Editorial Board

Editorial Office:
Plant Biotechnology Journal Editorial Office, Wiley
9600 Garsington Road
Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK
[email protected]

Johnathan Napier
Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK
[email protected]

Johnathan Napier is a leading pioneer in plant biotechnology and an advocate for the power of GM plants to deliver for the public good. He has made key discoveries in understanding the biosynthesis of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (aka, omega-3 fish oils). He was the first to identify the N-terminal cytochrome b5-fusion desaturase family now recognised, from his further work, as central to this pathway. He was also first to identify the other key biosynthetic activity for omega-3 fish oils, the microsomal elongase. He has reconstructed this complex heterologous pathway in transgenic plants, providing a sustainable terrestrial source of fish oils, and representing the most sophisticated plant metabolic engineering to date to undergo environmental release. This work is also among the most significant GM field trials in the UK. Johnathan is a passionate advocate for both the science and the impact (more sustainable aquaculture, better human nutrition) of his GM omega-3 project, and engaged in many public and media activities.

Executive Editor:

Shuangxia Jin,
National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement,
Huazhong Agricultural University,
[email protected]

Dr. Shuangxia Jin is a full professor of the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University (HZAU), Wuhan, China. He received his Ph.D. in 2006 from HZAU. His current research involves Insects (whitefly/aphid/Lygus) and cotton host molecular interaction; genome editing (CRISPR/Cas 9, Cpf1, and Base-editing). Dr. Jin has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in top journals such as Advanced Science, Nature Communications, Trends in Plant Sci, New Phytologist, Plant Biotechnology Journal. He serves as the Associate Editor of Plant Biotechnology Journal since 2019 and Editor of Plant Biotechnology Journal social media- PBJ WeChat account in China. He was selected as the co-chair of the International Cotton Genome Initiative (ICGI) in 2017.

Senior Editors: 



Dominique Michaud
Department of Plant Sciences, Plant Research & Innovation Centre, Université Laval, Québec QC, Canada
[email protected] 

Dr. Michaud started his career at Laval U in the mid-1990s, after completing doctoral and postdoctoral studies in Plant Biology at Laval U in Québec City QC, at CNRS in France, and at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC. Over the years, Dominique has developed recognized expertise in Plant Molecular Biotechnology and Proteomics, notably working on the basic and technological aspects of recombinant protein expression, maturation, and processing in plant systems. He also has shown interest in the societal and regulatory aspects of plant biotechnology, conducting several impact studies on GM crops for the Québec government, and being part of different plant biotechnology panels and committees at the national and international levels. Dominique currently is Head of Laval U’s Plant Research and Innovation Centre; Director–Communication for the Canadian Association for Plant Biotechnology.

Nicola J. Patron, The Earlham Institute, Norwich, UK
[email protected]

Nicola Patron is research group leader in plant molecular and synthetic biology at the Earlham Institute, a bioscience institute on the Norwich Research Park, UK. Her group investigates gene regulation and metabolic diversification and applies this knowledge to engineer plants as photosynthetic platforms for biomanufacturing and to improve the yield and nutritional value of crops. Nicola also co-directs the Earlham BioFoundry, a facility that develops automated, nanoscale workflows for biology and biotechnology. Nicola has been an Associate Editor since 2016. Her Plant Biotechnology Journal publications describe applications of genome editing technologies in wheat (Ran et al, 2018) and potatoes (Tuncel et al 2019)

Rajeev Varshney,
State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre; Centre of Crop and Food Innovation; International Chair in Agriculture & Food Security
Murdoch University, Australia
[email protected]

Professor Rajeev Varshney is Director, State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, and Director, Centre for Crop and Food Innovation with Food Futures Institute, Murdoch University.  He also holds the position of International Chair in Agriculture & Food Security for connecting the Murdoch University with international agricultural research systems. Before joining Murdoch University, Rajeev worked at ICRISAT and also at IPK-Gatersleben. He is recognized as a leader in genome sequencing, genomics-assisted breeding, translational genomics, and capacity building in international agriculture. He has made a pioneering contribution by integrating advanced discoveries in genomics with crop improvement in developing countries. Among different noted contributions, he has genome sequences of 9 crops including pigeon pea, chickpea, peanut, and pearl millet, and several molecular breeding products in chickpea, peanut, and pigeon pea to his credit. He is elected fellow of all four science academies of India (INSA, NASI, IASc, NAAS) as well as several foreign science academies including German National Science Academy, The World Academy of Science, American Association for Advancement of Science, Crop Science Society of America, and American Society of Agronomy. He is the recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award from the Government of India, GD Birla Award for Scientific Research amongst many prestigious awards. He has been recognized as a highly cited researcher by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics for the last 6 years (2014-2019) in a row, one of 10 most influential Indian scientists by The Times of India, a leading Indian daily newspaper, and one of 200 changemakers in society in India by Careers360 magazine. Rajeev has served as Associate Editor for Plant Biotechnology Journal since 2013.

Associate Editors:


Jacqueline Batley, School of Agriculture & Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia
[email protected]

Jacqueline Batley is a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Bristol UK in 2001. She moved to Australia in 2002, as a senior research scientist at DPI-Victoria, then led a research group at the University of Queensland as an ARC QEII Research Fellow, from 2007-2014, before moving as an ARC Future Fellow to UWA. Jacqui has received several awards for her research including a University of Queensland Foundation Research Excellence Award, an ARC QEII Fellowship, an ARC Future Fellowship, and the Nancy Millis Medal from the Australian Academy of Sciences. Jacqui has expertise in the field of plant molecular biology, genetics, and genomics, gained from working in both industry and academia. Her research applies breakthrough biotechnological advances for canola crop improvement, through the identification of genomic regions controlling traits, which are being translated to commercial outcomes. These novel methods will increase the yield of this important crop, contribute to national exports and increase global food security. Her work had led to new canola cultivars, with enhanced productivity, profit, and yield stability through identification of genes linked to shatter tolerance, blackleg disease resistance, and oil quality. She is currently focussing on blackleg resistance in the Brassicaceae.


François Belzile, Department of Plant Sciences, Institute for Integrative and Systems Biology, Laval University, Québec, Canada
[email protected]

While trained as a plant molecular geneticist and initially working on DNA repair and recombination genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, over the last 15 years, François has been increasingly interested in using genomics to develop novel approaches in plant breeding, mainly in soybean and barley. He aims to act as a bridge and a facilitator between the lab-based genomic sciences and their numerous applications in the development of new and improved crop varieties. His department is working closely with industry partners to jointly develop and implement genomics-informed breeding programs.

Mario Caccamo, NIAB EMR, Kent, UK
[email protected]

Professor Mario Caccamo is Managing Director of NIAB EMR, Deputy Director of NIAB (Cambridge, UK) and also holds an honorary professorship at the University of East Anglia. His research interests are focused on the application of phenomics, genomics and other data-driven approaches to the improvement and breeding of plant crops. Previously Professor Caccamo directed the Earlham Institute (formerly known as The Genome Analysis Centre) where he led the work on the assembly of the first whole-genome release of the barley and bread wheat references and set up one of the largest European DNA sequencing and bioinformatics centres. Professor Caccamo completed a PhD in theoretical computer science at BRICS, University of Aarhus (Denmark) and an MSc in computer science in the University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Brazil). He has held postdoctoral and scientific roles at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute during the early days of NGS technologies, contributing to the design and development of novel algorithmic approaches for DNA sequencing data analysis.


Xiao-Ya Chen, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
[email protected]

Professor Xiao-Ya Chen is at the CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology. Their group is interested in plant secondary metabolism and cotton biology. His current research includes biosynthesis of terpenes and nutrition compounds in plants, plant-insect interactions, insect pests control, and cotton fiber development. For details of Xiao-Ya Chen’s publications click here.

Nigel Halford, Plant Sciences Department, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
[email protected]

Professor Nigel G. Halford is a Principal Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, an agricultural and crop science research centre in the UK. Professor Halford obtained his first degree from the University of Liverpool in 1983 and a Master’s degree from University College London in 1984, before studying for his PhD (1989) from the CNAA while at Rothamsted. He spent 11 years at Long Ashton Research Station near Bristol before returning to Rothamsted in 2002.  He is the author of more than 150 scientific papers and has written or edited several books. His research programme concerns the genetics of metabolic regulation in crop plants, how plant metabolism is affected by environmental stress and crop management, and how it can be manipulated to improve crop yield, quality, and food safety. Professor Halford is a Visiting Professor at Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences and received The Magnolia Silver Award from the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government in 2012.  He is also Honorary Treasurer of the Association of Applied Biologists, Special Professor at the University of Nottingham, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. 


Zuhua He, National Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
[email protected]

M.Sc in Plant Genetics and Breeding and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology obtained in Zhejiang University, postdoc in The Salk Institute and UC Davis, his research interests include genetic dissection and underlying mechanisms of plant immunity in particular broad-spectrum disease resistance in rice, important cross-talks between immunity and development/crop yield. He has published more than 100 peer-review papers including two Plant Biotechnology Journal papers. Several genes/patents discoverd by his lab have been widely used in crop breeding and commercializing by different seed companies and breeders. Zuhua He has been serving Plant Biotechnology Journal as associate editor since July, 2017.

Xuehui Huang, College of Life Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China

[email protected]

Xuehui Huang got his bachelor at Fudan University, China in 2006, and got his Ph.D. at Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011. He worked at Chinese Academy of Sciences from 2011 to 2016. He then moved to Shanghai Normal University in 2016 and was a professor in the College of Life Sciences. His research interests include genetic analysis of complex traits in crops, genetic mechanisms of heterosis in crops, and bioinformatics methods for genetics studies. To date he has played an important role in developing the platform of genome-wide association study (Nat. Genet. 42: 961-967; Nature 490: 497-501; Mol. Plant 12:10-12), generating a rice pan-genome map (Nat Genet. 50: 278-284) and finding key heterosis-related loci (Nature 537:629-633; Plant Biotech J. 18:185-194).



Thomas Jacobs, VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, VIB-Ghent University, Belgium

[email protected]

Thomas Jacobs leads the Plant Genome Editing group at the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology. His group implements a wide range of genome editing technologies within the center and develops novel gene editing technologies for plants. His group is focused on the optimization of various CRISPR-based gene editing technologies including gene knockout, base editing, HDR, and prime editing. The group is also actively developing CRISPR screens in plants. Thomas joined as an associate editor in 2020. He has a Plant Biotechnology Journal publication from his PhD dissertation describing the development of a MIGS system in soybean (Jacobs et al., 2016). 


Yanfei Mau, Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

[email protected]

Yanfei is a junior group leader and senior research scientist in PSC, CAS. She received her PhD in 2012 from Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, CAS. Her research interests were focused on the engineering of novel plant genetic tools for complicated gene function research and crop breeding. Since 2012, she had contributed to the development of highly efficient TALEN and CRISPR/Cas systems for multiplexed and precise plant genome editing. The related plasmid materials had been shared with hundreds of labs in the world and her publications had obtained over thousand citations so far.


Martin A.J. Parry, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK
[email protected]

Martin Parry is a Professor of Plant Science for Food Security in the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University, providing strategic leadership of research to facilitate the development of globally relevant and accessible food systems. Martin’s research both encompasses the exploitation of natural diversity and also the creation of new characteristics through biotechnology. His current research is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, UK Department for International Development, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and European Union.  Martin was ranked in the top 1 per cent by citations for field and publication year in 2018 Web of Science, Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher.  In 2014 he was presented with China National Friendship Award.


Yiping Qi, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture University of Maryland, MD, USA

[email protected]

Dr. Yiping Qi received a PhD degree from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at University of Maryland, College Park. He is interested in developing genome engineering and synthetic biology tools to boost plant fundamental and translational research. Since 2009, he has made contributions to the development of plant genome editing systems based on Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) and Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). In recent years, his lab has developed CRISPR-Cas9, Cas12a and Cas12b systems for plant genome editing and transcriptional regulation. Dr. Qi has over 40 publications on plant genome engineering and he is a recipient of the SIVB 2020 Young Scientist Award.

Nils Stein, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben, Germany
[email protected]

Nils Stein is a PI at Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben and Professor of Plant Genomics of Genetic Resources at Georg-August-University of Göttingen, both in Germany. Studying Biology at Kaiserslautern University and doing a Ph.D. at Hohenheim University prepared him for spending a Postdoc at Zurich University in Wheat Molecular Genomics. Since then, Stein has made his career in Triticeae genomics contributing in a leading role to the genome sequencing of barley, wheat, and rye. This research was taken further recently to pan-genome analysis in these major cereal crop species with the aim to unlock the species’ entire genome diversity for research and application. Stein holds an adjunct professor position with the University of Western Australia and was awarded the Günter and Anna Wricke research award in Applied Genetics and Breeding Research (2010), the IWGSC leadership award (2016), and the Medal from the Royal Physiographic Society in Lund (2021). The scientific achievements were the content of more than 
200 scientific publications (http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3011-8731).


Stephen J Streatfield, Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology, Newark, DE 19348, USA
[email protected]

Stephen has been an Associate Editor for PBJ since 2012. His primary research interests are on plant-based production systems for recombinant proteins, in particular subunit vaccine candidates for human and animal health, and on progressing lead formulations into target animal and clinical trials. To this end, he has focused on both transgenic and transient expression systems. Other interests include plant-based production systems for secondary metabolites and gene regulation. Stephen has worked in research and development and program management in the academic, biotechnology industry, and non-profit sectors and is currently the Executive Director at Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Molecular Biotechnology in Delaware.


Neal Stewart, Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN USA
[email protected]

At the University of Tennessee, Neal Stewart holds the Ivan Racheff Chair of Plant Molecular Genetics and is also the co-director of the Center for Agricultural Synthetic Biology as well as the co-director of the Tennessee Plant Research Center.  He took a PhD from Virginia Tech in 1993 and after stints in Georgia and North Carolina, he moved to Tennessee in 2002. Neal Stewart has been an innovator in plant biotechnology and one of the pioneers of plant synthetic biology.  Multidisciplinary research and applications range from agricultural sustainability, to energy, and most recently, to repurposing plants as environmental sensors, in which he leads a $7.5 M DARPA project. He has been an author on over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and 8 books.  Stewart was a member of the National Academies committee that produced the 2016 report “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects.” In 2015 he was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2019 he was elected as a Fellow of the Society for in Vitro Biology.  In his free time he is a singer-songwriter (songs are here).  

Leena Tripathi, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
[email protected]

Dr. Leena Tripathi is the Director of the Eastern Africa hub and Leader of the Biotechnology program at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She is a Plant Biotechnologist with experience in the genetic improvement of important staple food crops to control diseases and pests. She is. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology, she began her career as a Research Scientist at the University of North Carolina, USA. After that, she has worked for over 21 years at IITA in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Her team has successfully established a robust genetic transformation platform for the banana, cassava, and yam at IITA to develop genetically modified and genome-edited products and transfer these technologies to national agricultural research systems in Africa and beyond. Her group's research outputs have been published in more than 100 articles in refereed journals with high impact factors like Nature Biotechnology or book chapters. Her research has been featured in more than 230 national and international news articles and documentary films like CNN- Earth's Frontiers and Food Evolution. Her scientific contributions have been recognized internationally through several awards and honors, such as excellence awards for outstanding scientist and publications. She has been honored as an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for contributions to Agriculture.



Bing Yang, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri – Columbia, MO, USA

[email protected]

Dr. Bing Yang is Professor at the University of Missouri and Principal Investigator at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis. The main foci of Dr. Yang’s research are on 1) developing and applying genome editing technologies for gene/trait discovery and for engineering improved traits such as disease resistance in crop plants, and 2) gaining a molecular understanding of host disease susceptibility and resistance to pathogenic microbes by using bacterial blight of rice as a disease model. Dr. Yang’s group has used rice as a workhorse to develop genome editing technologies and demonstrate their promising potential as biotech tools for basic and applied research in rice and other crop plants.  By taking advantage of the genetic amenability of rice and its bacterial pathogen (Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae, Xoo), Yang’s group, in collaboration with other groups, has made several breakthroughs in identifying key components (or virulence factors) that pathogenic Xoo strains use to hijack the host biological processes to condition a state of susceptibility in rice, and in identifying the rice counteracting strategies for disease resistance.

Editor Emeritus:


Henry Daniell, W.D. Miller Professor, Director of Translational Research, Vice Chair, Dept of Basic and Translational Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
[email protected]

Henry Daniell is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2004 and 14th American member of the National Academy of Sciences, Italy in 240 years (inducted in 2007). He is one among the Founding Editors of the Plant Biotechnology Journal and the second Editor in Chief since 2011. He is the Technology Founder of PhylloZyme that launched the first leaf-based enzymes for textile, detergent, food/feed applications and the recipient of several awards including the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Bayer Hemophilia global award and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award for outstanding contributions to lower the cost of biopharmaceuticals. He pioneered chloroplast genetic engineering concept to produce and orally deliver biopharmaceuticals to treat major metabolic or genetic disorders, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, hypertension, hemophilia and retinopathy. Booster vaccines are developed in chloroplasts to prevent global infectious diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, polio and biological threats, such as anthrax and plague. Studies with FDA and CDC funded by the Gates Foundation, NIH SMARTT program or major pharmaceutical companies (Bayer, Novo Nordisk, Shire, Takeda, Johnson & Johnson) help to advance these inventions to the clinic.  For a complete list of >300 publications and >100 patents, please visit Google Scholar.