Special Issue "Contribution of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis to Crop Growth"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council—Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, CNR-IPSP, 10135 Turin, Italy
Interests: cellular and molecular aspects of plant interactions, mainly during mycorrhizal symbioses; plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses; genomics of symbiotic fungi; plant biology; plant nutrition; plant–microbe interactions; root symbioses; soil microorganisms; plant and fungal cell walls
Dr. Valentina Fiorilli

Co-Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Torino, 10124 Turin, Italy
Interests: molecular and cellular aspects of plant–microbe interactions, mainly during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis; plant response to biotic stress; role of phytohormones in plant growth and in response to microbes; plant biology; plant nutrition; plant–microbe interactions; arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis; mycorrhizal-induced resistance and susceptibility
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drought and land degradation following the salinization of soil are considerably increasing worldwide and many crops are growing in suboptimal climatic conditions in different parts of the world. In addition, the ongoing climate change could further worsen this scenario. During the last decades, a variety of strategies have been deployed to improve stress tolerance and resilience in crops. In this context, beneficial soil microorganisms (including mycorrhizal fungi) are today considered a key factor for managing crop productions and the optimization of their use have an enormous potential in the frame of an innovative and sustainable agriculture, providing benefits to plant growth and health by enhancing plant nutrition, conferring tolerance to abiotic stresses and improving plant resistance to biotic threats. However, the application of these microorganisms in agriculture is still a challenge due to the variability of results, which often are dependent from the context (e.g. involved genotypes, resource availability, environmental conditions). Particularly, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play an important role as 'bio-fertilizing microorganisms' as they establish symbiotic interactions with the roots of most crops, including key Mediterranean crops. Although use of mycorrhizal fungi has been largely explored as an alternative strategy for improving plant nutrition and growth and to enhance plant tolerance and resilience upon different abiotic and biotic stresses, the impact and the reliability of these strategies should be evaluated across a set of diverse environmental conditions and production systems, before to providing practical recommendations.

This Special Issue intends to cover the state-of-the-art and recent progress in different aspects related to the use of mycorrhizal fungi to increase the sustainability and resilience of different crops, mainly in a scenario of environmental challenges due to climate change. All types of manuscripts (original research and reviews) providing new insights from researches on the application of mycorrhizal fungi to improve plant traits relevant to enhance crop performances and production as well as on the role of these beneficial soil microorganisms in crop stress tolerance and resilience improvement are welcome.

Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
Dr. Valentina Fiorilli
Guest Editor

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.

Keywords

  • arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
  • sustainability
  • abiotic stress
  • drought
  • soil conservation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Dissimilar Responses of Ancient Grapevines Recovered in Navarra (Spain) to Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis in Terms of Berry Quality
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040473 - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
The exploitation of genetic diversity within agricultural plants, including grapevine, is suggested as a valuable tool to cope with the negative impacts of climate change on yield and crop quality. In some winegrowing regions of Europe, there is a renewed interest in knowing [...] Read more.
The exploitation of genetic diversity within agricultural plants, including grapevine, is suggested as a valuable tool to cope with the negative impacts of climate change on yield and crop quality. In some winegrowing regions of Europe, there is a renewed interest in knowing the grapevine genetic resources available, focusing on the prospection, recovery, and study of ancient cultivars typical of every zone. Grapevines are naturally associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which provide some benefits to the host plant, although such effects depending on many factors, including variety. Therefore, the aim of this research was to characterize the potential fruit quality of eight old grapevine varieties recovered in Navarre (northeastern of the Iberian Peninsula), associated or not with AMF. The study was carried out on fruit-bearing cuttings grown under controlled conditions (greenhouse). Overall, AMF inoculation reduced bunch and berry mass, as well as phenolic content in fruits. In some varieties, AMF association improved some berry traits by increasing the concentrations of soluble solids and anthocyanins; in others, berry colour, total phenolic and anthocyanin content were diminished in AMF-inoculated plants. The results, therefore, suggest that intraspecific diversity of old grapevines could include different abilities to respond to arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contribution of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis to Crop Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Mycorrhizae on Physiological Responses and Relevant Gene Expression of Peach Affected by Replant Disease
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020186 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
A potted experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF), Acaulospora scrobiculata, on peach seedlings grown in non-replant (NR) and replant (R) soils, to establish whether AMF inoculation alleviated soil replant disease through changes in physiological [...] Read more.
A potted experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF), Acaulospora scrobiculata, on peach seedlings grown in non-replant (NR) and replant (R) soils, to establish whether AMF inoculation alleviated soil replant disease through changes in physiological levels and relevant gene expression. After 15 weeks of mycorrhization, root mycorrhizal colonization was heavily inhibited by R treatment versus NR treatment. AMF plants under NR and R soil conditions displayed significantly higher total plant biomass than non-AMF plants. AMF inoculation significantly increased root sucrose and fructose concentrations and root catalase, peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase, and phenylalanine ammonialyase activities under R conditions. Likewise, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, chitinase, total soluble phenol, and lignin concentrations in roots were significantly higher in AMF than in non-AMF seedlings grown in R soil. Over-expression of PpCHI, PpLOX1, PpLOX5, PpAOC3, PpAOC4, and PpOPR2 in roots was observed in AMF-inoculated seedlings, as compared to that of non-AMF-inoculated seedlings grown in R soils. Thus, mycorrhizal fungal inoculation conferred a greater tolerance to peach plants in R soil by stimulating antioxidant enzyme activities, disease-resistance substance levels, and the expression of relevant genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contribution of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis to Crop Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Screening for Changes on Iris germanica L. Rhizomes Following Inoculation with Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120815 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Iris germanica L. is an ornamental and medicinal plant used since ancient times for their rhizomes, still utilized today to obtain orris butter highly valued in perfumery. Iris germanica presents special root adaptations, which confers certain tolerance to water and salt stress, making [...] Read more.
Iris germanica L. is an ornamental and medicinal plant used since ancient times for their rhizomes, still utilized today to obtain orris butter highly valued in perfumery. Iris germanica presents special root adaptations, which confers certain tolerance to water and salt stress, making it a good option in the context of the current climate trend. Aim of this study was to prospect the potential for biofortification of rhizomes using commercial arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) application in field conditions for six Iris germanica cultivars. Plants presented Paris-type AM colonization. Rhizome samples collected after nine months from treatment and maturated, presented FT-IR (fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) spectra variation between experimental variants. Presence of the main metabolites in rhizome could be confirmed based on literature. Screening focused on two rhizome quality markers: carbohydrates, which influence plant development, and fatty acids, which are extractable from rhizome. Results suggest potential to enhance their accumulation in certain cultivars, such as ‘Pinafore Pink’ following AM application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contribution of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis to Crop Growth)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Studies from the Last Twenty Years on Plant–Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Associations and Their Uses for Wheat Crops
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120840 - 03 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The aim of this work was to summarize the most recent research focused on the study of plant–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) symbiosis, both in a generic context and in the specific context of wheat cultivation. Taking into account the last 20 years, the [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to summarize the most recent research focused on the study of plant–arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) symbiosis, both in a generic context and in the specific context of wheat cultivation. Taking into account the last 20 years, the most significant studies on the main plant advantages taken from this association are reviewed herein. Positive advances that have been reported stem from the mutualistic relationship between the plant and the mycorrhizal fungus, revealing better performance for the host in terms of nutrient uptake and protection from salinity, lack of water, and excess phytotoxic elements. Mycorrhiza studies and the recent progress in research in this sector have shown a possible solution for environmental sustainability: AMF represent a valid alternative to overcome the loss of biological fertility of soils, reduce chemical inputs, and alleviate the effects of biotic and abiotic stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contribution of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis to Crop Growth)
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