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Biostimulants for Plant Growth and Mitigation of Abiotic Stresses: A Metabolomics Perspective

1
Research Centre for Plant Metabolomics, Department of Biochemistry, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
2
International Research and Development, Omnia Group, Johannesburg 2191, South Africa
3
Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metabolites 2020, 10(12), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10120505
Received: 2 November 2020 / Revised: 27 November 2020 / Accepted: 3 December 2020 / Published: 10 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Agriculture Volume 2)
Adverse environmental conditions due to climate change, combined with declining soil fertility, threaten food security. Modern agriculture is facing a pressing situation where novel strategies must be developed for sustainable food production and security. Biostimulants, conceptually defined as non-nutrient substances or microorganisms with the ability to promote plant growth and health, represent the potential to provide sustainable and economically favorable solutions that could introduce novel approaches to improve agricultural practices and crop productivity. Current knowledge and phenotypic observations suggest that biostimulants potentially function in regulating and modifying physiological processes in plants to promote growth, alleviate stresses, and improve quality and yield. However, to successfully develop novel biostimulant-based formulations and programs, understanding biostimulant-plant interactions, at molecular, cellular and physiological levels, is a prerequisite. Metabolomics, a multidisciplinary omics science, offers unique opportunities to predictively decode the mode of action of biostimulants on crop plants, and identify signatory markers of biostimulant action. Thus, this review intends to highlight the current scientific efforts and knowledge gaps in biostimulant research and industry, in context of plant growth promotion and stress responses. The review firstly revisits models that have been elucidated to describe the molecular machinery employed by plants in coping with environmental stresses. Furthermore, current definitions, claims and applications of plant biostimulants are pointed out, also indicating the lack of biological basis to accurately postulate the mechanisms of action of plant biostimulants. The review articulates briefly key aspects in the metabolomics workflow and the (potential) applications of this multidisciplinary omics science in the biostimulant industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic stresses; biostimulants; food security; metabolomics; growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR); plant defenses abiotic stresses; biostimulants; food security; metabolomics; growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR); plant defenses
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nephali, L.; Piater, L.A.; Dubery, I.A.; Patterson, V.; Huyser, J.; Burgess, K.; Tugizimana, F. Biostimulants for Plant Growth and Mitigation of Abiotic Stresses: A Metabolomics Perspective. Metabolites 2020, 10, 505. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10120505

AMA Style

Nephali L, Piater LA, Dubery IA, Patterson V, Huyser J, Burgess K, Tugizimana F. Biostimulants for Plant Growth and Mitigation of Abiotic Stresses: A Metabolomics Perspective. Metabolites. 2020; 10(12):505. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10120505

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nephali, Lerato; Piater, Lizelle A.; Dubery, Ian A.; Patterson, Veronica; Huyser, Johan; Burgess, Karl; Tugizimana, Fidele. 2020. "Biostimulants for Plant Growth and Mitigation of Abiotic Stresses: A Metabolomics Perspective" Metabolites 10, no. 12: 505. https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10120505

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