Special Issue "Genetics of Nutrient Use Efficiency and Management in Cereal Agroecosystems"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil and Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jacques Le Gouis
Guest Editor
INRA, UMR Genet Divers & Ecophysiol Cereales 1095, 5 Chemin Beaulieu, F-63039 Clermont Ferrand, France.
Interests: beneficial plant x micro-organisms interactions; crop genetics and physiology;improvement for yield, quality and human nutrition;novel crops;phenotyping and modelling; genotype x management interactions
Dr. Malcolm Hawkesford
Guest Editor
Rothamsted Research, UK
Interests: wheat; nitrogen use efficiency; plant nutrition; roots; phenotyping
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio
Guest Editor
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, CIMMYT, Mexico
Interests: sustainability; soil fertility; plant nutrition; precision agriculture; climate change; genetic resources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

More than 80 Mt fertilizers (N-P-K) are used annually on wheat. For example, nitrogen (N) is a macro-nutrient that plays a key role in the formation of grain yield and end-use quality. N-fertilizer has contributed directly to the total increase in the supply of food production for human and animal consumption globally. The doubling of cereal production worldwide over the past four decades has been associated with a 4-fold increase in the use of N-fertilizers. Nevertheless, this situation conceals very significant disparities where some areas use not enough N-fertilizer, while others far too much. As a consequence, both the recent and future intensification of fertilizer use in agriculture has already, and will continue to have major economic and environmental impacts.

In recent years, much work has been devoted to better understand nutrient use by small grain cereals. Advances have been made in understanding the mechanisms of nutrient absorption and utilization in a number of crops including wheat, barley and rice. However, global use efficiency is as low as 15-30% depending upon nutrient, varieties and management, so there is considerable room for improvement. Along with agronomic approaches, genetic solutions through breeding for more efficient varieties have been proposed. Indeed, plant breeding has resulted in gains in both use efficiency and tolerance to deficiencies for grain yield and nutrient concentration. However, new phenotyping techniques and breeding methodologies open the way for further improvement.

This Special Issue will focus on “Genetics of Nutrient Use Efficiency and Management in Cereal Agroecosystems”. We welcome novel research, reviews and opinion pieces covering genotype and genotype x management interaction for nutrient use efficiency in small grain cereals. Topics include beneficial micro-organisms interactions, crop genetics and improvement for yield, quality and human nutrition, novel crops, phenotyping, physiological responses to nutrient deficiency, interactions to management solutions, modelling, case-studies from the field, and policy positions.

Dr. Jacques Le Gouis
Dr. Malcolm Hawkesford
Dr. Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio
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. Agronomy 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 1600 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.


  • cereal genetics 
  • food security 
  • genotype x management interaction 
  • nutrient deficiency tolerance 
  • phenotyping

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Senescence Phenotypes and Nitrate Availability on Wheat Leaf Metabolome during Grain Filling
Agronomy 2019, 9(6), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9060305 - 11 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
The capacity for optimising grain yield depends largely on the timing of senescence and the processes underlying efficient remobilisation and cycling of nutrients from source tissues to the developing grain. This study describes how metabolism is adjusted during senescence in response to varying [...] Read more.
The capacity for optimising grain yield depends largely on the timing of senescence and the processes underlying efficient remobilisation and cycling of nutrients from source tissues to the developing grain. This study describes how metabolism is adjusted during senescence in response to varying nitrogen application rates after anthesis. A comprehensive metabolite analysis was performed in field-grown Avalon/Cadenza using segregating doubled haploid wheat genotypes having contrasting traits relating to timing of the onset of senescence. Correlative matrices of metabolites and yield parameters determined the metabolic networks that underlie these phenotypes, and were helpful for identifying unique metabolites that are indicative of timing of senescence. They also revealed robust correlations between steady increases in hexose levels, a late senescence phenotype and high straw yield associated with low N fertiliser levels. Tryptophan, cis-aconitate, phosphate and 1-kestose demonstrated strong perturbations in response to nitrogen availability and progression towards developmental senescence. A comprehensive metabolic map of wheat leaf primary metabolites yielded a cumulative readout of processes that occur during developmental ripening and contribute to grain filling in plants with differential senescence timing. Full article
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