New AoBP section, Molecular Function and Environment

The new section of the open-access non-profit journal AoBP will focus on molecular functioning of plants in their natural environment.

Molecular and bioinformatic techniques have advanced rapidly in the past couple of decades and have become fundamental to many aspects of plant biology. They are critical in helping us to understand plant evolutionary and ecological processes and have provided the means to improve crop productivity and sustainability. Yet, molecular studies often focus on plants grown under controlled conditions.

With this in mind, we would like to announce an important new AoBP subject section, Molecular Function & Environment. The new section will complement our existing six sections and provide an outlet for research that brings molecular and informatic techniques to questions in organismal, environmental, ecological, and evolutionary plant biology.

AoBP now has seven sections covering a broad diversity of plant science research areas.

The aim of the Molecular Function & Environment section emphasizes plants grown in field conditions, which may include either native or managed environments (e.g., agriculture or forestry). Particularly encouraged are submissions describing studies that provide insights into how changes in genotype, transcription, translation, post-transcriptional or translational modifications, protein-protein interactions or degradation, or metabolism, affect a plant’s physiological response and survival or productivity in their native environment. Submissions covering research into non-model species are also highly encouraged.

It is incredibly important that we understand the molecular functioning of plants growing under field conditions. The Molecular Function and Environment section of AoBP will provide an outlet for such research.

New Section Chief Editor Colleen Doherty is excited about running the new section as she has long seen the importance of studying molecular processes of intact plants in real world systems. Colleen states, “New technologies and reduced costs are allowing researchers to investigate plants’ molecular responses in realistic growth environments outside of growth chambers. These studies provide exciting new insights into how plants deal with the complicated natural environment and are relevant to understanding the impacts of climate change on crops, native and invasive plants.”

AoBP is a non-profit open-access journal that publishes outputs of rigorous research on all aspects of organismal, environmental, ecological and evolutionary plant biology. AoBP is welcoming submissions for the Molecular Function & Environment section now, and if you have any questions please contact Collen by email or contact her on Twitter, @ClockworkViridi.

Section editor highlight

Colleen Doherty grew up on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida. After careers at a zoo, in marketing, and as a veterinary technician, she completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University. She completed her postdoc at the University of California, San Diego studying the circadian clock. Colleen is currently an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry at North Carolina State University.    

Colleen is a plant biochemist who is fascinated by how plants integrate and process the multitude of complex signals from their environment. She seeks to understand how the new weather patterns caused by climate change, such as earlier springs and warmer nights, affect plant responses to their environment. In addition, Colleen is interested in developing new data analysis approaches that capture the complex temporal interactions between plants and their environment and exploring the potential of plants for novel biotechnological applications to fight the effects of climate change.

William Salter

William (Tam) Salter is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Institute of Agriculture at the University of Sydney. He has a bachelor degree in Ecological Science (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in plant ecophysiology from the University of Sydney. Tam is interested in the identification and elucidation of plant traits that could be useful for ecosystem resilience and future food security under global environmental change. He is also very interested in effective scientific communication.

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