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Life Sciences - Plant Sciences | Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture – incl. option to publish open access

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Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

Journal of Plant Biotechnology

Editor-in-Chief: Sergio J. Ochatt

ISSN: 0167-6857 (print version)
ISSN: 1573-5044 (electronic version)

Journal no. 11240

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Call for Papers

Special Issue on Genome Editing and NPBTs


The advent of new plant technologies, with the conception, development and exploitation of the so-called New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs) has created a new era in molecular biology, and NPBTs have been used to manipulate gene function in an ever-increasing number of crop species. Genetic diversity is essential for plant improvement, and the possibility to modify specific genome sites is particularly relevant to alter predefined genomic loci of virtually any plant species. Indeed, gene editing allows the creation of new genetic variation far more rapidly than conventional breeding and without the need for introduction of foreign genetic material into the crop genome.
NPBTs are of particular interest for introgression of novel traits into elite backgrounds when sustainable breeding is constrained by diseases, poor seed-setting, vegetative propagation, polyploidy inheritance, high heterozygosity, cross-incompatibility and long life cycles, but also for crops where these are not a concern. Even if they are applied to plant breeding they are not specific to plants, and site-directed nucleases (SDN) or gene-editing techniques are also developed and exploited in animal breeding. Some of these approaches are not necessarily new, as could be argued for the fruits from non-GM scions grafted on top of GM rootstocks, negative segregants in reverse breeding, the exploitation of cisgenesis or transgenesis, etc.
This special issue will be devoted to research reports dealing with genome editing and NPBTs, including use of nucleases directed to specific genome sites such as SDN (site-directed nucleases), ZFN (Zinc Finger Nuclease), TALEN (Transcription activator-like effector nuclease), CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), ODM (Oligonucleotide Directed Mutagenesis), RTDS (Rapid Trait Development System), and RdDM (techniques exploiting epigenetic mechanisms such as RNA-dependent DNA methylation to increase or reduce the expression of a gene without modifying its nucleotidic sequence). One common feature of these approaches is the molecular targeting of the locations in the genome of the genetic modifications introduced, aimed at either of four main objectives: i) random insertion or deletion mutations (indels) or mutations targeting a reduced number of nucleotides within a particular genome site (SDN1), ii) allelic conversion where a part or the whole sequence of a given gene is modified (SDN2), iii) targeted integration of a DNA sequence and base-editing (SDN3), and IV) transcriptional regulation of targeted gene (SDN4).
Studies where off-target phenomena have been identified and efforts made to reduce their impact, studies on exploring molecular mechanism of DNA repair, developing / optimizing new genome editing technologies or evaluating these technologies's characteristics, e.g., precision, efficiencies and flexibility, will also be considered. Food security and other challenges have led to the development of these NPBTs, and their potential to produce crops with improved production and consumer traits is increasing due to growing regulatory and consumer acceptability. Thus, manuscripts dealing with such issues will be considered too. Finally, plant synthetic biology is an emerging field which seeks to design and construct new biological plant parts, devices, and systems to meet future food and energy security needs. Genome editing technology has great potential to control over DNA sequences for manipulation of host DNA and gene expression, which are critical in plant synthetic biology research. Manuscripts related to this topic will also be considered.
Efficient regeneration and transformation, although required for the application of genome editing technologies, will not fit within the scope of this special issue. Likewise, studies on conventional Cisgenesis/Intragenesis will only be considered when undertaken on the progeny of GM organisms where the genetic modification has been eliminated during segregation.
Authors are invited to submit their manuscripts for consideration by May 31st 2019 the latest. These will be assessed for soundness and fitness within the scope above by the co-editors: Drs. Degao Liu (Univ. Minnesota, USA), Goetz Hensel (IPK Gatersleben, Germany) and Sergio Ochatt (INRA Dijon, France). Publication of this Special Issue is envisaged in the last quarter of 2019.

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  • Aims and Scope

    Aims and Scope


    PCTOC: Journal of Plant Biotechnology publishes scientific articles covering novel discoveries, original articles, research notes, original methods, and mini-reviews. Papers must focus on timely research on plant biotechnology, should be written concisely and be of interest to a wide audience.

    We are interested in understanding and elucidating transcriptional and/or translational events involved in gene regulation as well as unraveling the genetic, molecular and physiological determinism of growth and differentiation of plant cells, tissues and organs cultured in vitro. Thus, articles dealing with a myriad of breakthrough technologies and discoveries in plant biology and biotechnology, including high-throughput analysis of gene function and expression, gene silencing and overexpression analyses, RNAi, siRNA, miRNA and CRISPR-Cas9 studies, among others are welcome. We are also interested in practical and applied plant biotechnology, and we encourage authors to contribute articles on new insights into the process of regeneration, including organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis, gene transfer, gene flow, secondary metabolites, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology (biodesign), genome editing, and impact of transgene(s) dissemination into managed and unmanaged plant systems.

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