AJB and APPS Special Issue on Pollen

“Pollen as the Link Between Phenotype and Fitness”

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for two upcoming companion special issues on pollen transfer and its consequences for plant and pollinator fitness to be published in the Botanical Society of America’s journals, the American Journal of Botany (AJB) and Applications in Plant Sciences (APPS). This effort is being organized by guest editors Agnes Dellinger (University of Vienna, Austria), Vini de Brito (Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil), Nathan Muchhala (University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA), Oystein Opedal (Lund University, Sweden), and Rocio Perez-Barrales (University of Granada, Spain).

Pollination is the movement of pollen grains from anthers to stigmas, placing pollen at the center of the evolution of plant reproductive strategies and floral evolution. The study of pollinator-mediated selection requires a mechanistic understanding of pollen removal and deposition as key performance traits linking floral phenotypes and reproductive success. Pollen often presents traits that attract pollinators, including fragrance or color. Pollen is also involved in other mechanisms important for the success of pollination and pollen performance, for example, through the competition of pollen tubes for stylar space or resources to reach ovules. However, the vast majority of pollen grains are lost while they are transported from anthers to stigmas or are actively collected and consumed by pollinators, potentially creating trade-offs for plants associated with pollen loss. Pollen is hence essential in the phenotypic evolution and reproductive success of both flowering plants and pollen-feeding pollinators. Recent advances in pollen-tracking techniques and analytical approaches have now paved the way for exciting new research avenues on pollen transfer and its consequences for plant and pollinator fitness. With the advances in individual pollen tracking methods (i.e., quantum dots) and statistical modelling of the links between floral phenotype, pollinator performance, and fitness, these special issues will provide a significant update on the current knowledge and identify future research directions.

In the AJB special issue, we will gather recent advances from case studies and syntheses focused on the many roles of pollen in linking phenotype and fitness. For APPS, the goal is to highlight newly developed, innovative tools and protocols used in the study of pollen transfer. Together, these special issues will present a collection of novel scientific contributions in different fields involving pollen and its functional role in plant reproduction and plant-pollinator interactions.

How to submit: Authors interested in contributing to these special issues should email a proposal that includes a tentative title, tentative author list, preferred journal (AJB or APPS), and a 200–300-word abstract to Amy McPherson at ajb@botany.org. The deadline for proposal submission is January 31, 2022. Proposals will be reviewed by the Editors-in-Chief and Guest Editors; authors will be notified by February 28, 2022, as to whether their proposal was accepted. Proposal submissions from early-career researchers are particularly encouraged.

Authors whose proposals are accepted should submit their manuscript by September 30, 2022. Note that acceptance of a proposal does not guarantee the eventual acceptance of the manuscript, as all manuscripts will be rigorously peer-reviewed and held to the standards of the journals. The target date for publication of the special issues is early 2023, although accepted manuscripts will be posted online in advance of the issue.

AJB is a hybrid journal, with an option for Open Access. APPS is a fully Open Access journal; reduced article publication charges (at the BSA member rate) are available for papers accepted for publication in the special issue. See the Author Guidelines for details on journal scope, article types, and manuscript preparation: AJB and APPS.

Questions? Contact the managing editor, Amy McPherson, at ajb@botany.org.