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Plant Biotechnology Journal

Cover image for Vol. 15 Issue 3

Edited By: Henry Daniell

Impact Factor: 6.09

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 11/209 (Plant Sciences); 13/161 (Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology)

Online ISSN: 1467-7652

Author Guidelines

Important notice about manuscript word count limit

To allow for the significant increase in the number of manuscripts currently being submitted to the Plant Biotechnology Journal and to speed up the publication of accepted manuscripts, from the 1st October 2011 the PBJ will not accept, for review, research articles containing more than 7000 words and review articles containing more than 9000 words. To support this process, from the 1st October 2011 all manuscripts must have a word count immediately following the covering page listing the authors and their affiliations. The word count must include all sections including figure and table legends, however, references and supplementary/supporting data should not be included in the word count. Research articles containing more than 7000 words and reviews containing more than 9000 words will be returned to the authors without review. Letters containing more than 1500 words and more than one illustration will be returned to the authors without review.

Plant Biotechnology Journal only accepts submission of manuscripts online at This enables the quickest possible review and allows online manuscript tracking.

Plant Biotechnology Journal conducts a single blind peer review system whereby author identity is known by the reviewers but the authors remain unaware of the identity of the reviewers. Authors can indicate preferred and non-preferred reviewers when submitting their manuscript. Whilst the Journal is at liberty to approach any reviewers, to help speed the review process, we strongly recommend that you contact your preferred reviewers in order to ascertain whether or not they might be willing to review your manuscript.

Authors are also given the option to select a preferred handling editor for their manuscript though should note that Editors are allocated to manuscripts based upon various criteria including availability, workload and expertise, and preferred handling editors cannot be guaranteed. For a list of Editors and their areas of specialism please click here.

Manuscript submission online can be in Word document (.doc), Rich Text Format (.rtf), Portable Document Format (.pdf) or PostScript (.ps). Each of these file formats will be automatically converted to PDF for reviewing. Figures can be embedded in the native word processor file or may be uploaded separately in one of the following formats: GIF (.gif), JPEG (.jpg), TIFF (.tif), EPS (.eps). Figures embedded in the manuscript text file should include the legend directly underneath each figure, in addition to the separate list of figure legends. When uploading figures separately as individual image files, the online system presents you with the opportunity to include the figure legend, meaning it will then be incorporated automatically underneath each figure when the PDF is generated for the reviewers.

Full upload instructions and support are available online from the submission site via the 'Get Help Now' button. Please note that you should submit your covering letter or comments to the Editor-in-Chief, when prompted online. Please do not duplicate your submission by submitting online and by post.

Revised manuscripts must be submitted to the Editorial Office within two months of being notified of conditional acceptance pending satisfactory revision. Full instructions for submission of revised manuscripts can be found in the 'Submission of revised manuscripts' section below. Authors resubmitting manuscripts should follow the same procedure as for submission of new manuscripts. If accepted, papers become the copyright of the Journal. No page charges will be levied.

All queries should be directed to the Editorial Office:

Plant Biotechnology Journal
Editorial Office
9600 Garsington Road

Tel: +44 (0)1865 476 206

Papers are accepted on the understanding that no substantial part has been, or will be, published elsewhere. Publication of a paper in Plant Biotechnology Journal implies that authors will distribute freely to researchers, for non-commercial purposes, all plant cultivars, cell lines, DNA, antibodies and other similar materials that were used in the experiments reported. Seeds of mutants described must be deposited at the appropriate stock centre and accession numbers provided. PBJ expects that all authors will conform to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) guidelines for Dual Use Life Sciences Research.

Presentation of manuscripts

Only manuscripts in English will be published. Spelling should conform to that in The Concise Oxford Dictionary or Websters New Collegiate Dictionary. All unusual or handwritten symbols should be identified. Care should be taken to differentiate between certain letters and numbers (e.g. the letter O and zero, the letter I and the number 1).

It is important to differentiate between genes and proteins. All gene names and loci should be in italics; proteins should be upright.

All sections of the manuscript should be double-spaced on one side only of A4 or American quarto paper with margins of at least 30 mm all round. The title page should include: the full title of the paper; the full names of all the authors; the name(s) and address(es) of the institution(s) at which the work was carried out (the present addresses of the authors, if different from the above, should appear in a footnote); the name, address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the author to whom all correspondence and proofs should be sent; the e-mail addresses of all the authors if possible; a suggested running title of not more than 50 characters, including spaces; six keywords to aid indexing; accession numbers for the EMBL sequence database and seed stock if required; word count.

Generally, all papers should be divided into the following sections and appear in the order: (1) Summary, not exceeding 250 words, (2) Introduction, (3) Results, (4) Discussion, (5) Experimental procedures, (6) Acknowledgements, (7) References, (8) Tables, (9) Figure legends, (10) Figures. The Results and Discussion sections may be combined and may contain subheadings. Experimental procedures should be sufficiently detailed to enable the experiments to be reproduced. Trade names should be capitalised and the manufacturers name and address given.

All pages must be numbered consecutively from the title page, and include the acknowledgements, references, tables, and figure legends.


Commentary articles should be no more than 1500 words, should not have an abstract, and should contain no more than one illustration and 10 references. The final article should take up no more than 3 printed pages. Guidelines for presentation are as for Research articles above.

Pre-acceptance 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.

Submissions for which the English is deemed substandard by the Editorial Office may be unsubmitted and returned to the author without further review. In this event authors should carefully consider the language of their manuscript and revise as necessary before resubmitting to the journal.

Express Submission

Please note that the journal employs a similarity detection system. By submitting your manuscript to this journal you accept that your manuscript may be screened for similarity against previously published works.

The aim of Express Submission is to allow manuscripts previously considered by high-impact, general science journals to be submitted to Plant Biotechnology Journal without the need for reformatting, facilitating the rapid consideration of an author’s work. Only those manuscripts that have to be resubmitted following review or that go on to be provisionally accepted for publication will need to be reformatted to PBJ style. Authors wishing to submit under this scheme must state their intention to do so in the cover letter accompanying their submission, and ensure that they declare where the manuscript was previously considered. Authors should also include within their cover letter any reviews received from submissions previously made to other high-impact journals. The review process itself will proceed in the same way as with standard submissions to PBJ, except that Associate Editors and reviewers handling the manuscript will be informed that the manuscript has been submitted under the Express Submission scheme, and instructed accordingly regarding the different formatting. Manuscripts previously considered by, but not limited to, Nature, Science, or Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), can be submitted to PBJ without reformatting.

Submission of revised manuscripts

Revised manuscripts must be submitted within 2 months of authors being notified of conditional acceptance pending satisfactory revision. Revised manuscripts submitted after this time will be considered as completely new submissions, and be subject again to the full review procedure. This time limit will be rigidly adhered to except under unusual circumstances, which must be explained in full, in writing, to the Editor-in-Chief.

Revised manuscripts must be in their final form when submitted, using red font to indicate the revised portions of your manuscript. Note that the files submitted should be in their final format for publication as the files accepted within the Manuscript Central system will be the files which are supplied to the publisher. The proofs received later are for correction of typographical errors only. They should not be used for final changes to articles; such changes must be made to the manuscript before it goes to the publishers. Major alterations to the text at proof stage will be charged to the author and may delay publication.

Manuscripts should be checked very carefully for correct designation of genes and proteins. It is important to differentiate between genes and proteins. Gene names and loci should be in italics, proteins should be upright.

It is essential that authors return one signed copy of the Copyright Transfer Agreement to the Editorial Office with their revised manuscripts. Failure to return the form will delay the publication of manuscripts if they are accepted.

Open Access - Article Publication Charge

From now on all articles published by Plant Biotechnology Journal are fully open access: immediately freely available to read, download and share. To cover the cost of publishing, Plant Biotechnology Journal charges a publication fee.

US$2,800 / £1,700 / €2,210

Automatic Article Publication Charge waivers and discounts will be given to authors from countries on the Waivers and Discounts List. Authors should submit a waiver or discount request during the submission of their article.

Authors who receive funding from an agency or institution with a Wiley Open Access Account do not pay directly. The charge is paid by the institution or funder. Authors whose institutions have paid the Wiley Open Access partner fee are eligible for a discount on the publication charge and on acceptance a discounted fee is payable by the author. More details are available here.

Taxes on publication charges

Authors and Institutions resident in any of the EU countries that participate in VAT that are not registered for VAT will have Value-Added Tax (VAT, at their local relevant rate) to add. If the Author/Institution is VAT registered, by providing their VAT registration number a tax invoice can be accommodated under the reverse charge. (This is a mechanism where VAT would not need to be added to the payment). The VAT registered customer will account for the VAT when they prepare their VAT return as both an “in” and an “out”, producing a nil effect.

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.


Authors must obtain permission to reproduce any copyright material, and include an acknowledgement of the source in their article. Authors should be aware that the unreferenced use of the published and unpublished ideas, writing or illustrations of others, from whatever source (including research grant applications), or submission of a complete paper under 'new' authorship in the same or a different language, constitutes plagiarism.

Similarity checking

Please note that the journal employs a similarity detection system. By submitting your manuscript to this journal you accept that your manuscript may be screened for similarity against previously published works.

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:

Units and abbreviations

Système International (SI) units should be used, as given in Units, Symbols and Abbreviations, published by the Royal Society of Medicine Services Ltd, 1 Wimpole Street, London W1M 8AE, UK. Abbreviations should be given in words the first time they are used.

Scientific names

Complete scientific names should be given when organisms are first mentioned. The generic name may subsequently be abbreviated to the initial.


We recommend the use of a tool such as EndNote for reference management and formatting. The EndNote style for Plant Biotechnology Journal can be downloaded here.

References should be cited in the text by author and date, e.g. Shah and Klessig (1999). Joint authors should be referred to by et al. if there are more than two, e.g. Sambrook et al. (1989). More than one paper from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters a, b, c, etc., placed after the year of publication. Listings of references in the text should be alphabetical, e.g. (Sambrook et al., 1989; Shah and Klessig, 1999). At the end of the paper, references should be listed alphabetically according to the first named author. The full titles of papers, chapters and books should be given, the abbreviated names of journals, with the first and last page numbers.


Lacomme, C. and Santa Cruz, S. (1999) Bax-induced cell death in tobacco is similar to the hypersensitive response. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 96, 7956-7961.

Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E.F. and Maniatis, T. (1989) Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd edn. Cold Spring Harbor: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Shah, J. and Klessig, D.F. (1999) Salicylic acid: signal perception and transduction. In: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plant Hormones (Hooykaas, P.P.J., Hall, M.A. and Libbenga, K.R., eds), pp. 513-541. New York: Elsevier Science.

Work that has not been accepted for publication and personal communications should not appear in the reference list, but may be referred to in the text. It is the authors responsibility to obtain permission from colleagues to include their work as a personal communication.


With the exception of composite photographs suitable for full-page reproduction (maximum width, including lettering, 16.8 cm), all other figures should be set to a maximum width of 8 cm (including all lettering). Labelling on the figures should be in 8pt Helvetica if possible. Figure sections should be designated with lower case letters. Magnification bars should be given on electron and light microscope photographs.

Figure legends should be included at the end of the main document after the references and contain sufficient information to be understood without reference to the text, but should not contain methods. Each should begin with a short title for the figure. All symbols and abbreviations used in the figures should be explained. 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. Where figures have been embedded in the manuscript text file, please include the legend directly underneath each figure, in addition to the separate list of figure legends. When uploading figures separately as individual image files, the online system presents you with the opportunity to include the figure legend, meaning it will then be incorporated automatically underneath each figure when the PDF is generated for the reviewers.

The Journal welcomes colour photographs.

All figures will be assessed for potential improper image manipulation as part of the review process.

Electronic artwork

We expect to receive your artwork in electronic form. If you are unable to submit in the required format, please send two sets of figures as either laser copies or high-quality glossy prints as appropriate in the size that they will appear in the Journal. Please save vector graphics (e.g. line artwork) in Encapsulated Postscript Format (.eps), and bitmap files (e.g. half-tones) in Tagged Image File Format (.tif). TIFF files should be supplied at a minimum resolution of 300 ppi (pixels per inch) at the final size at which they are to appear in the journal. Colour files should be in CMYK format. Detailed information on our digital illustration standards is available at:

As Plant Biotechnology Journal is now an online-only journal, online colour illustrations are free-of-charge.


Tables should be included on separate pages at the end of the main document, below any figure legends. They should have a brief descriptive title and be self-explanatory. No vertical rules should be used. Units should appear in parentheses in the column headings, not in the body of the table. Repeated words or numerals on successive lines should be written in full.


Proofs will be downloaded as an Acrobat PDF file. Authors will be notified by email when their proofs are ready to download. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from the following Web site:

This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen, and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. Proofs will be posted if no e-mail address is available; in your absence, please arrange for a colleague to access your e-mail to retrieve the proofs.

Major alterations to the text will be charged to the author and may delay publication.


Free access to the final PDF offprint or your article will be available via author services only. 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.

Microarray data

Plant Biotechnology Journal has adopted the microarray data guidelines developed by the Microarray Gene Expression Data society (MGED) and requires that all authors using microarray data in their manuscript submit a complete data set to one of two databases prior to manuscripts submission: the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) or the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) ArrayExpress repository. The procedure is mandatory for all papers using microarray data and submitted after 1 January 2006.

Registration of sequences

New nucleotide sequence data reported in papers published in Plant Biotechnology Journal must be submitted and deposited in the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank databases and accession numbers obtained. Any accepted manuscript that does not have such numbers by the page proof stage will not be published until the numbers are provided. Full details on obtaining accession numbers, is given in the final issue of each volume of the Journal or can be obtained on request from the Editorial Office. Data submitted to EMBL will be shared with other international databases. Submission to any one of the three collaborating databanks is sufficient to ensure data entry in all.

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 (without the accompanying full-text HTML) and are given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows them to be cited and tracked. The DOI remains unique to a given article in perpetuity. More information about DOIs can be found online here. Given that Accepted Articles are not considered to be final, please note that changes will be made to an article after Accepted Article online publication, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. The Accepted Articles service has been designed to ensure the earliest possible circulation of research papers after acceptance. Accepted articles will be indexed by PubMed; therefore the submitting author must carefully check the names and affiliations of all authors provided in the cover page of the manuscript, as it will not be possible to alter these once a paper is made available online in Accepted Article format. Subsequently the final copyedited and proofed articles will appear either as Early View articles in a matter of weeks or in an issue on Wiley Online Library the link to the article in PubMed will automatically be updated.

Early View

Plant Biotechnology Journal offers Wiley-Blackwell's Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. Early View articles are complete and final.They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. DOI citations are the same as any standard method of citation- they are recognized by all major indexing services and contribute to published citation metrics such as Thomson Reuter's Impact Factor©. More information about DOIs can be found at: For information on how to cite Early View articles please click on the 'How to Cite' link on the Early View article title page.

Cover photograph

Photographs of high quality suitable for the cover of Plant Biotechnology Journal are welcomed. They should be sent to the Editorial Office and be accompanied by a brief descriptive summary. It is preferred, but not essential, that these should be related to submitted papers.

PubMed Central (PMC)

PubMed Central (PMC) is created by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is a digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. It is a full text database, which gives readers free access to the full text version of articles. Wiley Open Access journals will deposit all articles into PMC upon publication of an online issue, on a monthly basis. The final published versions of the articles are sent to PMC.