Plant Biology

Cover image for Vol. 19 Issue 4

Edited By: Heinz Rennenberg and J.T.M. Elzenga

Impact Factor: 2.106

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 65/211 (Plant Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1438-8677

Author Guidelines

Downloads: Page Charge Form.

Supporting Information: Authors are encouraged to provide additional materials as Supporting Information that will be accessible online. Please identify the Supporting Information as such and include appropriate figure and table captions at the end of the manuscript.

Editorial Policy
Plant Biology publishes research results from all fields of plant science. Manuscripts must be of general interest, not only addressed to a specialized readership. The journal encourages publications with an interdisciplinary approach.

Plant Biology accepts

1. Problem-oriented original research papers (maximum 9000 words)
2. Problem-oriented short research papers (maximum five typeset pages)
3. Concise review articles
4. Acute views, i.e., comments on actual problems and provocative opinion articles.
Purely descriptive papers will not be accepted. The Editors welcome contributions from all over the world.

Effective with the 2015 volume, this journal will be published in an online-only format. Print subscription and single issue sales are available from Wiley's Print-on-Demand Partner. To order online click through to the ordering portal from the journal's subscribe and renew page on Wiley Online Library.

Submission of Manuscripts
Please submit your manuscript online at ScholarOne Manuscripts.

To submit a manuscript through ScholarOne Manuscripts, please follow these instructions:

1. If you do not yet have an account, go to and click on 'Create Account'. You will then be sent a password by e-mail. If you already have an account, enter your user ID and password and click on 'Log In'. (Note: if necessary you can change your password under 'Edit My Account'.)
2. On the welcome page, click on 'Corresponding Author Center'.
3. You then reach the 'Author Center Dashboard', click on the star icon for manuscript submission.
4. Follow the steps 1-7 until manuscript submission is completed. The main document including title, abstract, key words (MS Word file), tables (MS Word files) and figures (*.eps, *.tif or *.jpg files) are loaded onto the system as individual files. The text should be written double spaced and with line numbering. (Note: you may also interrupt the online submission and continue at a later time.) Authors are encouraged to provide additional information as Supporting Information that will be accessible online.
5. Fast-Track Publication: Plant Biology offers special handling of manuscripts that have been rejected from very high-level journals. Authors are encouraged to enclose the original manuscript, the reviews plus the comments from the editor, and the revised manuscript of previously reviewed manuscripts to expedite their handling as your manuscript may be accepted based on the previous reviews. Please also include a letter with a point by point response to the concerns raised by the reviewer(s). You will receive a final decision from the Managing Editor within a few days of submitting manuscripts with reviews.
6. Authors should address the following points in their cover letter. 1. What are the aims and hypothesis of their paper?; 2. What new achievements or innovations do they present?; 3. What is the general significance of their paper and why is it timely?
7. Submission of your manuscript will be confirmed by an e-mail that will give you the 'Manuscript ID Number'. Please refer to this number in all correspondence with the editorial office. With your submission, you guarantee that all co-authors agree with the submission of the manuscript.

Should you encounter difficulties submitting a manuscript to ScholarOne Manuscripts, please contact the editorial office by e-mail at or by telephone ++49(0)761/203-8300. Help is also available on the introductory page of ScholarOne Manuscripts in the form of an 'Online User’s Guide'. To access the guide, click on 'Get Help Now' in the top right-hand corner.

Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell's Author Services
Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online.  Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production.  The author will receive an e-mail with a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system.  Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript.  Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Conditions for Publication
Research papers may be submitted that have not been published previously, even as a summary. Concise presentation is required. Although the non-specialist reader should be kept in mind when abstracts, introductions and discussions are written, lengthy review type introductions and speculative discussions should be avoided. Experimental methods should be explained in detail except for standard procedures. Diffuse and repetitive style should be avoided. Illustrations and tables should be limited to the truly essential material.
Plant Biology preferentially publishes short research papers (five typeset pages maximum) that will be reviewed with high priority.
Concise review articles that synthesize the state of the art in an original way are highly desirable for this journal.
Acute views contributions should contain brief comments on an actual problem (2-3 typeset pages).

CrossCheck for plagiarism: All submissions will be run through CrossCheck to identify any plagiarism. If an author is found to have plagiarized all or parts of his or work, the author's institute will be notified of the breach of scientific conduct.

New: Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscripts 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.

Length of Papers
Papers should not exceed 8 printed pages or 9,000 words. One typeset page in the journal (without figures and tables, with about 3 subheads and paragraphs) usually contains roughly 6200 characters. The number of figures plus tables should not exceed 9. Appendices will be published as Supporting Information rather than in the main text.
References: About 40 to 50 references usually fill one printed page.

Page Charges: Original research papers longer than the guidelines given above when in proof are subject to a page charge at a rate of €125 per page above the 8-page limit (first 8 pages are free of charge). An invoice will be sent to authors for these charges upon publication of their article in an issue. Invited and review articles are excluded from this rule. Waiving of page charge will not be accepted.

Research papers

Title page: The first page of each paper should indicate: The title, the authors' names and affiliations, a short title for use as running head, the name, address, e-mail address, phone and fax number of the corresponding author, and 3 to 7 keywords.
Abbreviation: List with abbreviations where appropriate.
Abstract: The abstract must be usable as a stand-alone document and must not exceed 250 words. For all papers submitted from 2016 onwards, a structured abstract is required using four bullet points to indicate (1) the research conducted including its rationale, (2) central methods applied, (3) key results, and (4) main conclusions including key points of discussion. It should not contain citations of other papers. For reviews, bullet points do not apply.

The following sections cover the usual contents: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References (see below), Tables (see below), Figure legends (see below), Illustrations (see below).
In Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion subheadings are possible. If an author chooses to combine sections Results and Discussion, an additional section Conclusions can be added, but this must be brief.

Concise review articles
Choose subheadings as appropriate but do not use a numbering system. Title page, Key words, Abstract and other items as for full length papers.

Tables must be serially numbered in Arabic numerals and each must carry a brief descriptive heading. Tables reproduced from other publications must state their precise source. Only signs that can be typeset should be used in the tables and legends. Please provide Tables in Word and include them at the end of the manuscript after the References, each on a separate page. Refrain from using both tables and graphs to demonstrate the same results.

Figures and Graphics
Electronic artwork
It is essential that all artwork is provided in electronic format. Please save vector graphics (e.g. line artwork) in Encapsulated Post-script (EPS) format and bitmap files (e.g. half-tones) in Tagged Image Format (TIFF). Detailed information on our digital illustration standards is available at
Please do not embed any tables and/or figures in the text document.
If you should encounter difficulties upon submitting figures and graphics, please contact the editorial office by e-mail under or by telephone under ++ 49/(0)761/203-8300.

The list of references must include all (but no additional) references quoted. Arrange references alphabetically according to author name, not chronologically. The name of the journals containing the cited papers should be given in full. Town/city and country names should be provided for non-journal refs.
Each article reference should be given as in the following example:

Alfano J.R., Collmer A. (2004) Type III secretion system effector proteins: double agents in bacterial disease and plant defence. Annual Review Phytopathology, 42, 385–414.
Books or other non-serial publications which are quoted in the references must be cited as follows:
Gage J.D., Tyler P.A. (1991) Deep-sea Biology: A Natural History of Organisms at the Deep-sea Floor. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK: 504 pp.
Lester R.N., Hasan S.M.Z. (1991) Origin and domestication of the brinjal eggplant, Solanum melongena, from S. incanum, in Africa and Asia. In: Hawkes J.G., Lester R.N., Nee M., Estrada N. (Eds), Solanaceae III: Taxonomy, Chemistry, Evolution. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; London, UK: 369-387.

Articles not yet published may only be cited if they have definitely been accepted for publication. They must be denoted by the expression 'in press'.

We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

Plant Biology will follow the system of SI units (Systeme International d'Unites). Within a given paper chosen units must be uniform.

Note that common abbreviations can be used without explanation. Others must be explained. In case of doubt always give an explanation. Use FW = fresh weight and DW = dry weight.

Scientific Names
Scientific names should be cited in their complete form when first mentioned with genus - species - authority - cultivar (cv.) or subspecies (ssp.) where appropriate. Latin names should be underlined or typed in italics. Subsequently the generic names should be abbreviated, but avoid confusion: e.g. use A. comosus if the only genus with a first fetter A in your paper is Ananas; but use unambiguous abbreviations if you have more than one genus with the same first letter, e.g. Ananas comosus, Aechmea nudicaulis = A. comosus, Ae. nudicaulis, etc. Common names of organisms must be accompanied by the correct scientific name when first mentioned. For rare or exotic genera it may be useful to give the name of the family and/or higher taxon in brackets when first mentioned.

Authors will be required to assign copyright of their paper to the German Botanical Society, Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands and Blackwell Publishing. Copyright assignment is a condition of publication and papers will not be passed to the publisher for production unless copyright has been assigned.  (Papers subject to government or Crown copyright should tick relevant box on the form). The publishers will not refuse any reasonable request by authors for permission to reproduce their contributions to the journal.

A PDF offprint of the online published article will be provided free of charge to the corresponding author, and may be distributed subject to the Publisher's terms and conditions. The corresponding author will be asked to provide up to seven email addresses for early distribution of a PDF offprint by the publisher. 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:

Author material archive policy
Please note that unless specifically requested, the Publisher will dispose of all hardcopy or electronic material submitted 2 months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or production editor as soon as possible after the final decision about publication.

You will receive a proof of your article approximately 4 weeks after acceptance. The proof will contain instructions on how to return corrections and answers to the queries listed at the end of the proof.

Last update: October 2014