FEMS Microbiology Letters

Cover image for Vol. 353 Issue 2

Edited By: Jeff Cole

Impact Factor: 2.049

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 71/116 (Microbiology)

Online ISSN: 1574-6968

Associated Title(s): Pathogens and Disease, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, FEMS Microbiology Reviews, FEMS Yeast Research

Author Guidelines

  Presentation of data
  Nomenclature, abbreviations and units

Quick Links
• Manuscript submission: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/femsle
• FEMS Society page: http://www.fems-microbiology.org
• Editorial Office: e-mail femsle@fems-microbiology.org
• Production Office: e-mail femsle@wiley.com
• Electronic Graphics: http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/illustration.asp
• Supporting Information: http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/suppmat.asp


FEMS Microbiology Letters gives priority to concise papers that merit urgent publication by virtue of their originality, general interest and their contribution to new developments in microbiology. All aspects of microbiology, except virology (other than bacteriophages), are covered. Areas of special interest include: molecular biology and genetics; genomics; microbial biochemistry and physiology; structure and development; pathogenicity; medical and veterinary microbiology; environmental microbiology; applied microbiology and microbial biotechnology; systematics and bioinformatics. Papers (Research Letters and MiniReviews) can deal with any type of microorganism: bacteria, archaea, bacteriophage and archaeal viruses, yeasts, filamentous fungi, protozoa, cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae. In addition, the journal will publish Perspective, Current Opinion and Controversy Articles, Commentaries and Letters to the Editor on topical issues in microbiology. The journal will consider succinct, one-page genome announcements of scientific interest. Statements that a sequence has been completed will not be considered without further justification for the announcement. The sequence must first be deposited in a freely available genome database.


All submitted research papers should be complete in themselves and adequately supported by experimental detail; they should not be preliminary versions of communications to be published elsewhere. Papers are expected to have findings that are novel, innovative, of significance and/or present new hypotheses; descriptions of new methods are acceptable. Papers that provide confirmatory evidence or merely extend observations firmly established in one species or field site to another will not be accepted unless there are strong reasons for doing so.
Members of the Editorial Board and other appropriate experts will referee the papers. Editors handling papers will independently make decisions on acceptance, revision, resubmission or rejection based on the referees’ reports. The Chief Editor or Editors will reject papers, with an immediate decision, that are outside the scope of the journal, lack significance or which they believe do not meet the required standards for other reasons. Authors who feel that there are substantial grounds for disagreement with an Editor’s decision should contact the Chief Editor, whose decision will be final. Authors who wish to withdraw their manuscript (at any stage of the process) should contact their Editor.


Research Letters describe original experimental work leading to significant advances within the scope of the journal. Repetition of information in the text and illustrations should not occur. Priority is given to short papers, the majority of which will occupy only four to six pages of the journal. The text (including abstract but excluding the title page, references in text and list, and figure legends) should not exceed 3000 words. References should be kept to a minimum and a combined total of six figures and tables are permitted. If the paper exceeds these guidelines, the manuscript will be returned for shortening without review unless the authors have provided compelling reasons for the exceptional length.

MiniReviews are concise articles reviewing topics of current interest or controversial aspects of subjects within the scope of the journal. Articles providing new concepts, critical appraisals and speculation are welcomed. The style for MiniReviews is the same as for research letters, except that the maximum length of the text is about 3,500, with a maximum combined total of six figures and tables. There is no rigid format for MiniReviews but they should generally include an Abstract and a brief Introduction in which the background to the article is presented. The remainder of the text should be arranged under a single, or a maximum two levels of subheading, finishing with a Conclusion or Outlook section that highlights the novelty of the MiniReview.

Current Opinion, Perspective and Commentary articles enable authors to present their views on important topical issues, to discuss new conceptual approaches and to consider, critically, future developments. Their format is flexible but follows that of MiniReviews, with similar maximum length. Please choose the manuscript type ‘Other’ when uploading through the online submission system.

Letters to the Editor are brief communications focusing on an article that has been published in the journal within the previous six months. They should focus on some aspect(s) of the paper that is, in the author’s opinion, incorrectly stated or interpreted, controversial, misleading or in some other way worthy of comment. All Letters to the Editor must address a scientific issue in an objective fashion, should be fewer than 1000 words, and will be externally refereed. If acceptable for publication, they will be offered to the original authors for comment. Please choose the manuscript type ‘Letter to the Editor’ when uploading through the online submission system.

Current Controversies in Microbiology are short discussion articles that review the benefits and potential pitfalls of recently developed microbiological methods. Such articles will be in the form of a discussion section to a paper, with an informative introductory sentence to indicate the core of the article, but will not include an Abstract, Introduction and other formal sections. A maximum of two published pages (typically about 1000 words) will be permitted. Please choose the manuscript type ‘Other’ when uploading through the online submission system.

Genome announcements. The journal also welcomes announcements of complete genome sequences, which must succinctly describe especially interesting features that are not already obvious from previously available datasets. The text (including abstract but excluding the title page, references in text and as a list, and figure legends) should typically not exceed 1000 words and should always include a relevant accession number linked to a free access public database. One figure or table would be acceptable, but the total length must not exceed two printed pages. References should be kept to a minimum. Authors who wish to exceed these guidelines should contact the Chief Editor.


Manuscripts should be submitted through ScholarOne Manuscripts® http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/fems. Instructions for the submission procedure can be found in the authors quick start guide (http://mchelp.manuscriptcentral.com/tutorials/Author.pdf) under ‘Get help now’, reached via the ‘Get help now’ button at the top right of all ScholarOne Manuscripts pages. There must be only one corresponding author.

All manuscripts must be accompanied by a cover letter, which should include a short statement, in 3 – 4 sentences, describing:

  1. how the work related to the scope of journal i.e. why it should it published in this journal?
  2. the aims of the study and their significance with regard to previously published work.
  3. the novelty and originality of the findings.

With the exception of MiniReviews, all papers are submitted directly. MiniReviews may be solicited from international leading investigators or proposals for reviews may be sent to the MiniReviews Editors: Klaus Hantke (hantke@uni-tuebingen.de), Hermann Heipieper (hermann.heipieper@ufz.de), Andre Klier (aklier@pasteur.fr), Michael Mourez (m.mourez@umontreal.ca), Mark Schembri (m.schembri@uq.edu.au) or Wolfgang Schumann (wschumann@uni-bayreuth.de). Chief Editor or one of the Editors with appropriate interests .

  1. Such proposals should contain:an outline (1–3 pages)
  2. a short statement describing the aim, scope and relevance of the review, and an indication of why the review is timely
  3. information on whether there has been any review covering this or a related field in the past few years, and, if so, the specific importance of the proposed review
  4. a statement as to when the completed review might be expected
  5. full contact details of four experts in the field who are familiar with the top
  6. a list of recent key references showing the contributions to the field made by the author(s).

The proposals are evaluated and authors may be invited to submit the review if the material is satisfactory and of general interest.

Nominated Reviewers. When suggesting reviewers for manuscripts, members of the editorial board and/or suitably qualified scientists should be chosen who have no close affiliation with the authors and who can give an objective review of the manuscript. Professional e-mail addresses must be provided, if available, rather than private e-mail addresses. The Editors retain the right to use their discretion to select reviewers they deem appropriate, which may or may not include those nominated by authors.

Revised Manuscripts
Manuscripts may be returned to authors for modification of the scientific content and/or for shortening and language corrections. Revised versions must be submitted online through ScholarOne Manuscripts by clicking on the link to upload a revised manuscript provided in the authors’ decision letter. This can also be achieved by clicking on the ‘‘create a revision’’ button in the corresponding author’s submitting author centre. A source file is required with text and tables (.doc, .docx or .rtf format, but not .pdf). Information must be provided on responses to Editor’s and referees’ comments through a cover letter. A clear indication is also required of changes that have been made. Authors must also upload a file as a supporting document in which original and revised text are compared using the ‘Track Changes’ facility.

Figures should be uploaded in separate files and at sufficient resolution (see section on Preparation of data). All obsolete files of the previous version should be deleted from the revised submission. If a paper that is returned to the authors for amendment is not resubmitted in revised form within one months, the paper will be regarded as withdrawn, unless request for extension is made to the Editor dealing with the paper. Any revised version received after this deadline will be treated as a new, resubmitted manuscript.

Resubmitted Manuscripts
If extensive revision is required, including a requirement for additional experimental work or analysis, the manuscript may be rejected but with a recommendation to resubmit a substantially revised manuscript. A resubmitted manuscript should be submitted as a new manuscript but should include a letter outlining the revisions that have been made in response to the major criticisms of the original article. The article will be treated as a new submission, will typically be edited by the Editor who dealt with the original manuscript, but may not necessarily be reviewed by the same referees.

Rejected Manuscripts
In some cases, authors are offered the possibility to transfer a paper that cannot be accepted for publication to Wiley’s open access journal, MicrobiologyOpen (www.microbiologyopen.com/info). Related reviewer comments are also transferred and articles can be transferred without rewriting or reformatting. The paper is then considered by the Editor of MicrobiologyOpen and a rapid decision is made (usually within 15 days), providing the potential for rapid publication.


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 http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp

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 http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp and visit http://www.wileyopenaccess.com/details/content/12f25db4c87/Copyright--License.html.

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: http://www.wiley.com/go/funderstatement.


Manuscripts should be in English (consistent with either UK or US spelling). Authors who are unsure of correct English usage should have their manuscripts checked by someone proficient in the language. You are strongly advised to ensure that the English is of a publishable standard prior to submission. Manuscripts that are seriously deficient in this respect will be rejected without peer review.

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 http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/english_language.asp. 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.

Layout of manuscripts
FEMS strongly recommends that you compile your manuscript in MS Word and save it as a .doc or .docx file (not a .pdf file), using the following layout.

  1. Title page, the abstract, main text in one single column and references.
  2. Tables, each on a separate page.
  3. Figure legends.
  4. Figures, placing each figure on a separate page and ensuring that the figure is at least twice the size it will be in the published document. Include the figure number (e.g. Fig. 1) and optionally including the figure legend well outside the boundary of the space occupied by the figure. ScholarOne Manuscripts will combine your separately uploaded figure files and the manuscript main body into one online file. Please ensure that you upload the figures only once, i.e. either embedded at the end of the text document or as separate files.
  5. Include page and line numbering (continuous).
  6. The right-hand margin justification should be switched off. Artificial word breaks at the end of lines must be avoided.
  7. If you do not use MS Word then save in MS Word format in the word processor that you use. Rich text (.rtf) format may also be used.
  8. Use standard fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, Symbol, Helvetica, Times). In your Word document, on the Tools menu, click Options, select the Embed TrueType fonts check box and then click the Save tab.

In assessing whether the manuscript falls within the recommended maximum length, one journal page is equivalent to approximately three manuscript pages, each table is approximately 0.3 of a printed page and each figure is approximately 0.25 of a printed page.

The length of papers should be justified by the content and authors are urged to be concise. Excessively long reference lists should be avoided. Repetition of information in the text and illustrations should not occur.

Title, authors, keywords and running title
The manuscript should not form part of a numbered series but should be headed by a concise, informative title. Authors are reminded that titles are widely used in information-retrieval systems. The name, full postal address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of one corresponding author should be provided in a footnote. FEMS journals only accept one corresponding author.

Keywords should not include words in the title or abstract and authors should supply a running title of up to 60 characters (including spaces).

General organisation of manuscripts
Materials and Methods and Results are normally written in the past tense and the present tense is occasionally used in the Introduction and Discussion

  1. Abstract. This should be a single paragraph of less than 200 words and must be intelligible without reference to the full paper. Ideally, references are not cited. Abbreviations should be avoided, but if necessary, they must be defined the first time they are used in the main text. Do not abbreviate genus in the title, keywords, or at first use in the Abstract and Introduction. It is important that the abstract contains a clearly stated hypothesis, a concise description of the approach and a clear statement of the major novel findings of the study and their significance.
  2. Introduction. This should place the work in the context of current knowledge, should indicate the novelty of the study and should conclude with a clear statement of the aims and objectives, but should not contain a summary of the results.
  3. Materials and Methods. Sufficient detail must be provided to allow the work to be repeated. Suppliers of materials and a brief address should be mentioned if this might affect the results. Specific reference must be given for reagents (e.g. plasmids, strains, antibodies) that were not generated in the study.
  4. Results. Presentation of data is described below.
  5. Discussion. This should not simply repeat the Results. Combined Results and Discussion sections are encouraged when appropriate.
  6. Acknowledgements. These can include funding agencies, colleagues who assisted with the work or the preparation of the manuscript and those who contributed materials or provided unpublished data.
  7. References.

Preparation of Supporting Information
Electronic Supporting Information may be included, free of charge, to support and enhance your manuscript with, e.g. supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background datasets or sound clips. Supporting information will be subject to critical review and this facility should be used prudently. Supporting information should not contain data that are critical to the paper. Supporting files will be published, subject to editorial approval, online alongside the electronic version of your article. Authors should submit the Supporting Information at the same time as the manuscript, but in separate file(s). Select ‘Supplemental files’, or ‘MultiMedia’ for the file designation when uploading through the online submission system. Upload a separate .doc or .docx file listing concise and descriptive captions for each file uploaded as Supporting Information. Please indicate that you have uploaded these files in your cover letter and state clearly whether they are intended for eventual online publication as Supporting Information, or are for peer review purposes only.

Presentation of data
Do not tabulate or illustrate points that can be adequately and concisely described in the text. Do not repeat information in tables and figures. Figures and tables, along with their legend (and/or footnote), should be understandable in their own right without having to refer to the main text. Tables should be supplied in Word or Excel format, and must be editable (not pasted in as a picture).

All tables must be cited in the text in the order that they appear. Explanatory footnotes should be related to the legend or table using superscript, lower-case letters. All abbreviations should be defined after the footnotes below the table. Tables should be supplied in Word or Excel format, and must be editable (not pasted in as a picture).

All figures must be cited in the text in the order that they appear. Illustrations are an important medium through which to convey the meaning in your article, and there is no substitute for preparing these to the highest possible standard. Therefore, please create your illustrations carefully with reference to graphics guidelines (see http://authorservices.wiley.com/electronicartworkguidelines.pdf and http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faq.asp). It is very difficult to improve an image that has been saved or created in an inappropriate format. Not everyone has access to high-end graphics software, so the following information may help optimise the tools at your disposal.

Supported formats

  • Check your software options to see if you can ‘save as’ or ‘export’ using one of the robust, industry-standard formats. These are:
    o Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
    o Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)
    o Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
    o Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • As a general rule of thumb, images that contain text and line art (graphs, charts, maps, etc.) will reproduce best if saved as EPS or PDF. If you choose this option, it is important to remember to embed fonts. This ensures that any text reproduces exactly as you intend. Grid lines should not be used.
  • Images that contain photographic information are best saved as TIFF or PNG, as this ensures that all data are included in the file. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) should be avoided if possible, as information is lost during compression; however, it is acceptable for purely photographic subjects if the image was generated as a JPEG from the outset (many digital cameras, for example, output only in JPEG format).
  • If you are not sure which format would be the best option, it is always best to default to EPS or PDF as these are more likely to preserve the high-quality characteristics of the original.
  • Microsoft Office. If you have generated your images in Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), or similar, it is often best simply to send us the files in their native file formats.
  • SpecificationsFigures should be supplied at twice their final size with wide margins. A single column figure is 80 mm, two-thirds page width is 114 mm and two-column width is 168 mm
  • For line art:
    o All lines should be drawn at 1.5 point (0.5 mm wide), broken line styles may be used to differentiate multiple plot lines if desired.
    o Letters and numbers should be 16 point (capitals 4 mm high) non-serif (e.g. Windows: Arial, Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Century Gothic and Lucida Sans Unicode; Mac and Unix: Helvetica, Lucida, Avant Garde).
    o Symbols in the figure itself should be 3 mm in diameter. Lines drawn to accompany the points should not go through hollow symbols.
    o Numbers used as axis labels should have minimum significant figures; amounts less than unity must carry a preceding zero (e.g. 0.5 not .5).
    o Larger composite figures may be designed to occupy two columns when this can achieve an overall saving in space. The character, line and symbol sizes should be adjusted accordingly to achieve the same sizes on the printed page.
  • Magnification should be indicated where appropriate by inclusion of a bar marker.
  • Photographs of electropherograms, etc., in which there is poor contrast may be better replaced by line drawings, but in this case the photographs should be submitted for scrutiny by the Editor.
  • If photographs have been digitally processed to enhance their quality, this should be stated.
  • Figure legends should consist of a preliminary sentence constituting a title, followed by a brief description of the way the particular experiment was carried out, and any other necessary description of symbols or lines. All abbreviations must be defined.

Colour figures are encouraged and free of charge.

Reproducibility of results and statistical tests
Authors should state how many times experiments were repeated and whether mean or representative results are shown. Variability should be indicated statistically wherever possible as part of, but not in place of, a proper statistical analysis. If results are expressed as percentages, the absolute value corresponding to 100% must be stated. Avoid values with unjustified numbers of significant figures; in most cases three significant figures is consistent with the accuracy attained in microbiological experiments.

Results of statistical tests should be presented wherever possible as evidence for conclusions reached. Such information must be presented concisely to illuminate the results, but not to dominate them. The tests used should be briefly described in the Materials and Methods section. Details of the diagnostic checks made for the assumptions of the statistical tests and for the validity of any transformations used should be stated clearly.

Description of New Species
Papers describing the isolation of new bacterial strains or species will be considered for publication providing they meet the standards specified for such descriptions as outlined in: B.J. Tindall, R. Rosselló-Móra, H.-J. Busse, W. Ludwig, and P. Kämpfer, Notes on the characterization of prokaryote strains for taxonomic purposes, Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 2010 60: 249-266 (see http://ijs.sgmjournals.org/cgi/reprint/60/1/249), and that the strain is deposited in two recognised public culture collections.

In the submission letter the authors should state why the description merits publication in a FEMS journal, rather than publication in a specialized taxonomic journal such as International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology or Systematic and Applied Microbiology.

Nomenclature, abbreviations and units
Authors should follow internationally accepted rules and conventions. Authors should provide evidence for the thorough identification of new isolates and use the most recent acceptable name.
Prokaryotes. The spelling of bacterial names should follow the list of Prokaryotic Names with Standing in Nomenclature http://www.bacterio.cict.fr/. If there is a reason to use a name that does not have standing in nomenclature, the name should be printed in roman type and enclosed in quotation marks and an appropriate statement concerning the nomenclatural status of the name should be made in the text (for an example, see Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. (1980) 30: 547–556).
Fungi. The authors should use recently accepted binomials controlled by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (http://www.bgbm.fu-berlin.de/iapt/nomenclature/code/SaintLouis/0000St.Luistitle.htm). Scientific names of yeasts can be found in: The Yeasts: a Taxonomic Study, 4th ed. (C. P. Kurtzman and J.W. Fell, ed., Elsevier B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1998). Taxonomic texts should cite nomenclatural authorities at the first time a name is mentioned. For abbreviation of authors’ names, see http://www.indexfungorum.org/AuthorsOfFungalNames.htm. All taxa should be italicized.
Viruses. Names used for viruses should be those approved by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ICTVdb/. If desired, synonyms may be added parenthetically when the name is first mentioned. Approved generic (or group) and family names may also be used.
Enzymes. For enzymes, use the recommended (trivial) name assigned by the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as described in Enzyme Nomenclature http://www.chem.qmw.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/.
Genes. Genetic nomenclature should essentially follow the recommendations of Demerec et al. (Genetics (1966) 54: 61–76), and those given in the instructions to authors of the Journal of Bacteriology and Molecular and Cellular Biology (January issues). Biochemical compounds. Consult the European Journal of Biochemistry or the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (http://www.chem.qmw.ac.uk/iubmb/).
Abbreviations. Abbreviations should only be used as an aid to the reader and their use should be strictly limited. Define each abbreviation and introduce it in parentheses the first time it is used: e.g. ‘cultures were grown in Eagle minimal essential medium (MEM)’. Eliminate abbreviations that are not used at least six times in the manuscript. In addition to abbreviations to the international system of units of measurements, other common units (e.g., bp, kb, Da), chemical symbols for the elements, and the standard biochemical abbreviations (see Eur. J. Biochem.) should be used without definition. Standard chemical symbols and trivial names or their symbols (folate, Ala, Leu, etc.) may be used for terms that appear in full in the neighbouring text. Abbreviations other than those recommended by the IUPAC-IUB (Biochemical Nomenclature and related Documents, 1978) should be used only when a case can be made for necessity, such as in tables and figures.
Reporting numerical data. The international system of units (SI) should be used; mL is acceptable in place of cm3 for liquid measures. The form for units is mg mL-1 and not mg/mL, parentheses should be used to improve clarity, e.g. mL (g dry wt soil)-1 h-1. The prefixes k, m, m μ, n, and p should be used in combination with the standard units for reporting length, weight, volume and molarity for 103, 10-3, 10-6, 10-9, and 10-12, respectively. Use mg mL-1 or mg g-1 instead of the ambiguous ppm. Units of temperature are presented as follows: 37°C or 324 K.

Reference citations in the text follow the name and date system. References should be inserted in parentheses in date order, as follows: (Brown, 1996; Smith & Brown, 1997; Brown et al., 1998). The reference list itself must be in alphabetical order according to the first-named author, then by number of authors, then chronologically within the one-author group, alphabetically within the two-author group and chronologically within the three or more author group. The title of the article must be included. For papers with ten or fewer authors, all authors must be listed. For papers with eleven or more authors, the first three names should be listed, followed by ‘et al.’. Standard abbreviations of journal titles should be given; please use the ISI Journal Title Abbreviations list (http://images.webofknowledge.com/WOK46/help/WOS/A_abrvjt.html). The following formats should be followed:

O’Donnell CM & Edwards C (1992) Nitrosating activity in Escherichia coli. FEMS Microbiol Lett 95: 87–94.

Dinter Z & van Morein B (1990) Virus Infections in Ruminants. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

McCarthy AJ (1989) Thermomonospora. Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Vol. 4 (Williams ST, Sharpe ME & Holt JG, eds), pp. 2552-2572. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD.

Tang CR (2001) Cloning of a new ice nucleation active gene for insect pest control. PhD Thesis, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing.

Reference should not be made to work ‘in press’ unless it has been accepted for publication; a DOI number should then be provided. Unpublished results and personal communications may be mentioned within the text itself provided that (a) the names and initials of all the persons involved are listed, and (b) they have all granted permission for the citation. In the case of an online journal publication the DOI number of the reference should be used.

Nucleotide and amino acid sequences
Any new nucleotide or amino acid sequences must be deposited in an appropriate database. Authors are encouraged to use the EMBL Data Library but can also use other archives, such as GenBank. An accession number must be obtained before submission to the Editors and this fact should be mentioned in the covering letter. Authors should include the accession number in the appropriate figure legend. Authors wishing to enable other scientists to use the accession numbers cited in their papers via links to these sources should type this information in bold, underlined text. Letters in the accession number should always be capitalised (e.g. GenBank accession nos. AI631510, AI631511, AI632198 and BF223228). Authors are advised to check accession numbers very carefully. In the final version of the printed article, the accession number text will not appear bold or underlined. In the final version of the electronic copy, the accession number text will be linked to the appropriate source in the NCBI databases enabling readers to go directly to that source from the article.


OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen the author, the author's funding agency or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen.

OnlineOpen terms
Any authors wishing to send their paper to OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form here. Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform the Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.


Author Services enables authors to track their article, after acceptance, 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. 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. Visit http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/ for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

When proofs have been produced, the corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert from the Publisher containing a link to a web site. It is therefore essential that the e-mail address of the corresponding author is working and current. The proof can be downloaded as a PDF file from this site. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen or printed. Further instructions will be sent with the proof explaining how to indicate and communicate any changes to the Publisher. Hard copy proofs will be posted if no e-mail address is available. Queries will be addressed to the corresponding author. Excessive changes made by the author in the proofs, excluding typesetting errors, may be charged for separately. The Editors reserve the right to make minor alterations to the text without altering the scientific content.

Articles are published online, in advance of publication in print, through Wiley Blackwell Early View facility. Early View articles include final corrections and cannot be changed further. They have no volume or page number information but have a digital object identifier (DOI, see http://www.doi.org/faq.html). This process accelerates availability of accepted articles to readers and allows their early citation.


Free access to the final PDF reprint of your article will be available via Author Services only. Please sign up for Author Services if you would like to access your article PDF reprint and enjoy the many other benefits offered by this service. Paper reprints of the printed published article may be purchased if ordered via the method stipulated on the instructions that will accompany the proofs. Printed reprints 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 printed reprints to take up to eight weeks to arrive after publication of the journal.


It is expected that new and variant organisms, viruses and vectors described in FEMS journals will be made available, under written request and for their own use, to all qualified members of the scientific community. If delays in strain or vector distribution are anticipated or if they are available from sources other than the authors, this should be indicated. The Editors strongly encourage authors to deposit important strains in publicly accessible culture collections and to refer to the collections and strain numbers in the text. In the case of materials that have been distributed by individuals, authors should indicate the laboratory strain designations and name and address of the donor as well as the original culture collection identification number, if any. Authors should also ensure that permission has been granted by the donor for use of such materials for the research reported in the article. Similar requirements apply to large datasets, such as genome sequences and other ‘omic datasets.

Papers describing experimental work with humans must include a statement that the Ethical Committee of the institution in which the work was done has approved it, and that the subjects gave informed consent to the work. Experiments with animals or with genetically manipulated organisms must have been undertaken in accordance with the legal requirements of the relevant local or national authority. Procedures must be such that experimental animals do not suffer unnecessarily.

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work described has not been published before (except in the form of an abstract, poster, or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis, in which case reference should be made in a footnote to the title) and that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The journals require authors to adhere to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Guidelines on Good Publication Practices and will follow the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice where this is not adhered to. All submissions are analysed for textual similarity using plagiarism detection software or related applications. Evidence of clear plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, of text, figures or tables will lead to immediate rejection of the manuscript. Serious breaches of ethical guidelines will be reported to relevant authorities, including senior management of the authors' employers.

The corresponding author must ensure that its publication has been approved by all co-authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities in the laboratories where the work was carried out and that all persons entitled to authorship have been named. If accepted, the article must not be published elsewhere in the same form in either the same or another language, without the consent of the Editor and Publisher. Each named author must be responsible for at least the section to which they have contributed and each must have seen the entire final text before submission and any substantial subsequent revisions. Authorship should be dealt with carefully and all authors should agree with it at the submission stage. FEMS journals do not permit adding or removing of authors or rearranging their order after acceptance. The Editors must be notified in writing by the corresponding author of any deviation from these rules. Should any author become aware of a breach of ethics he/she should contact the Chief Editor of the journal who will endeavour to retract the article.

Articles published in FEMS journals represent the scientific findings and opinions of the authors. Whilst the Editors and Publisher make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all published matter, they can accept no responsibility or liability, collectively or individually, for any erroneous, misleading or unintentionally damaging statements, which may appear in the journal. Authors must draw attention in the Materials and Methods to any chemical or biological hazards that may be involved in the experiments described.


Individuals wishing to reproduce material (not exceeding 250 words of text) from articles published in FEMS journals for non-commercial purposes may do so providing the original publication is acknowledged accordingly and the authors’ approval is obtained, and in this case no special permission is needed from the Publisher. Authors may also include the article in a thesis without special permission. In all other cases, permissions may be sought directly from the Journal Rights Department: e-mail permissionsuk@wiley.com.