12. May 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: Hydrogen sulphide - an emerging regulator of plant defence signalling

[Translate to Englisch:] Hydrogen sulfide enhances plant immunity against invading pathogens.

A growing body of evidence indicates potential role of H2S in plant defence, particularly against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Recent studies suggested that the gaseous signalling molecule participates in plant defence potentially by

  1. regulating glutathione metabolism,
  2. inducing expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) and other defence-related genes,
  3. modulating enzyme activity through post-translational modifications, and
  4. interacting with phytohormones such as jasmonic acid, ethylene and auxin.

The authors Choudhary, Singh, Khatri, and Gupta discuss the biosynthesis, metabolism and interaction of H2S with phytohormones, and highlight evidence gathered so far to support the emerging roles of H2S in plant defence against invading pathogens.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology DOI: 10.1111/plb.13376.

(DBG's members are able to access all Plant Biology papers via our intranet).

11. May 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: How H2S mitigates adverse effects of abiotic stress

[Translate to Englisch:] Application of exogenous hydrogen sulfide induces changes, at the biochemical and molecular level, that mitigate the detrimental effects of diverse abiotic stressors.

Since signalling molecules like hydrogen sulfide (H2S) play a crucial role in mitigating the adverse effects of environmental stresses in plants it is important to understand the several physiological and biochemical mechanisms. The authors review recent advances in understanding the beneficial roles of H2S in conferring multiple abiotic stress tolerance in plants. And discuss the interaction and crosstalk between H2S and other signal molecules and highlight some genetic engineering-based current and future directions.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology DOI: 10.1111/plb.13368

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10. May 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: How H2S and NO crosstalk during waterlogging stress in legume crops

[Translate to Englisch:] Hydrogen sulfide and Nitric oxide modulate the key traits, which are responsible for waterlogging tolerance in legumes

In their review the authors Tyagi, Sharma, Ali, and Gaikwad summarize the crosstalk of the important plant signalling molecules hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and nitric oxide (NO) during waterlogging stress in legumes, which are emitted from plants and soil microbes and that are known to regulate key physiological pathways. They provide an overall summary on H2S and NO, including biosynthesis, biological importance, crosstalk, transporter regulation as well as understanding their role during waterlogging using ‘multi-omics’ approach.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology DOI: 10.1111/plb.13319

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28. Mar 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

Seed biologists beware: Estimates of initial viability based on ungerminated seeds at the end of an experiment may be error-prone

It is recommended to determine initial seed viability at the start of the experiment, since prolonged duration of ungerminated seeds in germination treatments can lead to loss of viability.

In his viewpoint paper Author Lamont asks for caution against the routine use of end-of-trial germination and viability of ungerminated seeds as an estimate of initial viability in determining germination success of various treatments. He analyses Leucadendron species and in his paper also explores ways to deal with the problem and to preference estimates of initial viability to be undertaken on a separate sample of seeds concurrently with the experiment as this avoids the risk of seed death during the trial.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology (2022) DOI: 10.1111/plb.13407

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25. Mar 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: Expression and roles of GRAS gene family in plant growth, signal transduction, biotic and abiotic stress resistance and symbiosis formation

[Translate to Englisch:] The GRAS gene family plays an important role in plant signaling, arbuscular mycorrhizal association as well as biotic and abiotic stress tolerance during various stage of plant growth and development.

In their review, the authors Khan, Xiong, Zhang, Liu, Yaseen und Hui highlight the diverse roles of GRAS in plant systems that could be useful in enhancing crop productivity through genetic modification, especially of crops. It is the first review to report the role and function of the GRAS gene family in plant systems.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology (2021) DOI: 10.1111/plb.13364

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24. Mar 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

Does plant leaf flammability converge with increasing radiant heat flux in Australian fire-prone woodlands?

Leaf flammability patterns are significantly affected by increasing radiant heat flux, with important implications for integrating leaf flammability into wildfire models.

From their findings the authors Krix, Murray and Murray conclude that leaf flammability is significantly affected by increasing radiant heat flux. In their paper “Increasing radiant heat flux affects leaf flammability patterns in plant species of eastern Australian fire-prone woodlands” they suggest that of the flammability attributes assessed, flame duration is the most informative to include in wildfire models which explicitly consider species’ flammability, given that differences among species in flame duration are maintained across a radiant heat flux gradient.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology 24 (2022) 302–312. DOI: 10.1111/plb.13381

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20. Jan 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: Significance of miRNA in enhancement of flavonoid biosynthesis

[Translate to Englisch:] miRNAs regulate flavonoid biosynthesis by acting on structural genes in the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway or by indirectly acting transcription complex to effecting structural genes.

In their review Yang, Han, Li, Ye, and Xu summarize the biosynthesis and mechanisms of miRNA, and provides a summary of the mechanisms of miRNAs involved in production of flavonoids, in order to elucidate the biosynthesis pathway and complex regulatory network of plant flavonoids. They aim to provide new insights into improving the content of flavonoid active ingredients in plants.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology (2021). DOI: 10.1111/plb.13361

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18. Jan 2022 · Plant Biology · DBG

How seedling's shoot:root ratio, moiture gradient and species niche are associated

[Translate to Englisch:] The seedling shoot:root ratio has a general adaptive role of in relation to the species niche position on the soil moisture gradient in temperate grassland species.

In their research paper "Shoot:root ratio of seedlings is associated with species niche on soil moisture gradient", Mašková, Maternová, Tĕšitel explore evolutionary adaptations determining plant early growth strategies in 15 herbaceous genera of temperate grasslands differing in their requirements for soil water availability. Linear mixed-effect models identified the length-based shoot:root ratio of seedlings was positively associated with soil moisture requirements in a congeneric species comparison. Nitrogen and phosphorus seed concentrations had an additional negative effect on the shoot:root ratio. Neither of these trends was found for the mass-based shoot:root ratio.
They thus demonstrated for the first time that there might be a general adaptation modifying the seedling shoot:root ratio according to the species niche position on the soil moisture gradient in temperate grassland species across a broad range of angiosperm phylogeny. This adaptation seems to be affected by seed mineral nutrient reserves and may
operate in parallel to the well-known phenotypic plasticity.

Read whole paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology (2021). DOI: 10.1111/plb.13352.

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01. Dec 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: Genome-wide identification studies – A primer to explore new genes in plant species

[Translate to Englisch:] Genome-wide studies provide an initial framework to identify gene families in plant genomes and further characterize their gene structures, evolutionary relationships, protein interactions, gene expression patterns in various tissues and predict putative gene functions using various computational tools.

Genome data have accumulated rapidly in recent years, doubling roughly after every 6 months due to the influx of next-generation sequencing technologies. A plethora of plant genomes are available in comprehensive public databases. This easy access to data provides an opportunity to explore genome datasets and recruit new genes in various plant species not possible a decade ago. In the past few years, many gene families have been published using these public datasets. These genome-wide studies identify and characterize gene members, gene structures, evolutionary relationships, expression patterns, protein interactions and gene ontologies, and predict putative gene functions using various computational tools. Such studies provide meaningful information and an initial framework for further functional elucidation. The review by I. Safder, G. Shao, Z. Sheng, P. Hu, and S. Tang provides a concise layout of approaches used in these gene family studies and demonstrates an outline for employing various plant genome datasets in future studies.

Read whole review in our scientific journal Plant Biology Early View. DOI:

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30. Nov 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: Biotechnology of virus eradication and plant vaccination in phytobiome context

For successful control of viral diseases of grapes, the focus of research should shift from the complete eradication of viruses to a detailed study of the RNA pool of naturally occurring grape viruses, the efficient in vitro vaccination systems and possible tools to protect beneficial phytobiome from obliteration.

A plant’s associated biota plays an integral role in its metabolism, nutrient uptake, stress tolerance, pathogen resistance and other physiological processes. Although a virome is an integral part of the phytobiome, a major contradiction exists between the holobiont approach and the practical need to eradicate pathogens from agricultural crops. In their review, V. Oberemok, K. Laikova, I. Golovkin, L. Kryukov and R. Kamenetsky-Goldstein discuss grapevine virus control. But the issue is also relevant for numerous other crops, including potato, cassava, citrus, cacao and other species. Grapevine diseases, especially viral infections, cause main crop losses. Methods have been developed to eliminate viruses and other microorganisms from plant material, but elimination of viruses from plant material does not guarantee protection from future reinfection. Elimination of viral particles in plant material could create genetic drift, leading in turn to an increase in the occurrence of pathogenic strains of viruses. A possible solution may be a combination of virus elimination and plant propagation in tissue culture with in vitro vaccination. In this context, possible strategies to control viral infections include application of plant resistance inducers, cross protection and vaccination using siRNA, dsRNA and viral replicons during plant ‘cleaning’ and in vitro propagation. The experience and knowledge accumulated in human immunization can help plant scientists to develop and employ new methods of protection, leading to more sustainable and healthier crop production.

Read whole open access paper in our scientific journal Plant Biology - early view DOI:

29. Nov 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: Auxin in plant development - structure, signalling, regulation and response mechanisms

Auxin-integrating chemical and molecular processes are involved in plant growth and development, regulated by the synthesis and distribution of the phytohormon.

Auxins as plant hormones play a central role in controlling growth and development across different environmental conditions. In their review G. L. B. Gomes and K. C. Scortecci summarise recent advances in understanding the biosynthetic pathways, both dependent and independent of tryptophan, highlighting the intermediate indole compounds (indole-3-acetamide, indole-3-acetaldoxime, indole-3-pyruvic acid and tryptamine) and the key enzymes for auxin biosynthesis, such as YUCs and TAAs. In relation to the signalling cascade, it has been shown that auxins influence gene expression regulation by the connection between synthesis and distribution. Moreover, the molecular action of the auxin response factors and auxin/indole-3-acetic acid transcription factors with the F-box TIR1/AFB auxin receptors regulates gene expression. In addition they also demonstrate the importance of microRNAs in the auxin signalling pathway and their influence on plant plasticity to environmental fluctuations. Finally, this review describes the chemical and biological processes involving auxins in plants.

Read whole review in our scientific journal Plant Biology 23 (Nov. 2021): 894-904. DOI:

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28. Sep 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

Review: Drought and crop yield

Drought stress negatively affects crop plants by reduced transpiration and root architecture leading to dehydration and yield penalty.

The review summarizes the effects of drought stress on crop plants and relates the dehydration-dependent yield penalty to the harvested organ and tissue. The control of shoot transpiration and the reorganization of root architecture are of core importance for maintaining proper plant water relationships. Upon dehydration, the provision and partitioning of assimilates and the uptake and distribution of nutrients define remaining growth activity. Domestication of crops by selection for high yield under high input has restricted the genetic repertoire for achieving drought stress tolerance. Introgression of suitable alleles from wild relatives into commercial cultivars might improve the ability to grow with less water. As the authors KJ Dietz, C Zörb, and CM. Geilfus,conclude, future research activities should focus more on field studies in order to generate more realistic improvements to crops. Robotic field phenotyping should be integrated into genetic mapping for the identification of relevant traits.

Read whole paper open access in our scientific journal Plant Biology - early view DOI: 

24. Sep 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

How vegetation, native and non-native bees are linked to vine production

Pollination is provided by biodiversity and maintains global food production. When we look to vineyards surrounded by intermediate native vegetation, we can observe a balance between the resource availability from vineyards and native vegetation.

There are positive relationships between vineyard production and native vegetation in the landscape. The native fragments inserted within landscapes with more native vegetation area exhibited better parameters of vine production and quality. Apis and non-Apis (such as flies and small bees) floral visitors, known to have different effects on vine pollination, could hypothetically provide variation in vine production and quality. Considering a near 20% native vegetation increment, there was an enhancement, on average, of ten-fold more berries per bunch, the changing physical and chemical fruit traits by vegetation increment could also increase the aggregate value of vines and the value of pollination services in the economy.

Read the whole paper "Different visitation frequencies of native and non-native bees to vines: how much vegetation is necessary to improve fruit production?"  in our scientific journal Plant Biology - early view DOI:

(DBG's members are able to access all Plant Biology papers via our intranet).

23. Jun 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

Factory of molecules

In Ballota acetabuolosa, peltates and long-stalked capitates are responsible for terpene production. γ-Muurolene, β-caryophyllene and (E)-nerolidol prevail in the foliar and floral volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles.

Within the Open Science project a multidisciplinary study analyzed Ballota acetabulosa (L.) Benth. at the Ghirardi Botanic Garden (Toscolano Maderno, BS, Italy). Micromorphological and histochemical investigations were performed on the secreting structures of the vegetative and reproductive organs under light, fuorescence and electronic microscopy. Concurrently spontaneously emitted volatiles from leaves and flowers were examined. Four trichome morphotypes were identified: peltate and short-stalked, mediumstalked and long-stalked capitate trichomes, each with a specific distribution pattern. The histochemical analysis was confirmed using ultrastructural observations, with the peltates and long-stalked capitates as the main sites responsible for terpene production. The head-space characterization revealed that sesquiterpene hydrocarbons dominated both in leaves and flowers, with c-muurolene, b-caryophyllene and (E)-nerolidol as the most abundant compounds. Moreover, a comparison with literature data concerning the ecological roles of the main compounds suggested their dominant roles in defence, both at the leaf and flower level.

Read whole paper "Micromorphological and phytochemical survey of Ballota acetabulosa (L.) Benth" in our scientific journal Plant Biology 23 (2021) 643–65. DOI:

05. May 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

Leaf level carbon and water fluxes under drought and nitrogen availability

Three abundant grassland plant species maintained leaf level carbon and water fluxes under strongly altered water and nitrogen availability (treatments). This was shown by Kübert, Kuester, Götz, Dubbert, Eiblmeier, Werner, Rothfuss and Dubbert from Freiburg, Berlin and Jülich in their recent paper "Combined experimental drought and nitrogen loading: the role of species-dependent leaf level control of carbon and water exchange in a temperate grassland", for which they had analysed data from a multifactorial field experiment.

in our scientific journal Plant Biology. DOI:

15. Mar 2021 · Plant Biology · DBG

How pink and white flower colours affect pollinators and florivory

Pink flowers of Silene littorea receive more visits of pollinators, whilst white flowers suffer more florivory, but autonomous autogamy helps to maintain colour variation.

Results researchers Buide, Del Valle, Prado‐Comesaña and Narbona from Spain show in their recent paper "The effects of pollination, herbivory and autonomous selfing on the maintenance of flower colour variation in Silene littorea" in our scientific journal Plant Biology. DOI:


About DBG's scientific journal

Plant Biology is an international journal of broad scope bringing together the different subdisciplines, such as physiology, molecular biology, cell biology, development, genetics, systematics, ecology, evolution, ecophysiology, plant-microbe interactions, and mycology. The Journal Plant Biology is published by the German Botanical Society and the Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands. Editors are Prof. Dr. Christiane Werner (Freiburg) and Prof. J.T.M. Elzenga (Groningen).

Papers, Reviews, Topics and Theses

In Plant Biology scientists publish original research papers or write reviews. Discussion of hot topics and provocative opinion articles are published under the heading "Acute Views". The papers are peer-reviewed by independent scientists. 

How to publish Open Access for free

Members of German academic institutions can publish plant science results in our journal Plant Biology open access for free (due to the DEAL-Agreement


3.081 (2020: source Journal Citation Reports, Clarivate Analytics: 72/235 Plant Sciences 2020)


Starting in January 2008 the journal will be published every second month by Wiley-Blackwell. The journal is the successor of the "Berichte der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft", published by the DBG from 1882-1987, followed by "Botanica Acta", published by the DBG from 1988 - 1998.

In the years 1999-2007 the journal was published in the Thieme publishing house. Since January 2008 the society's journal is published at Wiley-Blackwell.


Members of the DBG are able to access the journal freely via the Intranet

Volumes and issues are also accessible behind a paywall on the Publishers Website.

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