Special Issue "Response and Tolerance of Agricultural Crops to Salinity Stress"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jorge Ferreira

US Salinity Laboratory, 450 W. Big Springs Rd., Riverside, CA 92507, USA
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Abiotic stresses affect mineral nutrient balance, physiological, biochemical, and morphological responses, and gene expression of plants growing in saline soils or under irrigation with saline waters. The literature is abundant in the uptake and accumulation of salts (mainly NaCl), the accumulation of aminoacids such as proline and glycine betaine, physiological aspects such as stomatal conductance and photosynthetic activity, and on the expression of genes that are important to salt tolerance mechanisms in model crops. However, we lack information in several aspects that will help us understand plant response to salinity.  These include, but are not restricted to, reactive oxygen species (ROS), biochemical markers such as antioxidant flavonoids that accumulate inside of vacuoles (as salts do), sugars, aminoacids besides proline and betaine, root and shoot morphology, plant hormones and growth regulators, and secondary metabolites (such as flavonoids, polyamines, etc.) that, besides protecting the plant from stress, may also increase the nutritional value of the crop.  Understanding the interaction between stress and nutrition is also highly relevant for modern agriculture in order to ensure high yields and high quality of plant products produced under saline environments. Combinations of stresses such as drought and salinity and salinity and nutrition, are more complex to understand than individual stress and should also be considered. Although we understand the importance of the several aspects related to plant response and tolerance to salinity, we should also urge colleagues to submit their work related to the involvement of microorganisms (e.g., endophytes), chemical primers (e.g., H2O2, salicylic acid, etc.), new potential agricultural, horticultural, and forage crops that may be alternatives to cultivation under salinity (including their respective postulated mechanisms of salinity tolerance) and that will allow irrigated agriculture to continue providing food and animal feed to sustain a fast growing world population.

This Special Issue intends to highlight the recent progress in the efforts to understand response and tolerance mechanisms of plants to saline stress and alternatives to minimize salinity effects, maintaining plant growth and development to assure commercially-feasible crop yields. All types of articles, original research, opinions and reviews that provide new insights into the effects of salinity stress and the mechanisms involved in the stress responses are welcome. Experimental studies and theoretical approaches referring to the molecular, cellular, organ or whole plant level may also be considered. The following list gives some examples, but is not exhaustive:

  • Mechanisms of salt tolerance (tissue tolerance, exclusion, sequestration into vacuoles, etc.)
  • Morphological aspects (shoot and root architecture and morphology)
  • Alternative salt-tolerant species with agronomical/horticultural potential
  • Biochemical markers (aminoacids, sugars, hormones, secondary metabolites, antioxidants, etc.)
  • Chemical primers (H2O2, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, growth regulators, salts, etc.)
  • Symbiotic microbes (e.g., endophytes)
  • Gene expression associated with salt-tolerance mechanisms
  • New data on economic aspects of the effects of salinity on global agricultural production



Dr. Jorge Ferreira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Mechanisms of salt tolerance (tissue tolerance, exclusion, sequestration into vacuoles, etc.) 
  • Morphological aspects (shoot and root architecture and morphology) 
  • Alternative salt-tolerant species with agronomical/horticultural potential 
  • Biochemical markers (aminoacids, sugars, hormones, secondary metabolites, antioxidants, etc.) 
  • Chemical primers (H2O2, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, growth regulators, salts, etc.) 
  • Symbiotic microbes (e.g., endophytes) 
  • Gene expression associated with salt-tolerance mechanisms 
  • New data on economic aspects of the effects of salinity on global agricultural production

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Growth, Phenolics, Photosynthetic Pigments, and Antioxidant Response of Two New Genotypes of Sea Asparagus (Salicornia neei Lag.) to Salinity under Greenhouse and Field Conditions
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070115
Received: 17 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
Small succulent halophytic shrubs of the genera Salicornia and Sarcocornia (Salicornioideae, Amaranthaceae) are commonly named sea asparagus and consumed worldwide as green salad in gourmet food, as conserves, and beverages. Their shoots are rich in bioactive compounds and plants show high yields in
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Small succulent halophytic shrubs of the genera Salicornia and Sarcocornia (Salicornioideae, Amaranthaceae) are commonly named sea asparagus and consumed worldwide as green salad in gourmet food, as conserves, and beverages. Their shoots are rich in bioactive compounds and plants show high yields in a wide range of salinities, but little is known about how salt cultivation conditions affect their chemical composition. Two genotypes (BTH1 and BTH2) of the Brazilian sea asparagus Salicornia neei Lag. were evaluated for salt tolerance and changes in shoot concentrations of organic metabolites and antioxidant activity under different salt exposure in both greenhouse and field conditions. All greenhouse plants received full strength modified Hoagland solution in deionized water with a basic electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.7 dS m−1, and with NaCl concentrations (in mM) of ~0.1 (control), 34, 86, 171, 513, and 769. After fifty days of cultivation, both S. neei genotypes showed high salt tolerance and grew better under low salinities (34–86 mM NaCl) than under control salinity. Shoots of BTH1 genotype appeared to be undergoing lignification and used their high carotenoid content to dissipate the oxidative power, and the zeaxanthin content and de-epoxidation state of xanthophylls (DES) were positively affected by salinity. Under increasing salinity, BTH2 genotype had higher relative content of chlorophyll b, which may have lowered the plant photo-oxidation rate, and increased shoot concentration of the flavonoid quercetin (up to 11.6 μg g−1 dw at 769 mM NaCl), leading to higher antioxidant capacity. In the field experiment, after 154 days of irrigation with saline (213 mM NaCl) shrimp farm effluent, BTH2 plants grew taller, produced more metabolites (e.g., total phenolics, total free flavonoids, quercetin, and protocatechuic acid) and had a greater antioxidant capacity of shoots than that of BTH1 plants and that of traditional crops irrigated with fresh water. Yield and bioactive compound composition of S. neei genotypes’ shoots can be enhanced by cultivation under moderate saline conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Response and Tolerance of Agricultural Crops to Salinity Stress)
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Open AccessArticle Salt Tolerance of Six Switchgrass Cultivars
Agriculture 2018, 8(5), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8050066
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 29 April 2018
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Abstract
Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) cultivars (‘Alamo’, ‘Cimarron’, ‘Kanlow’, ‘NL 94C2-3’, ‘NSL 2009-1’, and ‘NSL 2009-2’) were evaluated for salt tolerance in two separate greenhouse experiments. In experiment (Expt.) 1, switchgrass seedlings were irrigated with a nutrient solution at an electrical conductivity (EC) of
[...] Read more.
Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) cultivars (‘Alamo’, ‘Cimarron’, ‘Kanlow’, ‘NL 94C2-3’, ‘NSL 2009-1’, and ‘NSL 2009-2’) were evaluated for salt tolerance in two separate greenhouse experiments. In experiment (Expt.) 1, switchgrass seedlings were irrigated with a nutrient solution at an electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.2 dS·m−1 (control) or a saline solution (spiked with salts) at an EC of 5.0 dS·m−1 (EC 5) or 10.0 dS·m−1 (EC 10) for four weeks, once a week. Treatment EC 10 reduced the tiller number by 32% to 37% for all switchgrass cultivars except ‘Kanlow’. All switchgrass cultivars under EC 10 had a significant reduction of 50% to 63% in dry weight. In Expt. 2, switchgrass was seeded in substrates moistened with either a nutrient solution of EC 1.2 dS·m−1 (control) or a saline solution of EC of 5.0, 10.0, or 20.0 dS·m−1 (EC 5, EC 10, or EC 20). Treatment EC 5 did not affect the seedling emergence, regardless of cultivar. Compared to the control, EC 10 reduced the seedling emergence of switchgrass ‘Alamo’, ‘Cimarron’, and ‘NL 94C2-3’ by 44%, 33%, and 82%, respectively. All switchgrass cultivars under EC 10 had a 46% to 88% reduction in the seedling emergence index except ‘NSL 2009-2’. No switchgrass seedlings emerged under EC 20. In summary, high salinity negatively affected switchgrass seedling emergence and growth. Dendrogram and cluster of six switchgrass cultivars indicated that ‘Alamo’ was the most tolerant cultivar, while ‘NSL 2009-2’ was the least tolerant cultivar at both seedling emergence and growth stages. A growth-stage dependent response to salinity was observed for the remaining switchgrass cultivars. ‘NSL 2009-1’ and ‘NL 94C2-3’ were more tolerant to salinity than ‘Cimarron’ and ‘Kanlow’ at the seedling emergence stage; however, ‘Kanlow’ and ‘Cimarron’ were more tolerant to salinity than ‘NSL 2009-1’ and ‘NL 94C2-3’ at the seedling growth stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Response and Tolerance of Agricultural Crops to Salinity Stress)
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