South African Journal of Plant and Soil

ISSN: 0257-1862 (Print)
            2167-034X (Online)
Publication frequency: 4 issues per year

Accredited with the DHET (SAPSE)

Official publication of SSSSA, SASCP, SASHS and SAWSS

Co-published with Taylor & FrancisClick here for Open Access options on this journal

Aims & Scope

The South African Journal of Plant and Soil publishes original articles and commentaries on research in the fields of fundamental and applied soil and plant science. Original research papers, short communications including germplasm registrations, relevant book reviews, commentaries on papers recently published, letters, opinion pieces and debates, and review articles will be considered for publication in the Journal. Manuscripts considered may address aspects of:

  • Agronomical and Horticultural research including breeding and genetics, cultivar evaluation, management, nutrition, physiology, production, and quality;
  • Soil Science research including biology, chemistry, classification, fertility, mineralogy, pedology and hydropedology, physics, and soil and land evaluation of agricultural and urban ecosystems;
  • Weed Science research including biological control agents, biology, ecology, genetics, herbicide resistance and herbicide-resistant crops, and physiology and molecular action of herbicides and plant growth regulators;
  • Agro-climatology;
  • Agro-ecology;
  • Forage, Pasture and Turfgrass science including production and utilisation;
  • Plant and Soil Systems Modelling;
  • Plant–Microbe Interactions;
  • Plant–Pest Interactions;
  • Plant–Soil Relationships.

Contributions on climate change, conservation agriculture, hydro-pedology, water harvesting and emerging crops are currently of specific interest.



Sunette Laurie
ARC–Vegetable and Ornamental Plants, Pretoria, South Africa

Associate Editors

John Bower, Consultant, Agassiz, BC, Canada 
Rodney Cooper, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Wapato, Washington, USA 
Peter Droogers, Future Water, Wageningen, Netherlands 
Jeff Hughes, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa 
Nebo Jovanovic, CSIR, Stellenbosch, South Africa 
Louis Titshall, Institute for Commercial Forestry Research, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Daniel Leskovar,Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centre, Texas, USA 
Simeon Materechera, North-West University, Mmabatho, South Africa 
Albert Modi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa 
Roy Neilson, James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, UK 
Justice Nyamangara, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe 
Christopher Preston, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia 
Johan van Tol, University of Free State, South Africa
Toi Tsilo, ARC–Small Grain Institute, Bethlehem, South Africa 
Alex Valentine, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa 

Advisory Board

Johan Bouma, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Anton Haverkort, Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Jules Janick, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Zakkie Pretorius, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Journal Management Board

James Allemann, SAWSS, University of Free State, South Africa
Rianto van Antwerpen, SSSSA, South African Sugar Research Institute, South Africa
Isa Bertling, SASHS, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Cobus Botha, SSSSA, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa
Linus Franke, SASCP, University of Free State, South Africa
Riana Kleinhans SASHS, Tswane University Technology South Africa
Hestia Nienhaber, SSWSS, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa
Juan Vorster, SASCP, University of Pretoria, South Africa [chair]
Sunette Laurie, SAJP&S Editor-in-Chief, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa

Manuscript Submission

All manuscripts presented in accordance with instructions to authors (printed in the back of each issue) should be submitted online at the South African Journal of Plant and Soil ScholarOne Manuscripts site (

Publishing Manager

Contact regarding all aspects relating to the production of the journal, including scheduling and copyright issues:

Mike Schramm
NISC (Pty) Ltd
4 Speke Street
PO Box 377
Grahamstown 6140
South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)46 622 9698
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 9550

Latest Issue

Volume 35, Issue 2, 2018

Research Article

Location and crop-year effects on sugarcane genotype performance for the coastal short cycle breeding programmes in South Africa
Author(s): Sphamandla SengwayoSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa, Marvellous ZhouSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa, Maryke LabuschagneDepartment of Plant Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 79–87
Trends in broad-sense heritability and predicted selection gains for the coastal short cycle breeding sugarcane programmes in South Africa
Author(s): Sphamandla SengwayoSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa, Marvellous ZhouSouth African Sugarcane Research Institute, South Africa, Maryke LabuschagneDepartment of Plant Sciences, South Africa
Pages: 89–99
Detection of rust resistance in selected Zimbabwean and ICARDA bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) germplasm using conventional and molecular techniques
Author(s): Bruce MutariCrop Breeding Institute, Zimbabwe, Sripada M UdupaBiotechnology Section, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Morocco, Peter MavindidzeDepartment of Agronomy, South Africa, Charles S MutengwaDepartment of Agronomy, South Africa
Pages: 101–110
Adult plant resistance to leaf rust and stem rust of wheat in a newly developed recombinant inbred line population
Author(s): Sandiswa FiglanSchool of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, South Africa, Tarekegn G TerefeAgricultural Research Council–Small Grain Institute, South Africa, Hussein ShimelisSchool of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, South Africa, Toi J TsiloAgricultural Research Council–Small Grain Institute, South Africa
Pages: 111–119
Influences of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae on morphophysiological traits and biochemical compounds of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) under drought stress
Author(s): Ali GanjealiDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Iran, Elham AshianiDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Iran, Maryam ZareDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Iran, Elahe TabasiDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Iran
Pages: 121–127
Spatio-seasonal dynamics of bacteria and metal composition of a platinum mine tailings dam, Rustenburg, South Africa
Author(s): Molemi E RauwaneAgricultural Research Council–Biotechnology Platform, South Africa, Laurette M MaraisDepartment of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences, Vanderbijlpark Campus, South Africa, Oluwatosin G OladipoUnit for Environmental Sciences and Management, South Africa, Cornelius C BezuidenhoutUnit for Environmental Sciences and Management, South Africa, Mark S MaboetaUnit for Environmental Sciences and Management, South Africa
Pages: 129–135
Evaluating maize yield variability and gaps in two agroecologies in northern Ghana using a crop simulation model
Author(s): Dilys S MacCarthySoil and Irrigation Research Centre, School of Agriculture, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Ghana, Samuel G AdikuDepartment of Soil Science, School of Agriculture, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Ghana, Bright S FreduahSoil and Irrigation Research Centre, School of Agriculture, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Ghana, Alpha Y KamaraInternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria, Stephen NarhSoil and Irrigation Research Centre, School of Agriculture, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Ghana, Alhassan L AbdulaiSavanna Agricultural Research Institute, Ghana
Pages: 137–147
Peatland substrates in northern KwaZulu-Natal: a study of the forming environments, properties and an approach towards classification
Author(s): Marvin GabrielFaculty of Life Science, Germany, Camelia ToaderFaculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Germany, Franziska FaulFaculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Germany, Niko RoßkopfFaculty of Life Science, Germany, Piet-Louis GrundlingCentre for Environmental Management, South Africa, Cornelius Wilhelm van HuyssteenDepartment of Soil, Crop, and Climate Sciences, South Africa, Jutta ZeitzFaculty of Life Science, Germany
Pages: 149–160

Short Communication

The effect of Cymbopogon citratus aqueous leaf extract on Solanum lycopersicum seed germination and seedling growth under saline conditions
Author(s): Taofik SunmonuDepartment of Biological Sciences, Nigeria, Aishat Mohammed NaibiDepartment of Biological Sciences, Nigeria, Suaib OsineyeDepartment of Chemical Sciences, Nigeria, Hussein OloyedeDepartment of Biochemistry, Nigeria
Pages: 161–164


Instructions for Authors

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Author FAQ


Instructions for Authors 

Editorial policy: Original papers, short communications including germplasm registrations, book reviews, comments on papers recently published and reviews on research in fields of soil science and applied plant science will be considered for publication in this journal. Authors should view the full scope of the journal here. Contributions must conform to the principles outlined in Ethical Considerations in Research Publication available for download below. The language medium is English and four volumes are published per year. All papers will be refereed, by at least two referees. Authors bear sole responsibility for the factual accuracy of their publications.

Copyright for all published material is vested in the Southern African Plant and Soil Sciences Committee. All papers are subject to page charges of R250 (society members) and R700 (non-members) per page (VAT inclusive).

Authors may consider to make their final published article open access, with limited restrictions on reuse, once an article has been accepted in peer review. This is available for authors, their research sponsors or their funders. An article publishing charge (APC) is applicable, but authors based in sub-Saharan Africa may be eligible for a discounted regional rate. Read more information about our Open Select programme here.  

All submissions much be uploaded online at the South African Journal of Plant and Soil ScholarOne Manuscripts site and include a covering letter with the following information:

• Title of the article.
• A statement that all authors have reviewed the manuscript and approved its submission to South African Journal of Plant and Soil.
• A statement that the manuscript is not being submitted elsewhere.
• A statement indicating why the journal should consider publishing the work and outlining the importance of the research.

All manuscripts should be double-spaced in A4 format with 2.5 cm margins and Arial font of 12 pt. As a general guide to manuscript preparation, refer to the sample copy available here. The editor will acknowledge receipt of your manuscript. If an acknowledgement is not received within 14 days, the corresponding author should contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Full-length original papers: Contributions submitted should be written concisely and, generally, must not be more than 6 000 words in length. Typescripts that are not concise or do not conform to the conventions of the Journal will be returned to the authors for revision.

Short communications: Contributions reporting new techniques, work still in progress or lesser completed investigations should not exceed about 1 800 words including a brief abstract, tables, text, figures and references. No subheadings are to be included and the discussion should be as brief as possible.

Authors are requested to adhere strictly to the following directives. The contents must be arranged in an orderly way with suitable headings (not for short communications) for each subsection. The text and all tables should be prepared in a single MS Word file.

Title, authors and institutional affiliations. The title must be informative and brief. Provide the preferred name and initials of the author(s), the institution where the work was done and an email address for the corresponding author.

The Abstract should convey essential information such as rationale, objectives, methods, results and conclusions. It should not exceed 200 words. A maximum of five keywords must be provided in English in alphabetical order. The following subdivision of the body text is recommended: Introduction, Materials and methods, Results or Results and discussion, Discussion and/or Conclusions, Acknowledgements, References, Tables and Figures. Figure legends must be directly below each relevant figure.

Footnotes in the text should be avoided. The common name, followed by Latin binomials with the relevant authority in parentheses, must be shown for plants, insects and pathogens when first used in the abstract and text. At the first mention of a pesticide, except in the title and body of the abstract, give its approved common name first and follow it with the full chemical name. Use only the common name thereafter.

For units of measurements, use the SI system. Authors are referred to, and encouraged to make use of, the Publications Handbook and Style Manual (Ch.7) of the American Society of Agronomy for detailed guidelines on preferred units and their acceptable alternatives. The decimal point must be used instead of the decimal comma. For stylistic conventions, please refer to Presentation of Mathematical and Statistical Data available to download below.

Tables: Tables are numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals (Table 1) and should bear a short yet adequate descriptive caption. Units are to be clearly shown. Footnotes to tables are designated by lowercase letters. Tables should be presented on separate pages at the end of the manuscript.

Figures: Conform to the journal style paying particular attention to line thickness, font and figure proportions, taking into account the journals printed page size. Costs of redrawing figures may be charged. Please refer to Figure Guidelines for Authors: format, style and technical considerations available for download below. For digital photographs or scanned images the resolution should be at least 300 dpi for colour or greyscale artwork and a minimum of 600 dpi for black line drawings. MS Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) files are acceptable, but DO NOT EMBED Excel graphs or Powerpoint slides in a MS Word document, rather send the original files. Illustrations can be reproduced in colour, but only when essential, and subject to approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Non-essential use of colour will be charged at ZAR900 (excl. VAT) per page for African contributors and USD150 per page for contributors from elsewhere.

Geolocation information: Add a Geolocation Information section in a separate paragraph before the Acknowledgements. This will be used for indexing the study area accurately in JournalMap’s geographic literature database. View more information here.

References: Cite references in the text in chronological order (Patrick 1974; Allen et al. 1986). Use the abbreviation et al. for more than two authors. The reference list should comprise only published material and theses or reports normally available in libraries. References should be listed alphabetically by authors’ surnames. Journal names must be cited in full and italicised. References to conference abstracts are not permitted.

Examples of reference formats:

Allen SG, Taylor GA, Martin JM. 1986. Agronomic characterization of ‘Yogo’ hard red winter wheat plant height isolines. Agronomy Journal 178: 63–66.

Brommett JM. 1975. Isotope-ratio analysis in tracer investigations. In: White JB (ed.), Methods of soil analyses. Madison: American Society of Agronomy. pp 225–230.

Patrick AC. 1974. Root growth and development (2nd edn). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Refer to Reference Exemplars for Authors available for download below for additional examples of reference formats.

Final proofs will be emailed to authors as a PDF file to check and the Publishing Editor should be advised of any corrections within three days of receipt. A careful check should be made of the references, numbers of tables and figures.

Electronic reprints: Authors will be notified by email when their article is available for download from the journal website. 


Instructions for Authors

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Figure Guidelines for Authors

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Figure FAQs

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