Special Issue "Emerging Principles of Tree Biology in the Omics Era"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecophysiology and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. John E. Carlson
Guest Editor
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Interests: genomics; gene expression; population genetics; endangered species
Prof. Dr. Albert G. Abbott
Guest Editor
Forest Health Research and Education Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 0546, USA
Interests: molecular biology; molecular genetics; plant growth and development; genomics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Kimberly Bohn
Guest Editor
Forest Technology Program, Pennsylvania State University, Mont Alto, PA 17237, USA
Interests: silviculture; forest health; sustainability; invasive plants ecology and management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest trees are essential components of ecosystems, storing most of the world’s sequestered carbon, providing ecosystem services such as water purification and oxygen production, serving as keystone species that anchor complex multitrophic communities, and supporting local economies with renewable biomaterials. These attributes derive in large part from the life history strategy of trees as long-lived, woody, perennial plants, with the ability to adapt acutely and chronically to ever-changing environmental conditions. Major advances in the understanding of the unique, foundational processes of tree biology can be fostered by integrated, cross-disciplinary collaborations of geneticists, ecologists, physiologists, pathologists, entomologists, silviculturists, and data modelers. Such integrated research can leverage powerful tools from genomics, phenomics, metabolomics, microscopy, remote sensing, and data science. 

An important first step will be defining which key principles of tree biology to address. This Special Issue of Forests will feature reviews and opinion papers on “Emerging Principles of Tree Biology” based on contributed and invited presentations of a workshop hosted by the Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics at Penn State University. Articles may include such topics as: Interactions at the rhizosphere microbiome, tree-pest, and tree-to-tree defense interfaces; Tree architecture and its role in abiotic and biotic stress resistance; The evolution of reproductive life history traits in trees and their implications for adaptation to rapid climate change; Landscape genetics for understanding the impacts of silvicultural management practices in sustaining the ecology of forests; The role of wood-based biomaterials in achieving renewable carbon-neutral industries; and others.

Prof. Dr. John E. Carlson
Prof. Dr. Albert G. Abbott
Dr. Kimberly Bohn
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • tree biology advances
  • woody perennials
  • integrated research
  • emerging principles

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Leaves at Different Ages in Allotriploid Populus
Forests 2020, 11(11), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111154 - 30 Oct 2020
Triploid poplar trees have been shown to have a number of growth advantages, especially much bigger leaves that contribute greatly to the increased biomass. In this study, we focused on the relationships between leaf age and leaf metabolism in triploids. We performed comparative [...] Read more.
Triploid poplar trees have been shown to have a number of growth advantages, especially much bigger leaves that contribute greatly to the increased biomass. In this study, we focused on the relationships between leaf age and leaf metabolism in triploids. We performed comparative proteomic analysis of the 5th (FDR5), 10th (FDR10), and 25th (FDR25) leaves from the apical meristems in allotriploids originated from first-division restitution (FDR). A total of 1970, 1916, and 1850 proteins were identified in the FDR5, FDR10, and FDR25, respectively. Principle component analysis (PCA) and differentially accumulated protein (DAP) analysis showed that FDR10 and FDR25 displayed higher similarities of protein accumulation patterns as compared to FDR5. MapMan enrichment analysis showed that several primary metabolic pathways or processes were significantly enriched in the DAPs. For example, photosynthesis, major CHO metabolism, glycolysis, N metabolism, redox, C1-metabolism, DNA, and protein turnover were significantly altered in both FDR10 and FDR25 compared with FDR5. In addition, amino acid metabolism and gluconeogenesis/glyoxylate cycle also underwent significant changes in FDR25 compared with FDR5. However, only amino acid metabolism was significantly enriched in the DAPs between FDR25 and FDR10. Further, DAP accumulation pattern analysis implied that FDR5, FDR10, and FDR25 were placed in the young, mature, and primary senescence stages of leaves. The most DAPs involved in the light reaction, photorespiration, Calvin cycle, starch and sucrose metabolism, pentose phosphate pathway (OPP), tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, N metabolism, and C1-metabolism displayed higher accumulation in both FDR10 and FDR25 compared to FDR5. However, the most DAPs that are involved in cell wall and lipid metabolism, tetrapyrrole synthesis, nucleotide metabolism exhibited lower accumulation in both FDR10 and FDR25. Almost all DAPs between FDR-10 and FDR-25 showed a dramatic decrease in FDR25. KEGG enrichment analysis showed that carbon metabolism was altered significantly at different leaf ages. DAPs that are involved in carbon metabolism were predicted as different points in protein–protein interaction (PPI) networks from the STRING database. Finally, inconsistent transcript and protein abundance was found for DAPs, indicating the presence of posttranscriptional regulation during leaf-age progression process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Principles of Tree Biology in the Omics Era)
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