4000 words.  Plant, Cell and Environment will consider publishing unsolicited Reviews, but authors should contact the Editor-in-Chief in advance.

Guidelines on the submission of manuscripts
Manuscripts should be accompanied by a covering letter containing the following:

The names of at least two suggested referees, one of whom must be a member of the Editorial Review board (click here for Editorial Contacts). A short paragraph (3-4 sentences) highlighting the importance of the work. This should explain the motivation for the work and summarise the findings. If the manuscript is a resubmission, a complete list of all changes made, keyed to the comments of the reviewers and Editor.

Manuscripts may be submitted in the following formats: Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, or Corel WordPerfect. Manuscripts submitted in Word or WordPerfect formats will be converted to PDF format and sent to the authors to check the accuracy of conversion. Only the PDF file will be used for peer review.  Embed all tables, figures and other graphic elements into a single file wherever possible. 

Manuscripts should be double-spaced with margins of at least 2.5 cm.  All pages should be numbered consecutively including those containing acknowledgements, references, tables and figure legends.  Line numbers are mandatory. English spelling should conform to The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English.

Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found at All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

Manuscript format
The following format is designed for Full Papers, and should be modified appropriately for manuscripts in other categories. The manuscript should be arranged as follows, with the Introduction beginning on a separate page:

  1. Title page
    (i)  Title: this should be concise and informative and a short running title should be provided.
    (ii)  List of authors' preferred names.
    (iii) Institute or laboratory of origin.
    (iv) The name and address of the corresponding author, including an email address.

  2. Abstract
    This should provide a concise statement of the motivation for the work done, the scope of the work and the principal findings. The abstract should be less than 200 words.

  3. Keyword index
    This is to contain 'keywords' or phrases to enable retrieval and indexing by modern searching techniques. The list should not exceed 10 words.

  4. Introduction
    This should argue the case for your study, outlining only essential background, but should not include either the findings or the conclusions. It should not be a review of the subject area, but should finish with a clear statement of the question being addressed.

  5. Materials and methods
    This should provide sufficient details of the techniques used to allow them to be repeated.

  6. Results
    This should not include material appropriate to the Discussion section.

  7. Discussion
    This should highlight the significance of the results and place them in the context of other work. It should not introduce new material, be over-speculative, reiterate the results, or exceed 20% of the total length. The Results and Discussion sections may be amalgamated for short papers if desired, but, in this case, the final paragraph ought to provide a resume of the main conclusions.

  8. Acknowledgments

  9. References
    The reference list should be in alphabetical order and include the full title with the name of the journal given in full, thus:

    Atkin O.K., Botman B. & Lambers H. (1996) The relationship between the relative growth rate and nitrogen economy of alpine and lowland Poa species. Plant, Cell and Environment 19, 1324-1330.

    Schjoerring J.K. (1991) Ammonia emission from the foliage of growing plants. In Trace Gas Emissions by Plants (eds T. D. Sharkey, E. A. Holland & H. A. Mooney), pp. 267-292. Academic Press, San Diego.

    In the references, for papers with eight or more authors, the author list should give the first six names then an ellipsis should be inserted (…) followed by the final name.

    Atkin O.K., Lombardo V.A., Osorio S., Borsani J., Lauxmann M.A., Bustamante C.A., …, Lambers H. (1996) The relationship between the relative growth rate and nitrogen economy of alpine and lowland Poa species. Plant, Cell and Environment 19, 1324-1330.

    In the text, for papers with three or more authors, all references should be in the form “Smith et al. 2006”. Regardless of whether it is the first citation or not, the format is always the first author followed by “et al”. When different groups of multiple authors with the same first author occur, they should be cited as “Smith et al. 1996a, b”.

    We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.
    EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:
    Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:

  10. Tables
    Each table should be on a separate page, numbered, and accompanied by a title and explanatory caption at the top. Each table must be referred to in the text, and an indication of preferred position in the text should be given. Data must not be presented in both tabular and graphical form.

  11. Figure legends
    Legends should be typed on a separate sheet. Any explanatory material should be placed in the legend and not in the figure; enough detail should be given so that the figure can be understood without reference to the text. In the full-text online edition of the journal, figure legends may be truncated in abbreviated links to the full screen version. Therefore, the first 100 characters of any legend should inform the reader of key aspects of the figure.

  12. Figures
    If possible, all figures should be included at the end of the text file. Alternatively, figures may be submitted as separate files. Plant, Cell and Environment will publish one colour figure free of charge providing the colour is deemed necessary by the editor. A colour work agreement form must be included with all manuscripts containing colour and can be downloaded here. Please refer to the form for details of the pricing of additional colour figures. Kindly also note that the form can only be returned in its original form via mail or courier; please contact the Editorial Office for address details (

  13. Supporting information
    Supporting Information can be a useful way for an author to include important but ancillary information with the online version of an article. Examples of Supporting Information include additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files. Supporting Information should be cited within the article text, and a descriptive legend should be included. It is published as supplied by the author, and a proof is not made available prior to publication; for these reasons, authors should provide any Supporting Information in the desired final format.
    For further information on recommended file types and requirements for submission, please visit:

Online production tracking is now available for your article through Blackwell’s Author Services.
Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production so they don’t need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Authors should use the International System of Units (S.I., Systeme Internationale d'Unires) where practical.

Scientific names
The complete scientific name (genus, species, authority and cultivar, if appropriate) should be cited for every organism when first mentioned. Subsequently, the generic name may be abbreviated to initials except where intervening references to other genera would cause confusion. Common names of organisms, if used, must be accompanied by the correct scientific name on first mention. Latin names should be underlined.

Chemical symbols may be used in the text, together with the widely accepted abbreviations of longer chemical terms. Other abbreviations may also be used but the full term should be given on first mention.

Mathematical formulae
Mathematical formulae should be indented and adequate spacing should be allowed above and below displayed equations.  When a manuscript contains several mathematical equations, each principal equation should be identified by a number in parentheses (e.g., Eqn 1).

Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via Author Services. Please therefore sign up for Author Services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers.

Paper offprints of the printed published article may be purchased if ordered via the method stipulated on the instructions that will accompany the proofs. Printed offprints are posted to the correspondence address given for the paper unless a different address is specified when ordered. Note that it is not uncommon for the printed offprints to take up to 8 weeks to arrive after publication of the journal. For further information please contact C.O.S. Printers Pte Ltd, 9 Kian Teck Crescent, Singapore 628875; Fax: 65 6265 9074; E-mail:

Copyright Transfer Agreement
Authors will be required to assign copyright to John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Copyright assignment is a condition of publication and papers will not be passed to the publisher for production unless copyright has been assigned. Corresponding authors will be required to login to Author Services and complete the licensing arrangements on behalf of all authors post acceptance. Government employees in both the US and the UK need to complete the Author Warranty sections, although copyright in such cases does not need to be assigned.

Conflict of Interest
Wiley Blackwell requires that all authors disclose any potential sources of conflict of interest. Any interest or relationship, financial or otherwise, that might be perceived as influencing an author’s objectivity is considered a potential source of conflict of interest. These must be disclosed when directly relevant or indirectly related to the work that the authors describe in their manuscript. Potential sources of conflict of interest include but are not limited to patent or stock ownership, membership of a company board of directors, membership of an advisory board or committee for a company, and consultancy for or receipt of speaker’s fees from a company. The existence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication in this journal.

If the authors have no conflict of interest to declare, they must also state this at submission.
It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to review this policy with all authors and to collectively list in the cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief, in the manuscript (in the footnotes, Conflict of Interest or Acknowledgments section), and in the online submission system ALL pertinent commercial and other relationships.

Accepted Articles
'Accepted Articles' have been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but have not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process. Accepted Articles are published online a few days after final acceptance, appear in PDF format only, are given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows them to be cited and tracked, and are indexed by PubMed.

Open Access
If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit: