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 26 leading titles in life sciences and adjacent fields.

Current Opinion in Plant Biology

5-Year Impact Factor: 7.843
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Effector proteins that modulate plant-insect interactions

Insect herbivores have highly diverse life cycles and feeding behaviors. They establish close interactions with their plant hosts and suppress plant defenses. Chewing herbivores evoke characteristic defense responses distinguishable from general mechanical damage. In addition, piercing-sucking hemipteran insects display typical feeding behavior that suggests active suppression of plant defense responses. Effectors that modulate plant defenses have been identified in the saliva of these insects.…

Volume 14, Issue 4, 01 August 2011, Pp 422-428
Saskia A. Hogenhout | Jorunn I B Bos

Genome instability and epigenetic modification-heritable responses to environmental stress?

As sessile organisms, plants need to continuously adjust their responses to external stimuli to cope with changing growth conditions. Since the seed dispersal range is often rather limited, exposure of progeny to the growth conditions of parents is very probable. The plasticity of plant phenotypes cannot be simply explained by genetic changes such as point mutations, deletions, insertions and gross chromosomal rearrangements. Since many environmental stresses persist for only one or several…

Volume 14, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 260-266
Alex Boyko | Igor Kovalchuk

Assembling and maintaining the Photosystem II complex in chloroplasts and cyanobacteria

Plants, algae and cyanobacteria grow because of their ability to use sunlight to extract electrons from water. This vital reaction is catalysed by the Photosystem II (PSII) complex, a large multi-subunit pigment-protein complex embedded in the thylakoid membrane. Recent results show that assembly of PSII occurs in a step-wise fashion in defined regions of the membrane system, involves conserved auxiliary factors and is closely coupled to chlorophyll biosynthesis. PSII is also repaired following…

Volume 15, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 245-251
Josef Komenda | Roman Sobotka | Peter J. Nixon

Oomycetes, effectors, and all that jazz

Plant pathogenic oomycetes secrete a diverse repertoire of effector proteins that modulate host innate immunity and enable parasitic infection. Understanding how effectors evolve, translocate and traffic inside host cells, and perturb host processes are major themes in the study of oomycete-plant interactions. The last year has seen important progress in the study of oomycete effectors with, notably, the elucidation of the 3D structures of five RXLR effectors, and novel insights into how…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 483-492
Tolga O. Bozkurt | Sebastian Schornack | Mark J. Banfield | Sophien Kamoun

Selected aspects of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and resetting in plants

Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (TEI), which is the inheritance of expression states and thus traits that are not determined by the DNA sequence, is often postulated but the molecular mechanisms involved are only rarely verified. This especially applies to the heritability of environmentally induced traits, which have gained interest over the last years. Here we will discuss selected examples of epigenetic inheritance in plants and artificially divide them according to the occurrence…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 195-203
Jerzy Paszkowski | Ueli Grossniklaus

Evolution of flexible non-photochemical quenching mechanisms that regulate light harvesting in oxygenic photosynthesis

All photosynthetic organisms need to regulate light harvesting for photoprotection. Three types of flexible non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) mechanisms have been characterized in oxygenic photosynthetic cyanobacteria, algae, and plants: OCP-, LHCSR-, and PSBS-dependent NPQ. OCP-dependent NPQ likely evolved first, to quench excess excitation in the phycobilisome (PB) antenna of cyanobacteria. During evolution of eukaryotic algae, PBs were lost in the green and secondary red plastid lineages,…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 307-314
Krishna K. Niyogi | Thuy B. Truong

Long-distance transport, vacuolar sequestration, tolerance, and transcriptional responses induced by cadmium and arsenic

Iron, zinc, copper and manganese are essential metals for cellular enzyme functions while cadmium, mercury and the metalloid arsenic lack any biological function. Both, essential metals, at high concentrations, and non-essential metals and metalloids are extremely reactive and toxic. Therefore, plants have acquired specialized mechanisms to sense, transport and maintain essential metals within physiological concentrations and to detoxify non-essential metals and metalloids. This review focuses…

Volume 14, Issue 5, 01 October 2011, Pp 554-562
David G. Mendoza-Cózatl | Timothy O. Jobe | Felix Hauser | Julian I. Schroeder

From lab to field, new approaches to phenotyping root system architecture

Plant root system architecture (RSA) is plastic and dynamic, allowing plants to respond to their environment in order to optimize acquisition of important soil resources. A number of RSA traits are known to be correlated with improved crop performance. There is increasing recognition that future gains in productivity, especially under low input conditions, can be achieved through optimization of RSA. However, realization of this goal has been hampered by low resolution and low throughput…

Volume 14, Issue 3, 01 June 2011, Pp 310-317
Jinming Zhu | Paul A. Ingram | Philip N. Benfey | Tedd Elich

How filamentous pathogens co-opt plants: The ins and outs of fungal effectors

Research on effectors secreted by pathogens during host attack has dominated the field of molecular plant-microbe interactions over recent years. Functional analysis of type III secreted effectors injected by pathogenic bacteria into host cells has significantly advanced the field and demonstrated that many function to suppress host defense. Fungal and oomycete effectors are delivered outside the host plasma membrane, and although research has lagged behind on bacterial effectors, we are…

Volume 14, Issue 4, 01 August 2011, Pp 400-406
Ronnie De Jonge | Melvin D. Bolton | Bart P H J Thomma

Plant endosomal trafficking pathways

Endosomes regulate both the recycling and degradation of plasma membrane (PM) proteins, thereby modulating many cellular responses triggered at the cell surface. Endosomes also play a role in the biosynthetic pathway by taking proteins to the vacuole and recycling vacuolar cargo receptors. In plants, the trans-Golgi network (TGN) acts as an early/recycling endosome whereas prevacuolar compartments/multivesicular bodies (MVBs) take PM proteins to the vacuole for degradation. Recent studies have…

Volume 14, Issue 6, 01 December 2011, Pp 666-673
Francisca C. Reyes | Rafael Buono | Marisa S. Otegui

Plant-bacterial pathogen interactions mediated by type III effectors

Effectors secreted by the bacterial type III system play a central role in the interaction between Gram-negative bacterial pathogens and their host plants. Recent advances in the effector studies have helped cementing several key concepts concerning bacterial pathogenesis, plant immunity, and plant-pathogen co-evolution. Type III effectors use a variety of biochemical mechanisms to target specific host proteins or DNA for pathogenesis. The identifications of their host targets led to the…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 469-476
Feng Feng | Jian Min Zhou

Solving the puzzles of cutin and suberin polymer biosynthesis

Cutin and suberin are insoluble lipid polymers that provide critical barrier functions to the cell wall of certain plant tissues, including the epidermis, endodermis and periderm. Genes that are specific to the biosynthesis of cutins and/or aliphatic suberins have been identified, mainly in Arabidopsis thaliana. They notably encode acyltransferases, oxidases and transporters, which may have either well-defined or more debatable biochemical functions. However, despite these advances, important…

Volume 15, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 329-337
Fred Beisson | Yonghua Li-Beisson | Mike Pollard

Natural epigenetic variation in plant species: A view from the field

Researchers are beginning to use wild plant populations to survey and assess cytosine methylation polymorphisms in a population and ecological genetic framework. These studies support the plausibility of adaptive epigenetic alleles, but uncertainty remains due to the difficulty in untangling genetic and epigenetic variation in wild populations. The increasing emphasis on stress-induced epigenetic alterations and transgenerational phenomena among researchers focused on epigenetic mechanisms…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 204-209
Eric J. Richards

How to build a pathogen detector: Structural basis of NB-LRR function

Many plant disease resistance (R) proteins belong to the family of nucleotide-binding-leucine rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins. NB-LRRs mediate recognition of pathogen-derived effector molecules and subsequently activate host defence. Their multi-domain structure allows these pathogen detectors to simultaneously act as sensor, switch and response factor. Structure-function analyses and the recent elucidation of the 3D structures of subdomains have provided new insight in how these different…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 375-384
Frank L W Takken | Aska Goverse

How nematodes manipulate plant development pathways for infection

Sedentary plant-parasitic nematodes establish long term relationships with their hosts. Root vascular cells are transformed into large multinucleate feeding cells from which the nematodes feed for more than one month. Recent transcriptome analyses suggest that feeding cells are different from other plant cell types. Their development, however, remains poorly understood, despite new evidence that appears to confirm previously proposed models, such as the important role of auxin. From the…

Volume 14, Issue 4, 01 August 2011, Pp 415-421
Godelieve Gheysen | Melissa G. Mitchum

Epigenetic modifications in plants: An evolutionary perspective

Plant genomes are modified by an array of epigenetic marks that help regulate plant growth and reproduction. Although plants share many epigenetic features with animals and fungi, some epigenetic marks are unique to plants. In different organisms, the same epigenetic mark can play different roles and/or similar functions can be carried out by different epigenetic marks. Furthermore, while the enzymatic systems responsible for generating or eliminating epigenetic marks are often conserved, there…

Volume 14, Issue 2, 01 April 2011, Pp 179-186
Suhua Feng | Steven E. Jacobsen