Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Editorial: Update on Functional Plant Biology

Functional Plant Biology 39(2) iii-iii
Published: 16 February 2012

Functional Plant Biology is finding its niche in the environmental biology arena and on cross-discipline studies that integrate across different levels of organisation from cells to whole plants to community. This is especially important in connecting molecular biology research to the function of genes in cells, tissues and whole organisms, and their regulatory mechanisms.

Special Issues arising from a conference provide a service for the scientific community, and Research Fronts (a smaller number of papers on a focussed issue) act to highlight specific areas and draw attention to papers published as a group.

The impact factor for Functional Plant Biology has increased significantly, and is now approaching 3. The papers published in the Evolution of Plant Function series, and the Special Issues on phenomics and salinity, are particularly well cited.

In 2011, two Research Fronts and a Special Issue were published:

  1. Root Systems for Dry Environments (Volume 38 Issue 5)

  2. Actinorhizal Plants (Volume 38 Issues 8 & 9)

  3. Beans in the Tropics (Volume 38 Issue 12)

Manuscript submissions are currently arriving for three Special Issues for 2012:

  1. Plant Phenotyping (Guest Editors: Hendrik Poorter and Roland Pieruschka)

  2. From Genome to Phenome in Cereals (Guest Editor: Rudi Appels)

  3. Crops for a Future Climate (Guest Editors: Ros Gleadow and Michael Tausz)

Later in the year we will publish papers from the COST meeting on The Biochemistry and Physiology of Halophytes to be held in Hannover, 29-31 August, and organised by Professor Tim Flowers.

PrometheusWiki ( continues to expand rapidly both in numbers of protocols and in rate of usage. The gas exchange protocol for the LI-COR 6400 is the most used item so far, and others involving digital phenotyping and microscopy are close behind. More protocols will be given the Gold Leaf standard after approval and acceptance by the scientific community. This is an innovative project that is rapidly gathering momentum. I recommend it as a service to new researchers and a repository for accumulated wisdom.

Dr Rana Munns


Functional Plant Biology

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