Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors



Journal of Plant Biology is an international journal open to papers of merit dealing with basic research in plant biology. Each manuscript submitted to Journal of Plant Biology must be an original research report that has not been submitted elsewhere, other than as an abstract of an oral or poster presentation. Manuscript in one of the following categories will be considered for publication.

•Abiotic stress

•Biochemistry and Metabolism

•Biotic interactions


•Genes & Genomes

•Hormone biology

•Taxonomy and ecology

The Journal accepts the following categories of papers:

1. Research articles -- For publication in Journal of Plant Biology the manuscript must provide a significant new contribution to our understanding of plants. All areas of plant biology are welcome. No limit on the length, but a concise presentation is encouraged.

2. Review articles -- Invited by the EiC.

3. Brief Communications -- Concise but independent report representing significant contribution to plant science.


All benefits in any form from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of the manuscript or any of the authors must be acknowledged. For each source of funds, both the research funder and the grant number should be given. Unless acknowledged, it is considered that authors have no conflict of interest.


Authors are strongly encouraged to submit manuscripts electronically using the online system available at Although most of the widely used formats (e.g., JPEG) are acceptable, TIFF and EPS formats are preferred for figures. Authors are charged a handling fee of US $500 (up to six pages) per accepted manuscript and $70 for each additional page.

Authorship policy. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to (a) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation, of data; and to (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on (c) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions a, b, and c must all be met. Any part of an article critical to its main conclusions must be the responsibility of at least one author. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. (This statement is taken from the authorship policy adopted by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and published in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, 1994.)

Distribution of Materials. Publication of a paper in Journal of Plant Biology implies that the authors agree to distribute freely cell lines, transgenic plants and mutants, plant varieties, recombinant plasmids, vectors, viruses, and experimental protocols that were used.


Submit manuscript with elements arranged in the fol- lowing order, numbering all pages consecutively.

Page 1: Running head not to exceed 60 characters and spaces; name, address, and telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of author to whom all correspon- dence should be sent.

Title of article; all authors' full names (necessary for accurate indexing and abstracting); institution address(es).

Footnotes in the following order: present address(es) of authors if different from heading; corresponding author with fax number and e-mail address; abbreviations (unnumbered footnote).

Page 2: Abstracts cannot exceed 200 words. Upto six keywords or short phrases.

Page 3 and subsequent pages: Text (cite full binomials in Materials and Methods, cite references by author last name and year of publication), Acknowledgments Literature Cited.

Figure captions and legends (numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers), grouped, and double spaced.

Tables (numbered consecutively with roman numerals) together with concise titles and legends, one table per page, double spaced).

Original figures. (See section VI, Illustrations and Digital Art Submission.)


Style and format. Manuscripts should be written in sim- ple declarative sentences and must conform to accepted standards of English style and usage. Consult recent issues for style and placement of main headings, subheadings, and paragraph headings and for other details of format.

Nomenclature. In the abstract, at first mention in the text, and in “Materials and Methods”, include complete botanical names (genus, species, authority for the bino- mial, and, when appropriate, cultivar) for all experi- mental plants. Following first mentions, generic names should be abbreviated to the initial, except when con- fusion could arise by reference to genera with the same initial. Identify algae and microorganisms by a collec- tion number or that of a comparable listing.

Abbreviations. Do not abbreviate words or measures in the title other than those standard for international usage. Chemical symbols can be used in titles. Units of measure can be abbreviated in the abstract. In the remainder of the text and the running head, use, with- out definition, the abbreviations listed at the end of these instructions. Define all other abbreviations alpha-betically in a single, unnumbered footnote if the term is mentioned three or more times.

Units of measure. The metric system is standard, and SI units must be used as much as possible. Use negative exponents to indicate units in the denominator when three or more units are used.

Numbers and fractions. Write out numerals one through nine, except when used with units of measure. Write out all numbers or fractions that begin a sen-tence, or rephrase the sentence to avoid beginning with a numeral. Use the preposition “to” between numerals (do not use a hyphen): “13 to 22 min,” “3 to 10οC.” Exceptions: in tables, figures, graphs, legends, and within parentheses in the te xt, hyphens are used. Deci-mals are preferred over fractions; however, when sim-ple fractions are used, write them out as a hyphenated unit: “two-thirds.”

Statistical treatment. When appropriate, include statis- tical analysis. Define all statistical measures clearly. Identify the number of replications of experimental treatments and the number of times individual experi-ments were duplicated.

Ratios. In describing mixtures, use “to” if a ratio is stated in words: “the chloroform to methanol ratio ”; use a colon if numerical ratio is provided: “chloroform: methanol (2:1, v/v)”; use a hyphen if numerical value is not given: “used in chloroform-methanol. ”

Growth room conditions. For reports of experiments in which growth rooms were used to simulate the natural environment, growth room conditions must be described according to the guidelines in Scientific Style and Format, Council of Biology Editors, 1994, 6th Ed., pp. 434-436. Solutions. Describe solutions of common acids and bases in terms of normality (N), e.g. 1 N NaOH, and those of salts in terms of molarity(M). Express fractional concentrations by decimals: 0.1 N acetic acid (not N/10 acetic acid). Define % as (w/w), (w/v), or (v/v); 10% (w/ v) signifies 10 g/100 mL. Express concentrations as micrograms per gram (µg g-1) or micrograms per millili- ter (μg mL-1) rather than as parts per million (ppm).

Gases. To indicate volume of gases, use microliters per liter (μL L-1) or nanoliters per liter (nL L-1) rather than ppm or ppb.

Ions. Represent ions as follows: Na+, Mn3+, Br-, PO43-.

Isotopically labeled compounds. For simple molecules, indicate the labeling by writin g the chemical formulae, for example: 14CO2, H218O, 2H2O (or D2O), H235SO. For other molecules, place the isotopic symbol in square brackets attached to the name or the formula without a hypen or space: [14C]glucose, [32P]ATP, [22H]C2H2,sodium [14C]lactate. In the case of generic names, write the isotope without brackets and follow with a hyphen: 131I-albumin, 14C-amino acids, 1414C- photosynthate. Place letter and symbols indicating con- figuration and the like before the square bracket: D-[14C]glucose, L-[14C]alanine, α-[14C]naphthaleneacetic acid. Indicate the positions of isotopic labeling by arabic numerals, Greek letters, or prefixes placed in the square bracket and before the symbol of the element to which they are attached by hyphen: D-[3-14C]lactate, L-[2-14C]leucine, L-[2,3-14C]malate, [γ-3232P]ATP. Use the term U to indicate that the isotope is uniformly distributed among all six carbons: [U-14C]glucose.

Molecular weight and mass. Two equivalent expressions should be distinguished: “molecular weight” (Mr) is the ratio of the mass of a molecule to one-twelfth of the mass of carbon 12 and is, therefore, dimensionless. “Molecular mass” (the mass of one molecule of a sub- stance) is not a ratio and can be expressed in daltons (D). Say “the molecular mass of X is 20,000 daltons ” (20 kD) or “the molecular weight (Mr) is 20,000,” but do not express Mr in daltons. Expressions such as “the 20-kD peptide” and “the mass of a band on a gel is 240 kD” are acceptable for an entity that is not a definable molecule.

Trade names. Provide names and addresses of manu- facturers or suppliers of special material. Capitalize trade names. Avoid the use of trade names and code numbers of experimental chemical compounds used in research; rather, identify such compounds by common name (American Standards Association) if such a name exists, or by chemical name and structural formula.

Literature cited. Cite all references in text by last names and year of publication. Text citations should be arranged from the earliest to most recent year, alpha- betized by name within the same year. For entries in “Literature Cited,” alphabetize by authors' last names and follow the styles below exactly for capitalization, punctuation, and order of elements.

Journal articles

Author AB, Author CD (1995) Title of article. J Plant Biol 38: 15-22

Book articles

Author AB, Author CD, Author DF (1990) Title of arti- cle, In A Smith, B Jones, eds, Title of Book, Ed 2, Vol 3. Publisher, City, pp 14-19


Author AB (1995) Title of thesis. Ph.D. thesis.University, City

No authors or eds

Title of Booklet, Pamphlet, etc (1995) Publisher (or Company), City

Write out in full all one-word journal titles. Use the BIO-SIS List of Serials for abbreviations of multiple-word journal titles; write out in full the names of journals not listed there.

Articles that are “in press” may be so designated in “Literature Cited.” Note: An article may only be referred to as “in press” if it has been accepted for publication; cite the journal in which the article will appear.

Unpublished data, submitted articles, articles in prepa- ration, and personal communications are not accept- able as literature citations, so they must be referred to parenthetically in the text. Please include initials and last names of all authors. With regard to personal com- munications, verify the statement with the author of the information and obtain approval for its use and include a letter of permission with the manuscript.


General instructions. Present data either in tables or figures, not both. In addition to the enumerated guide- lines below, authors may find valuable information in Scientific Style and Format, Council of Biology Editors, 1994, 6th Ed.

1. Number tables consecutively with Roman numerals.

2. First mention of tables in the text must be in sequen- tial order; indicate first mention of each table in margin of text.

3. Provide each table with a short, concise title fol- lowed by a legend that will make the general mean- ing of the table comprehensible without reference to the text.

4. Provide a descriptive heading for each column.

5. Do not separate data within the body of the table with new column headings or data. Do not arrange tables in sections labeled as, e.g. A or B. Instead, create another table to express data unconnected to or separate from that already presented.

6. Use superscript lowercase letters to indicate foot- notes.

7. Place each table and its legend, double-spaced throughout, on a separate page and write the authors' names on the back of each page.

8. Submit complex or large tables as camera-ready figures. Do not use double spaces in camera-ready tables except where they are necessary for legibility.

Numerals. Check both tabular data and numerical val- ues reported in the text for the proper number of signif-icant figures. For decimals smaller than one, insert a zero before the decimal point: 0.349.

Powers. To avoid numbers with many digits, express such numbers as powers of 10. The unit may be changed by the use of prefixes such as “m” or “μ.” For example: enter “5” to express a g value of 0.005 under the heading g ×10-3 or a g value of 5000 under the heading g ×10-3, conversely, express a concentration of 0.0015 M as 1.5 under the heading “concn (mM),” as 1500 under the heading “concn (μM),” or as 15 under the heading “104 × concn (M).”


Guidelines for Hard Copy Art Submission

Create only as many figures as are necessary to accom- pany and clarify the research. Use the following guide- lines when preparing your figures.

1. Figures should be self-explanatory without much

reference to the text. It is preferable to mark the

treatments or variables on the figure itself with words

so that the reader can easily understand the expe - riment illustrated in the figure.

2. When submitting an article, include one set of original figures. “Original” means first- generation prints of photographs or laser prints of line draw- ings. Prints of digitized images must be identified as such. Each figure must be clearly marked on the back with authors' names, figure number, and an arrow to indicate the top of the figure. Also submit 3 sets of high-quality reproductions for the reviewers. “High quality” means photocopies of line drawings and actual photographs of gels and micrographs. Photocopies of photographs are unacceptable. Do not damage the figures when labeling.

3. Type size should not be less than 6 points (2 mm) after reduction.

4. Complicated formulas, flow diagrams, and path- ways should be submitted as figures.

5. Composite figures that have different parts (A, B, C, or plates of micrographs) should be grouped together and mounted on lightweight, flexible card- board. If a figure is a composite with several parts, they must be labeled as A, B, C, etc. and not as sep- arate figures grouped together.

6. Figures should be numbered with arabic numerals and must be mentioned sequentially in the text. Indicate first mention of each figure in the margin of the text.

7. Provide a caption and a brief explanatory legend for each figure. Captions and legends should be typed double-spaced on a separate manuscript sheet.

8. When possible, use the journal's accepted abbrevi- ations or those defined in the abbreviations foot- note. Define in the figure legend all other symbols or abbreviations used in the figure. As described above for tables, use powers of 10 with units of measurement.

9. Extend the abscissa and the ordinate only as far as the contents of the graph demand.

10. For two-dimensional gels (e.g. combined IEF and SDS separations), present photographs with the basic side to the right. Label the maximum and minimum pIs of the IEF gels at the top of the photograph. Label the positions of the Mr markers to the left of the photograph.

11. Attach a tissue overlay to photographs, especially electron micrographs, and indicate critically impor- tant areas of the photo.

12. Color photographs. Color printing requires that photographs be mounted on flexible backing. Jour- nal of Plant Biology will print color photographs when the costs are covered by the author. Please include a letter indicating your willingness to pay the charges.


Review. The monitoring editor usually recommends two reviewers for each manuscript. Authors are wel- comed to suggest appropriate reviewers in their field. Each reviewer evaluates the manuscript, suggests improvements, and recommends accepting or declin- ing the paper. If the reviewers disagree, the paper may be sent to a third reviewer, at the discretion of the mon- itoring editor.

The critiques by the reviewers and a decision letter (to accept without change, or to accept with revision) will be sent directly to the corresponding author by the monitoring editor. Editor-in-Chief will send a letter of decline. If the manuscript is accepted with revision, the corresponding author will return the revised manuscript, original artwork, and diskette to the monitoring editor. To avoid being considered as a new submission and, therefore, being reviewed a second time, a revised manuscript must be received within 60 days of the date of the decision letter. Papers that are excellent but nevertheless need extensive revision will, as a matter of policy, be declined. If a paper is declined, the resubmission must be sent to the JBP editorial office and will be reviewed as a new paper.

Proof. The printer will send to the corresponding author (a) original figures and printout of compare file, (b) two copies of the page proof, and (c) a reprint order form. The corresponding author will return (a) original figures and printout of compare file, (b) proofread and cor- rected original proof, and (c) the completed reprint order form.

Corrections to published articles. If necessary, correc- tions of significant errors in published articles will be published in a later issue of the journal. Within two months after publication, authors are requested to bring any errors to the attention of the managing editor.

English Language Editing

For editors and reviewers to accurately assess the work presented in your manuscript you need to ensure the English language is of sufficient quality to be understood. If you need help with writing in English you should consider:

  • Asking a colleague who is a native English speaker to review your manuscript for clarity.
  • Visiting the English language tutorial which covers the common mistakes when writing in English.
  • Using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts. Springer authors are entitled to a 10% discount on their first submission to either of these services, simply follow the links below.

English language tutorial

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in this journal and does not imply or guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted.

If your manuscript is accepted it will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style before publication.



● 请一位以英语为母语的同事审核您的稿件是否表意清晰。

● 查看一些有关英语写作中常见语言错误的教程。

● 使用专业语言编辑服务,编辑人员会对英语进行润色,以确保您的意思表达清晰,并识别需要您复核的问题。我们的附属机构 Nature Research Editing Service 和合作伙伴 American Journal Experts 即可提供此类服务。


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・プロの英文校正サービスを利用する。校正者が原稿の意味を明確にしたり、問題点を指摘し、英語の質を向上させます。Nature Research Editing Service とAmerican Journal Experts の2つは弊社と提携しているサービスです。Springer の著者は、いずれのサービスも初めて利用する際には10%の割引を受けることができます。以下のリンクを参照ください。


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General Rules for Abbreviations

Symbols and Abbreviations Commonly Used in

Journal of Plant Biology

In the text, use without definition the abbreviations in this list. Define other abbreviations alphabetically in an unnumbered footnote if the term is mentioned three or more times in the paper. Spell out words in title and abstract (except common chemical symbols such as ATP, RNA) and numerals that begin a sentence.

Abbreviations of Units of Measurement

Prefixes to the names of units

kilo (103) k

mega (106) M

giga (109) G

tera (1012) T

deci (10-1) d

centi (10-2) c

milli (10-3) m

micro (10-6) μ

nano (10-9) n

pico (10-12) p

femto (10-15)f

atto (10-18) a