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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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

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

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

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

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

ABA-dependent and ABA-independent signaling in response to osmotic stress in plants

Plants have adaptive robustness to osmotic stresses such as drought and high salinity. Numerous genes functioning in stress response and tolerance are induced under osmotic conditions in diverse plants. Various signaling proteins, such as transcription factors, protein kinases and phosphatases, play signal transduction roles during plant adaptation to osmotic stress, with involvement ranging from stress signal perception to stress-responsive gene expression. Recent progress has been made in…

Volume 21, Issue , 01 January 2014, Pp 133-139
Takuya Yoshida | Junro Mogami | Kazuko Yamaguchi-Shinozaki

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

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

Sensing nutrient and energy status by SnRK1 and TOR kinases

The perception of nutrient and energy levels inside and outside the cell is crucial to adjust growth and metabolism to available resources. The signaling pathways centered on the conserved TOR and SnRK1/Snf1/AMPK kinases have crucial and numerous roles in nutrient and energy sensing and in translating this information into metabolic and developmental adaptations. In plants evidence is mounting that, like in other eukaryotes, these signaling pathways have pivotal and antagonistic roles in…

Volume 15, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 301-307
Christophe Robaglia | Martine Thomas | Christian Meyer

Biochemical pathways in seed oil synthesis

•Recent research has identified new intricacies in assembly of seed oils.•Oil synthesis involves multiple subcellular compartments requiring lipid trafficking.•Phosphatidylcholine is both a central intermediate and a carrier of acyl chains.•Different plants utilize alternative pathways to produce diverse oil structures.•Major questions and unknowns are highlighted for future oilseed research. Oil produced in plant seeds is utilized as a major source of calories for human nutrition, as…

Volume 16, Issue 3, 01 June 2013, Pp 358-364
Philip D. Bates | Sten Stymne | John Ohlrogge

Ethylene signaling: Simple ligand, complex regulation

The hormone ethylene plays numerous roles in plant development. In the last few years the model of ethylene signaling has evolved from an initially largely linear route to a much more complex pathway with multiple feedback loops. Identification of key transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory modules controlling expression and/or stability of the core pathway components revealed that ethylene perception and signaling are tightly regulated at multiple levels. This review describes the…

Volume 16, Issue 5, 01 October 2013, Pp 554-560
Catharina Merchante | Jose M. Alonso | Anna N. Stepanova

ROS signaling loops - production, perception, regulation

Reactive oxygen species are recognized as important signaling components in a wide range of processes in plants and most other organisms. Reactive oxygen species are produced in different subcellular compartments in response to specific stimuli and the production is under tight control in order to avoid detrimental side-effects. Calcium signaling, protein phosphorylation and other signaling pathways are intimately involved in the control and coordination of reactive oxygen production. Any…

Volume 16, Issue 5, 01 October 2013, Pp 575-582
Michael Wrzaczek | Mikael Brosché | Jaakko Kangasjärvi

Challenges and progress towards understanding the role of effectors in plant-fungal interactions

Both mutualistic and biotrophic pathogenic fungi rely on living host plants for growth and reproduction and must modify host cell structure and function for successful infection. The deployment of a diverse set of secreted virulence determinants referred to as 'effectors', many of which are directly delivered into the host cell, is postulated to be the key to host infection. This review provides a snapshot of the current progress in fungal effector biology. Recent genome sequencing of rust and…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 477-482
Maryam Rafiqi | Jeffrey G. Ellis | Victoria A. Ludowici | Adrienne R. Hardham | Peter N. Dodds

Post-translational regulation of WRKY transcription factors in plant immunity

Plants have evolved immune system to protect themselves against invading pathogens. Recent research has illustrated that signaling networks, after perception of diverse pathogen-derived signals, facilitate transcriptional reprogramming through mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. WRKY proteins, which comprise a large family of plant transcription factors, are key players in plant immune responses. WRKY transcription factors participate in the control of defense-related genes either…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 431-437
Nobuaki Ishihama | Hirofumi Yoshioka

Growth and development of the root apical meristem

A key question in plant developmental biology is how cell division and cell differentiation are balanced to modulate organ growth and shape organ size. In recent years, several advances have been made in understanding how this balance is achieved during root development. In the Arabidopsis root meristem, stem cells in the apical region of the meristem self-renew and produce daughter cells that differentiate in the distal meristem transition zone. Several factors have been implicated in…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 17-23
Serena Perilli | Riccardo Di Mambro | Sabrina Sabatini

The patterning of epidermal hairs in Arabidopsis-updated

Epidermal hairs of Arabidopsis thaliana emerge in regular spacing patterns providing excellent model systems for studies of biological pattern formation. A number of root-hair and leaf-trichome patterning mutants and tools for cell-specific and tissue-specific manipulation of patterning protein activities have been combined in cycles of experimentation and mathematical modelling. These approaches have provided insight into molecular mechanisms of epidermal patterning. During the last two years,…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 31-37
Markus Grebe

Rarely successful polyploids and their legacy in plant genomes

Polyploidy, or whole genome duplication, is recognized as an important feature of eukaryotic genome evolution. Among eukaryotes, polyploidy has probably had the largest evolutionary impact on vascular plants where many contemporary species are of recent polyploid origin. Genomic analyses have uncovered evidence of at least one round of polyploidy in the ancestry of most plants, fueling speculation that genome duplications lead to increases in net diversity. In spite of the frequency of ancient…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 140-146
Nils Arrigo | Michael S. Barker

Self/non-self discrimination in angiosperm self-incompatibility

Self-incompatibility (SI) in angiosperms prevents inbreeding and promotes outcrossing to generate genetic diversity. In many angiosperms, self/non-self recognition in SI is accomplished by male-specificity and female-specificity determinants (S-determinants), encoded at the S-locus. Recent studies using genetic, molecular biological and biochemical approaches have revealed that angiosperms utilize diverse self/non-self discrimination systems, which can be classified into two fundamentally…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 78-83
Megumi Iwano | Seiji Takayama

Ancient whole genome duplications, novelty and diversification: The WGD Radiation Lag-Time Model

Many large and economically important plant groups (e.g. Brassicaceae, Poaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Solanaceae) have had ancient whole genome duplications (WGDs) occurring near or at the time of their origins, suggesting that WGD contributed to the origin of novel key traits and drove species diversification. However, these large clades show phylogenetic asymmetries with a species-rich crown group and a species-poor sister clade, suggesting significant 'lag-times' between WGDs and…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 147-153
M. Eric Schranz | Setareh Mohammadin | Patrick P. Edger

Fractionation mutagenesis and similar consequences of mechanisms removing dispensable or less-expressed DNA in plants

Unlike in mammals, plants rapidly delete functionless, nonrepetitive DNA from their genomes. Following paleopolyploidies, duplicate genes are deleted by intrachromosomal recombination. This may explain how flowering plants have survived multiple whole genome duplications. Genes are disproportionately lost from one parental subgenome, the subgenome that is less expressed in the polyploid. The origin of this unbalanced expression between genomes remains unknown. The consequences of the tradeoffs…

Volume 15, Issue 2, 01 April 2012, Pp 131-139
Michael Freeling | Margaret R. Woodhouse | Shabarinath Subramaniam | Gina Turco | Damon Lisch | James C. Schnable

Comparison of phytohormone signaling mechanisms

Plant hormones are crucial signaling molecules that coordinate all aspects of plant growth, development and defense. A great deal of attention has been attracted from biologists to study the molecular mechanisms for perception and signal transduction of plant hormones during the last two decades. Tremendous progress has been made in identifying receptors and key signaling components of plant hormones. The holistic picture of hormone signaling pathways is extremely complicated, this review will…

Volume 15, Issue 1, 01 February 2012, Pp 84-91
Xiaoyi Shan | Jianbin Yan | Daoxin Xie

Photorespiration has a dual origin and manifold links to central metabolism

Photorespiration is a Janus-headed metabolic process: it makes oxygenic photosynthesis possible by scavenging its major toxic by-product, 2-phosphoglycolate, but also leads to high losses of freshly assimilated CO 2 from most land plants. Photorespiration has been often classified as a wasteful process but is now increasingly appreciated as a key ancillary component of photosynthesis and therefore the global carbon cycle. As such, the photorespiratory cycle is one of the major highways for the…

Volume 15, Issue 3, 01 June 2012, Pp 269-275
Hermann Bauwe | Martin Hagemann | Ramona Kern | Stefan Timm

The role of long non-coding RNA in transcriptional gene silencing

Transcriptional gene silencing controls the activity of transposable elements and expression of protein-coding genes. It requires non-coding transcription, which in plants is performed by RNA Polymerases IV and V (Pol IV and Pol V). Pol IV produces precursors for siRNA biogenesis while Pol V produces scaffold transcripts required for siRNAs and associated proteins to recognize their target loci. In this review I discuss the mechanisms used by Pol IV and Pol V to mediate repressive chromatin…

Volume 15, Issue 5, 01 November 2012, Pp 517-522
Andrzej T. Wierzbicki

Activation of calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK), the central regulator of plant root endosymbiosis

The key molecular event during the development of arbuscular mycorrhiza and the root nodule symbiosis is the activation of calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK). Its regulation is complex and involves positive as well as negative regulation facilitated by autophosphorylation of two conserved sites. Deregulated versions of CCaMK are sufficient for mediating both organogenesis and infection processes. Epistasis tests demonstrated that a main function of signaling components…

Volume 15, Issue 4, 01 August 2012, Pp 444-453
Sylvia Singh | Martin Parniske