The Plant Cell Is Accepting Applications for Assistant Features Editors

The Plant Cell has several openings for new Assistant Features Editors (AFEs) in 2020. AFEs provide a valuable service to the journal, our authors, and the scientific community. In return, AFEs receive experience in writing and communicating scientific findings to a wide audience, as well as networking and learning about the workings of The Plant Cell editorial board. We are welcoming applications through Monday, November 18, 2019.

The Plant Cell AFEs contribute “In Brief” articles highlighting recent publications in the journal and other writing assignments, such as profiles of editorial board members, and have the opportunity to participate in editorial board discussions and receive peer review training.

AFEs are paid a small honorarium, and AFE profiles are posted on the editorial board page. AFE appointments are for one year and are renewable upon mutual agreement. Preference will be given to postdoctoral researchers with a proven track record of research excellence, writing skills, and a commitment to communicating science. To apply, please send your application materials to with “Plant Cell AFE Application” as the subject. Questions can be directed to Nan Eckardt ( Application materials must include

  • A cover letter explaining your experience and interest in the role and describing your areas of expertise.
  • Current CV.
  • Contact information for two professional referees.
  • A first-author paper that you were responsible for writing.
  • An In Brief writing sample. Please select an article from the following list and follow the guidelines below to prepare your sample:

Photoreceptor activity contributes to contrasting responses to shade in Cardamine and Arabidopsis seedlings

Intra-kernel reallocation of proteins in maize depends on VP1-mediated scutellum development and nutrient assimilation

Metabolically distinct pools of phosphatidylcholine are involved in trafficking of fatty acids out of and into the chloroplast for membrane production

Ribosome-associated chloroplast SRP54 enables efficient co-translational membrane insertion of key photosynthetic proteins

Genome-wide reinforcement of DNA methylation occurs during somatic embryogenesis in soybean

Transcriptome analyses of FY mutants reveal its role in mRNA alternative polyadenylation

Evolutionary metabolomics identifies substantial metabolic divergence between maize and its wild ancestor, Teosinte

Multiple gibberellin receptors contribute to phenotypic stability under changing environments

Interaction and regulation between lipid mediator phosphatidic acid and circadian clock regulators

The cotton apoplastic protein CRR1 stabilizes Chitinase 28 to facilitate defense against the fungal pathogen Verticillium dahlia

Arabidopsis endoplasmic reticulum-localized UBAC2 proteins interact with PAMP-INDUCED COILED-COIL to regulate pathogen-induced callose deposition and plant immunity

Companion papers (highlight together):

BRASSINOSTEROID-INSENSITIVE2 negatively regulates the stability of transcription factor ICE1 in response to cold stress in Arabidopsis

The transcription factor INDUCER OF CBF EXPRESSION1 interacts with ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE5 and DELLA proteins to fine-tune abscisic acid signaling during seed germination in Arabidopsis

In Brief Guidelines

In Brief articles are intended to provide readers with a brief summary of the main findings of a recent research article, along with relevant and interesting background information and a brief commentary on why the findings are important. Articles should be aimed at the general audience of The Plant Cell; that is, they should be written in an engaging style that will be understandable by graduate students or upper-level undergraduates majoring in science and also appealing and interesting to experts in the field. The text is limited to approximately 600 words and a maximum of five references (including the highlighted paper).

The In Brief should be accompanied by a relatively simple figure that illustrates a key point and will be amenable to a brief legend (legends are limited to approximately 40 words). The figure might be an image from the research paper, possibly one or a few panels of a multi-panel figure, or another idea of something that is not in the paper, such as a picture of the plant or organism(s) under investigation or a simple diagram that explains a concept. (You don’t need to assemble a high-resolution figure; you might use the snipping tool and cut and paste into a PowerPoint or Word document or simply provide a suggestion and potential brief figure legend below the text.)

You may wish to read examples of published In Brief articles to familiarize yourself with the style and format. Good examples can be found in any recent issue of the journal, e.g.