About this Research Topic
Over the past 20 years, a large body of evidence has emerged that the phloem is more than just a system for resource distribution in plants. The current data indicate that the phloem serves to unite the functions of the circulatory and nervous systems of animals. In addition to resources, the phloem distributes hormonal signals and a broad spectrum of protein- and RNA-based messages throughout the plant that regulate a variety of physiological and developmental processes. Besides chemical signalling, several modes of electrical signalling are propagated along the phloem. Signals and resources collectively coordinate development and growth of the plant and direct plant responses to changes in the biotic and abiotic environment. Moreover, phloem cells produce a vast arsenal of defence substances, but can also be exploited by pathogenic bacteria to suppress systemic host defence. Given its ubiquitous distribution in land plants, the phloem is the integrative tissue par excellence.
The experimental evidence for the diverse roles of the phloem has been generated in diverse sub-disciplines of plant biology including developmental biology, molecular biology, cell biology, plant physiology, and phytopathology. It is our intention to provide a platform for scientists involved in these varied aspects of phloem research to bring their results together recognising the fact that phloem-based functioning at a holistic level is more than the sum of its parts. Contributions are welcomed in the form of opinion papers, reviews, or research papers. They all will be subject to the usual rigorous review process established by Frontiers in Plant Science.
Research fields identified for coverage:
Phloem structure and cell biology
General phloem physiology
Membrane transporters in the phloem
Native (macro)molecular signalling
Phytopathogen-induced (macro)molecular signalling
Phloem-residing plant defence
Phloem interaction with viruses, phytoplasmas, aphids or other sucking insects, nematodes
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.