The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. Elsevier’s Current Opinion journals comprise of 17 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Plant Biology

5-Year Impact Factor: 9.203
Issues per year: 6 issues
Editorial Board

Current Opinion in Plant Biology

The Current Opinion journals were developed out of the recognition that it is increasingly difficult for specialists to keep up to date with the expanding volume of information published in their subject. In Current Opinion in Plant Biology, we help the reader by providing in a systematic manner:

1. The views of experts on current advances in plant biology in a clear and readable form.
2. Evaluations of the most interesting papers, annotated by experts, from the great wealth of original publications.

Division of the subject into sections: The subject of plant biology is divided into themed sections which are reviewed regularly to keep them relevant. Presently they are:
Growth and development - Genome studies and molecular genetics (+ Plant biotechnology every other year) - Physiology and metabolism - Biotic interactions - Cell signalling and gene regulation - Cell biology

Selection of topics to be reviewed: Section Editors, who are major authorities in the field, are appointed by the Editors of the journal. They divide their section into a number of topics, ensuring that the field is comprehensively covered and that all issues of current importance are emphasised. Section Editors commission reviews from authorities on each topic that they have selected.

Reviews: Authors write short review articles in which they present recent developments in their subject, emphasising the aspects that, in their opinion, are most important. In addition, they provide short annotations to the papers that they consider to be most interesting from all those published in their topic over the previous year.

Editorial Overview: Section Editors write a short overview at the beginning of the section to introduce the reviews and to draw the reader's attention to any particularly interesting developments.

Ethics in Publishing - General Statement: The Editor(s) and Publisher of this Journal believe that there are fundamental principles underlying scholarly or professional publishing. While this may not amount to a formal 'code of conduct', these fundamental principles with respect to the authors' paper are that the paper should: i) be the authors' own original work, which has not been previously published elsewhere, ii) reflect the authors' own research and analysis and do so in a truthful and complete manner, iii) properly credit the meaningful contributions of co-authors and co-researchers, iv) not be submitted to more than one journal for consideration, and v) be appropriately placed in the context of prior and existing research. Of equal importance are ethical guidelines dealing with research methods and research funding, including issues dealing with informed consent, research subject privacy rights, conflicts of interest, and sources of funding. While it may not be possible to draft a 'code' that applies adequately to all instances and circumstances, we believe it useful to outline our expectations of authors and procedures that the Journal will employ in the event of questions concerning author conduct. With respect to conflicts of interest, the Publisher now requires authors to declare any conflicts of interest that relate to papers accepted for publication in this Journal. A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author's institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author's work. A conflict can be actual or potential and full disclosure to the Journal is the safest course. All submissions to the Journal must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The Journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the Journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.

Best Cited over the last year.

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Hormone balance and abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants

Plant hormones play central roles in the ability of plants to adapt to changing environments, by mediating growth, development, nutrient allocation, and source/sink transitions. Although ABA is the most studied stress-responsive hormone, the role of cytokinins, brassinosteroids, and auxins during environmental stress is emerging. Recent evidence indicated that plant hormones are involved in multiple processes. Cross-talk between the different plant hormones results in synergetic or antagonic…

Volume 14, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 290-295
Zvi Peleg | Eduardo Blumwald

Sugar signals and molecular networks controlling plant growth

In recent years, several regulatory systems that link carbon nutrient status to plant growth and development have emerged. In this paper, we discuss the growth promoting functions of the hexokinase (HXK) glucose sensor, the trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) signal and the Target of Rapamycin (TOR) kinase pathway, and the growth inhibitory function of the SNF1-related Protein Kinase1 (SnRK1) and the C/S1 bZIP transcription factor network. It is crucial that these systems interact closely in regulating…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 274-279
Sjef Smeekens | Jingkun Ma | Johannes Hanson | Filip Rolland

TAL effectors: Finding plant genes for disease and defense

Transcription activator like effectors (TALEs) are injected via the type III secretion pathway of many plant pathogenic Xanthomonas spp. into plant cells where they contribute to disease or trigger resistance by binding to DNA and turning on TALE-specific host genes. Advances in our understanding of TALEs and their targets have yielded new models for pathogen recognition and defense. Similarly, we have gained insight into plant molecules and processes that can be co-opted to promote infection.…

Volume 13, Issue 4, 01 August 2010, Pp 394-401
Adam J. Bogdanove | Sebastian Schornack | Thomas Lahaye

Plant pattern recognition receptor complexes at the plasma membrane

A key feature of innate immunity is the ability to recognize and respond to potential pathogens in a highly sensitive and specific manner. In plants, the activation of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) elicits a defense programme known as PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). Although only a handful of PAMP-PRR pairs have been defined, all known PRRs are modular transmembrane proteins containing ligand-binding ectodomains. It is becoming clear that…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 349-357
Jacqueline Monaghan | Cyril Zipfel

Epigenetic contribution to stress adaptation in plants

Plant epigenetics has recently gained unprecedented interest, not only as a subject of basic research but also as a possible new source of beneficial traits for plant breeding. We discuss here mechanisms of epigenetic regulation that should be considered when undertaking the latter. Since these mechanisms are responsible for the formation of heritable epigenetic gene variants (epialleles) and also regulate transposons mobility, both aspects could be exploited to broaden plant phenotypic and…

Volume 14, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 267-274
Marie Mirouze | Jerzy Paszkowski

Respiratory burst oxidases: The engines of ROS signaling

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a key signal transduction role in cells. They are involved in the regulation of growth, development, responses to environmental stimuli and cell death. The level of ROS in cells is determined by interplay between ROS producing pathways and ROS scavenging mechanisms, part of the ROS gene network of plants. Recent studies identified respiratory burst oxidase homologues (RBOHs) as key signaling nodes in the ROS gene network of plants integrating a multitude of…

Volume 14, Issue 6, 01 December 2011, Pp 691-699
Nobuhiro Suzuki | Gad Miller | Jorge Morales | Vladimir Shulaev | Miguel Angel Torres | Ron Mittler

'Omics' analyses of regulatory networks in plant abiotic stress responses

Plants must respond and adapt to abiotic stresses to survive in various environmental conditions. Plants have acquired various stress tolerance mechanisms, which are different processes involving physiological and biochemical changes that result in adaptive or morphological changes. Recent advances in genome-wide analyses have revealed complex regulatory networks that control global gene expression, protein modification, and metabolite composition. Genetic regulation and epigenetic regulation,…

Volume 13, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 132-138
Kaoru Urano | Yukio Kurihara | Motoaki Seki | Kazuo Shinozaki

Association genetics in crop improvement

Increased availability of high throughput genotyping technology together with advances in DNA sequencing and in the development of statistical methodology appropriate for genome-wide association scan mapping in presence of considerable population structure contributed to the increased interest association mapping in plants. While most published studies in crop species are candidate gene-based, genome-wide studies are on the increase. New types of populations providing for increased resolution…

Volume 13, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 174-180
J. Antoni Rafalski

Comparing signaling mechanisms engaged in pattern-triggered and effector-triggered immunity

Plants employ two modes of their innate immune system to resist pathogen infection. The first mode of immunity is referred to as pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) that is triggered by molecular patterns common to many types of microbes. The second mode is triggered by recognition of pathogen effectors and is called as effector-triggered immunity (ETI). At least some cases of PTI and ETI extensively share downstream signaling machinery, that is, PTI and ETI appear to be mediated by an integrated…

Volume 13, Issue 4, 01 August 2010, Pp 459-465
Kenichi Tsuda | Fumiaki Katagiri

Living inside plants: Bacterial endophytes

As current research activities have focused on symbiotic or parasitic plant-microbe interactions, other types of associations between plants and microorganisms are often overlooked. Endophytic bacteria colonize inner host tissues, sometimes in high numbers, without damaging the host or eliciting strong defense responses. Unlike endosymbionts they are not residing in living plant cells or surrounded by a membrane compartment. The molecular basis of endophytic interactions is still not well…

Volume 14, Issue 4, 01 August 2011, Pp 435-443
Barbara Reinhold-Hurek | Thomas Hurek

NB-LRR proteins: Pairs, pieces, perception, partners, and pathways

In plants, many of the innate immune receptors or disease resistance (R) proteins contain a NB-LRR (Nucleotide-binding site, Leucine-rich repeat) structure. The recent findings regarding NB-LRR signaling are summarized in this article. An emerging theme is that two NB-LRRs can function together to mediate disease resistance against pathogen isolates. Also, recent results delineate the NB-LRR protein fragments that are sufficient to initiate defense signaling. Importantly, distinct fragments of…

Volume 13, Issue 4, 01 August 2010, Pp 472-477
Timothy K. Eitas | Jeffery L. Dangl

Protein kinase signaling networks in plant innate immunity

In plants and animals, innate immunity is triggered through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in response to microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) to provide the first line of inducible defense. Plant receptor protein kinases (RPKs) represent the main plasma membrane PRRs perceiving diverse MAMPs. RPKs also recognize secondary danger-inducible plant peptides and cell-wall signals. Both types of RPKs trigger rapid and convergent downstream signaling networks controlled by…

Volume 14, Issue 5, 01 October 2011, Pp 519-529
Guillaume Tena | Marie Boudsocq | Jen Sheen

Plant hormone signaling lightens up: integrators of light and hormones

Light is an important environmental signal that regulates diverse growth and developmental processes in plants. In these light-regulated processes, multiple hormonal pathways are often modulated by light to mediate the developmental changes. Conversely, hormone levels in plants also serve as endogenous cues in influencing light responsiveness. Although interactions between light and hormone signaling pathways have long been observed, recent studies have advanced our understanding by identifying…

Volume 13, Issue 5, 01 October 2010, Pp 571-577
On Sun Lau | Xing Wang Deng

Advances in modifying lignin for enhanced biofuel production

Renewable and sustainable liquid transportation biofuels based on lignocellulosics conversion face several obstacles that must be overcome in order for them to become commercially viable and cost-competitive. The presence of lignin is one of the most significant contributors to biomass recalcitrance and consequently increases the costs associated with conversion. Lignins are complex aromatic biopolymers, derived from hydroxyphenylpropanoids, that vary in composition and structure as a function…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 313-320
Blake A. Simmons | Dominique Loqué | John Ralph

Starch turnover: Pathways, regulation and role in growth

Many plants store part of their photosynthate as starch during the day and remobilise it to support metabolism and growth at night. Mutants unable to synthesize or degrade starch show strongly impaired growth except in long day conditions. In rapidly growing plants, starch turnover is regulated such that it is almost, but not completely, exhausted at dawn. There is increasing evidence that premature or incomplete exhaustion of starch turnover results in lower rates of plant growth. This review…

Volume 15, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 282-292
Mark Stitt | Samuel C. Zeeman

New genes in the strigolactone-related shoot branching pathway

Shoot branching is controlled by the formation and subsequent outgrowth of axillary buds in the axils of leaves. Axillary buds are indeterminate structures that can be arrested and await endogenous or environmental cues for outgrowth. A major breakthrough in this area of plant development has been the discovery that a specific group of terpenoid lactones, named strigolactones, can directly or indirectly, inhibit axillary bud outgrowth. Since that discovery, new branching mutants have been…

Volume 13, Issue 1, 01 February 2010, Pp 34-39
Christine Anne Beveridge | Junko Kyozuka

Sucrose transporters of higher plants

Recentadvances have providednewinsights intohowsucrose is moved from sites of synthesis to sites of utilisation or storage in sink organs. Sucrose transporters play a central role, as they orchestrate sucrose allocation both intracellularly and at the whole plant level. Sucrose produced in mesophyll cells of leaves may be effluxed into the apoplasm of mesophyll or phloem parenchyma cells by a mechanism that remains elusive, but experimentally consistent with facilitated transport or…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 288-298
Christina Kühn | C. P L Grof

Nitrate signaling: Adaptation to fluctuating environments

Nitrate (NO 3 -) is a key nutrient as well as a signaling molecule that impacts both metabolism and development of plants. Understanding the complexity of the regulatory networks that control nitrate uptake, metabolism, and associated responses has the potential to provide solutions that address the major issues of nitrate pollution and toxicity that threaten agricultural and ecological sustainability and human health. Recently, major advances have been made in cataloguing the nitrate…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 266-273
Gabriel Krouk | Nigel M. Crawford | Gloria M. Coruzzi | Yi Fang Tsay

More than taking the heat: Crops and global change

Grain production per unit of land will need to more than double over this century to address rising population and demand. This at a time when the procedures that have delivered increased yields over the past 50 years may have reached their ceiling for some of the world's most important crops. Rising global temperature and more frequent droughts will act to drive down yields. The projected rise in atmospheric [CO2] by mid-century could in theory increase crop photosynthesis by over 30%, but…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 241-248
Stephen P. Long | Donald R. Ort

RNA-directed DNA methylation

DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism for silencing transposons and other repetitive elements, and for stable repression of specific transgenes and endogenous genes. Plants can utilize small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to guide de novo DNA methyltransferases for the establishment of sequence-specific DNA methylation. Genetic and biochemical approaches have identified many components involved in RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). These components function in one or more of the…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 142-147
Huiming Zhang | Jian Kang Zhu

Dissection and modelling of abiotic stress tolerance in plants

Plants have acquired a variety of whole-plant protection mechanisms in response to abiotic stresses, often at the expenses of performance. Hence, a given trait can have positive, negative or no effect depending on the stress scenario. A new approach has emerged that dissects yield and integrative traits that influence stress tolerance into heritable traits (e.g. sensitivity parameters or architectural traits) by using phenotyping platforms with model-assisted methods. The genetic and…

Volume 13, Issue 2, 01 April 2010, Pp 206-212
François Tardieu | Roberto Tuberosa

Arabidopsis circadian clock and photoperiodism: time to think about location

Plants possess a circadian clock that enables them to coordinate internal biological events with external daily changes. Recent studies in Arabidopsis revealed that tissue-specific clock components exist and that the clock network architecture also varies within different organs. These findings indicate that the makeup of circadian clock(s) within a plant is quite variable. Plants utilize the circadian clock to measure day-length changes for regulating seasonal responses, such as flowering. To…

Volume 13, Issue 1, 01 February 2010, Pp 83-89
Takato Imaizumi

Regulation of flowering in rice: Two florigen genes, a complex gene network, and natural variation

Photoperiodic control of flowering time consists of a complicated network that converges into the generation of a mobile flowering signal called florigen. Recent advances identifying the protein FT/Hd3a as the molecular nature responsible for florigen activity have focused current research on florigen genes as the important output of this complex signaling network. Rice is a model system for short-day plants and recent progress in elucidating the flowering network from rice and Arabidopsis, a…

Volume 14, Issue 1, 01 February 2011, Pp 45-52
Hiroyuki Tsuji | Ken Ichiro Taoka | Ko Shimamoto

Plant cell wall polymers as precursors for biofuels

The conversion of plant biomass into liquid transportation fuels is a complex process that could be simplified by altering the ratios of the cell wall polymers that constitute the main biomass components. The composition of biomass varies naturally depending upon plant species and cell type, including some highly specialized walls that consist mainly of a single component. Progress is being made in understanding the molecular basis of these natural variations in wall composition. This new…

Volume 13, Issue 3, 01 June 2010, Pp 305-312
Markus Pauly | Kenneth Keegstra

The molecular basis of cytokinin function

Cytokinins are a class of phytohormones that regulate a wide variety of physiological and developmental processes such as shoot and root growth. Cytokinin signaling relies on a phosphorelay mechanism similar to the prokaryotic two-component system. Although the principal components mediating this cascade have been identified, only recently have we begun to understand the molecular basis of cytokinin action. For example cytokinins control cell differentiation rate during root meristem…

Volume 13, Issue 1, 01 February 2010, Pp 21-26
Serena Perilli | Laila Moubayidin | Sabrina Sabatini