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: 9.825
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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Epigenetic regulation of stress responses in plants

Gene expression driven by developmental and stress cues often depends on nucleosome histone post-translational modifications and sometimes on DNA methylation. A number of studies have shown that these DNA and histone modifications play a key role in gene expression and plant development under stress. Most of these stress-induced modifications are reset to the basal level once the stress is relieved, while some of the modifications may be stable, that is, may be carried forward as 'stress…

Volume 12, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 133-139
Viswanathan Chinnusamy | Jiankang Zhu

MAPK cascade signalling networks in plant defence

The sensing of stress signals and their transduction into appropriate responses is crucial for the adaptation and survival of plants. Kinase cascades of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) class play a remarkably important role in plant signalling of a variety of abiotic and biotic stresses. MAPK cascade-mediated signalling is an essential step in the establishment of resistance to pathogens. Here, we describe the most recent insights into MAPK-mediated pathogen defence response…

Volume 12, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 421-426
Andrea Pitzschke | Adam Schikora | Heribert Hirt

Physiological functions of mineral micronutrients (Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Ni, Mo, B, Cl)

Micronutrients are involved in all metabolic and cellular functions. Plants differ in their need for micronutrients, and we will focus here only on those elements that are generally accepted as essential for all higher plants: boron (B), chloride (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn). Several of these elements are redox-active that makes them essential as catalytically active cofactors in enzymes, others have enzyme-activating functions, and…

Volume 12, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 259-266
Robert Hänsch | Ralf Rainer Mendel

Cytokinin action in plant development

Cytokinin regulates many important aspects of plant development in aerial and subterranean organs. The hormone is part of an intrinsic genetic network controlling organ development and growth in these two distinct environments that plants have to cope with. Cytokinin also mediates the responses to variable extrinsic factors, such as light conditions in the shoot and availability of nutrients and water in the root, and has a role in the response to biotic and abiotic stress. Together, these…

Volume 12, Issue 5, 01 October 2009, Pp 527-538
Tomáš Werner | Thomas Schmülling

Mechanisms to cope with arsenic or cadmium excess in plants

The metalloid arsenic and the heavy metal cadmium have no demonstrated biological function in plants. Both elements are highly toxic and of major concern with respect to their accumulation in soils, in the food-chain or in drinking water. Arsenate is taken up by phosphate transporters and rapidly reduced to arsenite, As(III). In reducing environments, As(III) is taken up by aquaporin nodulin 26-like intrinsic proteins. Cd2+ enters the root via essential metal uptake systems. As(III) and Cd2+…

Volume 12, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 364-372
Nathalie Verbruggen | Christian M. Hermans | Henk Schat

Early molecular events in PAMP-triggered immunity

In plant innate immunity, the first line of microbial recognition leading to active defence responses relies on the perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs). This recognition leads to PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). Despite the numerous PAMPs recognised by plants, only a handful of PRRs are characterised. For most, they correspond to transmembrane proteins with a ligand-binding ectodomain. PRRs interact with additional transmembrane…

Volume 12, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 414-420
Cyril Zipfel

Next is now: new technologies for sequencing of genomes, transcriptomes, and beyond

The sudden availability of DNA sequencing technologies that rapidly produce vast amounts of sequence information has triggered a paradigm shift in genomics, enabling massively parallel surveying of complex nucleic acid populations. The diversity of applications to which these technologies have already been applied demonstrates the immense range of cellular processes and properties that can now be studied at the single-base resolution. These include genome resequencing and polymorphism…

Volume 12, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 107-118
Ryan Lister | Brian D. Gregory | Joseph R R. Ecker

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 C M Smeekens | Jingkun Ma | Johannes M. Hanson | Filip Rolland

Regulation of flowering in temperate cereals

Long exposure to cold (vernalization) accelerates flowering in winter cereals, a process regulated by the VRN1 (≈AP1), VRN2, and VRN3 (≈FT) vernalization genes. Flowering during the fall is prevented by the VRN2 downregulation of VRN3 and low VRN1 transcription. Vernalization induces VRN1, which is followed by the downregulation of VRN2, thereby releasing VRN3. In the longer days of spring, photoperiod genes PPD1 and CO upregulate VRN3, which induces VRN1 above the threshold levels required for…

Volume 12, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 178-184
Assaf Distelfeld | Chengxia Li | Jorge Dubcovsky

Physiological functions of mineral macronutrients

Plants require calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and sulfur in relatively large amounts (>0.1% of dry mass) and each of these so-called macronutrients is essential for a plant to complete its life cycle. Normally, these minerals are taken up by plant roots from the soil solution in ionic form with the metals Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+ present as free cations, P and S as their oxyanions phosphate (PO4 3-) and sulfate (SO4 2-) and N as anionic nitrate (NO3 -) or cation ammonium (NH4 +).…

Volume 12, Issue 3, 01 June 2009, Pp 250-258
Frans JM M Maathuis

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

SNP identification in crop plants

In many plants, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are increasingly becoming the marker system of choice. However, for many crop plants there are surprisingly low numbers of validated SNP markers available although they are needed in large numbers for studies regarding genetic variation, linkage mapping, population structure analysis, association genetics, map-based gene isolation, and plant breeding. This review summarizes the current status of SNP marker development technologies for…

Volume 12, Issue 2, 01 April 2009, Pp 211-217
Martin W. Ganal | Thomas Altmann | Marion S. Röder

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.

Host-pathogen warfare at the plant cell wall

Plants have evolved sensory mechanisms to detect pathogen attack and trigger signalling pathways that induce rapid defence responses. These mechanisms include not only direct detection of pathogen-derived elicitors (e.g. pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and avirulence factors or effectors) but also indirect sensing of pathogens' impact on the host plant. Among the first plant barriers to pathogen ingress are the cell wall and the cuticle. For those pathogens that penetrate the…

Volume 12, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 406-413
Kian Hématy | Candice Cherk | Shauna C. Somerville

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 Castro Morales | Vladimir Shulaev | Miguel Ángel Guillén Torres | Ron Mittler

NO signals in the haze. Nitric oxide signalling in plant defence

Nitric oxide (NO) is gaining increasing attention as a regulator of diverse (patho-)physiological processes in plants. Although this molecule has been described as playing a role in numerous conditions, its production, turnover and mode of action are poorly understood. Recent studies on NO production have tended to highlight the questions that still remain unanswered rather than telling us more about NO metabolism. But regarding NO signalling and functions, new findings have given an impression…

Volume 12, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 451-458
Margit Leitner | Elodie Vandelle | Frank Gaupels | Diana Bellin | Massimo Delledonne

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

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
Jan 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

Protective perfumes: the role of vegetative volatiles in plant defense against herbivores

Herbivore damage to leaves and other vegetative tissues often stimulates the emission of volatile compounds, suggesting that these substances have a role in plant defense. In fact, ample evidence has accumulated in the last few years indicating that volatiles from vegetative plant parts can directly repel herbivores, such as ovipositing butterflies and host-seeking aphids. Volatiles have also been demonstrated to protect plants by attracting herbivore enemies, such as parasitic wasps, predatory…

Volume 12, Issue 4, 01 August 2009, Pp 479-485
Sybille B B Unsicker | Grit Kunert | Jonathan Gershenzon

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

'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

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

Flowering time regulation produces much fruit

Many of the molecular details regarding the promotion of flowering in response to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures (vernalization) and daylength have recently been elucidated in Arabidopsis. The daylength and vernalization pathway converge in the regulation of floral promoters referred to as floral integrators. In the meristem, vernalization promotes flowering through the epigenetic repression of the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C. This allows for the induction of floral integrators…

Volume 12, Issue 1, 01 February 2009, Pp 75-80
Scott D. Michaels

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