Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

Scope of the Journal

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.

Conflict of Interest

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.

How to Submit a Manuscript

Authors are strongly encouraged to submit manuscripts electronically using the online system available at

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.

Submission and Handling Fee

For all accepted manuscripts except invited articles, the submission and handling fee of US $700 will be charged to the corresponding author. If you opt to publish your article with open access, you will need to pay an article processing charge (APC) in addition to the submission and handling fee.

Organization of the Manuscript

Every submitted manuscript must be accompanied by a cover letter; this applies both to initial submissions and to revisions.

Please prepare your manuscript with all components arranged in the following order, and number 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 correspondence 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).

Figure files. Although most of the widely used formats (e.g., JPEG) are acceptable, TIFF and EPS formats are preferred for figures.

Specific Text Requirements

Style and format. Manuscripts should be written in simple 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 binomial, and, when appropriate, cultivar) for all experimental plants. Following first mentions, generic names should be abbreviated to the initial, except when confusion could arise by reference to genera with the same initial. Identify algae and microorganisms by a collection 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, without definition, the abbreviations listed at the end of these instructions. Define all other abbreviations alphabetically 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 sentence, 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 text, hyphens are used. Decimals are preferred over fractions; however, when simple fractions are used, write them out as a hyphenated unit: "two-thirds."

Statistical treatment. When appropriate, include statistical analysis. Define all statistical measures clearly. Identify the number of replications of experimental treatments and the number of times individual experiments 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 milliliter (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 writing 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 configuration 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, alphabetized 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 article, 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 communications, 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 sequential order; indicate first mention of each table in margin of text.

3. Provide each table with a short, concise title followed by a legend that will make the general meaning 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 footnotes.

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 values 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).”

Illustrations and Digital Art Submission

Create only as many figures as are necessary to accompany and clarify the research. Use the following guidelines 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 experiment illustrated in the figure.

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

3. Complicated formulas, flow diagrams, and pathways should be submitted as figures.

4. Composite figures that have different parts (A, B, C, or plates of micrographs) should be grouped together. If a figure is a composite with several parts, they must be labeled as A, B, C, etc. and not as separate figures grouped together.

5. 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.

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

7. When possible, use the journal's accepted abbreviations or those defined in the abbreviations footnote. 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.

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

9. 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.

Processing of the Manuscript

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

If the decision is to accept the manuscript without revision, or to accept it with revision, the monitoring editor will send the reviewers’ comments and a decision letter directly to the corresponding author. If the decision is to reject the manuscript, the Editor-in-Chief will send a corresponding decision letter. If the manuscript is accepted with revision, in the next step the corresponding author will upload the revised manuscript, along with a cover letter including responses to the reviewers' comments, to the online system. 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 rejected. If a paper is rejected, the resubmission must will be reviewed as a new paper.

After Acceptance

Upon acceptance of your article you will receive a link to the special Author Query Application at Springer’s web page where you can sign the Copyright Transfer Statement online and indicate whether you wish to order OpenChoice and offprints.

Once the Author Query Application has been completed, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

Copyright transfer

Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws.


Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

Color illustrations

Publication of color illustrations is free of charge.

Proof reading

The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.

After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

Online First

The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.

Open Choice

Open Choice allows you to publish open access in more than 1850 Springer Nature journals, making your research more visible and accessible immediately on publication.

Article processing charges (APCs) vary by journal – view the full list


  • Increased researcher engagement: Open Choice enables access by anyone with an internet connection, immediately on publication.
  • Higher visibility and impact: In Springer hybrid journals, OA articles are accessed 4 times more often on average, and cited 1.7 more times on average*.

  • Easy compliance with funder and institutional mandates: Many funders require open access publishing, and some take compliance into account when assessing future grant applications.

It is easy to find funding to support open access – please see our funding and support pages for more information.

*) Within the first three years of publication. Springer Nature hybrid journal OA impact analysis, 2018.

Open Choice

Funding and Support pages

Copyright and license term – CC BY

Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Find more about the license agreement

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。


Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts







・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。


Nature Research Editing Service

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영어 원고의 경우, 에디터 및 리뷰어들이 귀하의 원고에 실린 결과물을 정확하게 평가할 수 있도록, 그들이 충분히 이해할 수 있을 만한 수준으로 작성되어야 합니다. 만약 영작문과 관련하여 도움을 받기를 원하신다면 다음의 사항들을 고려하여 주십시오:

• 귀하의 원고의 표현을 명확히 해줄 영어 원어민 동료를 찾아서 리뷰를 의뢰합니다.

• 영어 튜토리얼 페이지에 방문하여 영어로 글을 쓸 때 자주하는 실수들을 확인합니다.

• 리뷰에 대비하여, 원고의 의미를 명확하게 해주고 리뷰에서 요구하는 문제점들을 식별해서 영문 수준을 향상시켜주는 전문 영문 교정 서비스를 이용합니다. Nature Research Editing Service와 American Journal Experts에서 저희와 협약을 통해 서비스를 제공하고 있습니다. Springer 저자들이 본 교정 서비스를 첫 논문 투고를 위해 사용하시는 경우 10%의 할인이 적용되며, 아래의 링크를 통하여 확인이 가능합니다.

영어 튜토리얼 페이지

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American Journal Experts

영문 교정 서비스는 게재를 위한 요구사항은 아니며, 해당 서비스의 이용이 피어 리뷰에 논문이 선택되거나 게재가 수락되는 것을 의미하거나 보장하지 않습니다.

원고가 수락될 경우, 출판 전 저희측 편집자에 의해 원고의 철자 및 문체를 검수하는 과정을 거치게 됩니다.

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