Open any issue of Journal of Cell Science and you will see that it's actually already quite ‘green’ because publishing in colour is free and all our content is free to access after 6 months (green Open Access). On another level, Journal of Cell Science is not so green. Ok, we do publish the occasional plant paper, but definitely not as many as we should. This is a little odd considering that, ultimately, we are all dependent on plants for our survival. It should also not be forgotten that the term ‘cell’ was first coined by Robert Hook in the 1600s, when he was looking at cork in one of his early microscopes. Moreover, in addition to many of the usual cellular processes seen in other eukaryotes, there are actually a lot of unique and cool things in plants that would interest the cell biology readership of Journal of Cell Science. For example, consider a fundamental process, such as microtubule transport, which is responsible for the intracellular movement of a wide variety of cellular cargoes, including RNA and organelles, as well as cell division itself. Microtubule organization and transport is mediated by kinesin and dynein motors. In humans there are 45 kinesins and 14/15 dyneins, only two of which are responsible for cytoplasmic minus-end-directed microtubule transport. It may come as a surprise, then, that Arabidopsis and all flowering plants lack dynein motors. This immediately raises a question: how do plants undergo cell division, given that – even in yeast – dynein is essential for spindle formation and faithful chromosome division? Fortunately, plants have expanded the repertoire and function of their kinesin motors. Nevertheless, even in Arabidopsis, on which we have the most data, we still lack the complete cellular and functional understanding of all its 61 kinesin motors. This is just one example of many I could mention to illustrate that the plant kingdom is a ripe place for excellent and important cell biology research that we should be publishing in Journal of Cell Science.
At the start of the year, Federica Brandizzi (Michigan State University, MI) and Iris Meier (The Ohio State University, OH) joined our Editorial Advisory board to provide expert advice on plant papers to our Editors. Federica analyses how the ER and Golgi establish and maintain their morphological and functional integrity to facilitate growth and stress defense, both on earth and in extraterrestrial environments. Iris's research interests include mRNA export in plants, nuclear pore and nuclear envelope structure and function, nucleocytoplasmic trafficking, and the function of long coiled-coil proteins in plant nuclear and cellular organization.
We have decided to take things a step further, however, and appoint Jenny Russinova (Ghent University, Belgium) as the next Guest Editor on Journal of Cell Science. The Journal of Cell Science Guest Editor position was introduced in 2015 to give a group leader the opportunity to experience all the processes involved in taking papers from submission to publication. The Guest Editor not only brings in new perspectives each year, but also helps us to better cover emerging and neglected topics. Jenny follows Andrew Ewald (J. Cell Sci. 128, p. 2743), who has handled papers for a special issue in 3D cell biology that will be published in January 2017. Andy is also organising a Company of Biologists workshop with Peter Friedl and John Wallingford, entitled ‘Intercellular interactions in context: towards a mechanistic understanding of cells in organs’, for February 2017. Andy's experience in handling papers must have been a positive experience, as we were recently able to twist his arm to become a full-time Editor as well.
Jenny received her MSc from Sofia University, Bulgaria, and her PhD in Plant Biology from De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. She completed postdoctoral training in plant cell biology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. In 2006 she was recruited as a group leader at the Department of Plant Systems Biology at VIB-Ghent University, where she is also a research professor. Her work examining the brassinosteroid signalling pathway has provided key information on the subcellular localization and trafficking of the brassinosteroid receptor complex, and how downstream factors, such as GSK3-like kinases, crosstalk with other signalling pathways.
During her tenure with us, Jenny will be guest editing our special issue on plants, due to be published in early 2018. In addition to research content, the special issue will also contain reviews and poster articles, overseen by our newest in-house recruit, Features & Reviews Editor Manuel Breuer. Manuel comes to us from a post-doctoral position at the University of Edinburgh, where he was working on chromatin organization during meiosis. Jenny will also be speaking at the Journal of Cell Science ‘Cellular Dynamics: Membrane Cytoskeleton Interface’ meeting that is taking place in May 2017 in Southbridge, MA, and will be organising a plant-focused Company of Biologists Workshop for 2018. We look forward to working with Jenny and seeing more exciting plant cell biology published in Journal of Cell Science.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd