Special Issue "Biostimulants and Micronutrients: Innovative Tools to Increase Crop Quality and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Roberto D'Amato

Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Interests: plant nutrition; selenium; crop biofortification; oxidative stress; soil; antioxidant compounds
Dr. Juan Jose Rios

Guest Editor
Aquaporin group, Plant Nutrition Department, Centro de Edafologia y Biologia Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC), Murcia, Spain
Interests: biofortification; plant nutrition; abiotic stress, fertilizers, homeostasis; secondary metabolism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, climate change affects crop production and quality worldwide. Plants are subjected to various types of abiotic stress, such as drought, salinity, and mineral deficiencies, which decrease plant growth. In an attempt to increase abiotic stress tolerance in plants, the application of biostimulants and micronutrients has been proposed as a novel and promising agronomic strategy.

Biostimulants comprise organic compounds (such as humic and fulvic acids, protein hydrolysates, seaweed and plant extracts, microorganisms such as mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal fungi, bacterial endosymbionts, and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria) and inorganic compounds (such as silicon and selenium).

Biostimulants improve soil nutrient availability through the stimulation of enzymatic and hormonal activities, and the modification of the natural microbial community. Although there are many papers dealing with biostimulants, it is still necessary to investigate and determine their mechanisms of action on plants as well as their effects on crop quality.

Concerning agricultural crops for human consumption, the use of biostimulants can also enhance the concentration of some beneficial elements (microelements and oligoelements) in the edible tissues of plants, which, in turn, are useful for human health. Therefore, biostimulants could also be used in biofortification programs.

In this Special Issue, the application of both micro-oligonutrients and biostimulants for increasing crop quality and abiotic stress tolerance in plants will be discussed. 

Dr. Roberto D'Amato
Dr. Juan Jose Rios
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.

Keywords

  • biofortification
  • biostimulation
  • mineral content
  • production
  • healthy compounds
  • abiotic stress
  • fertilizers
  • change climate
  • oligoelements
  • micronutrients

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Betaine Hydrochloride Treatment Affects Growth and Phenylpropanoid Accumulation in Tartary Buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) Seedlings under Salt Stress
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060906 - 25 Jun 2020
Abstract
Betaine is one of the most competitive compounds that accumulate in different cellular compartments to adjust osmotic balance. Among the various stressors, salinity stress often leads to osmotic and ionic stress in plants, either increasing or decreasing certain secondary plant metabolites. In this [...] Read more.
Betaine is one of the most competitive compounds that accumulate in different cellular compartments to adjust osmotic balance. Among the various stressors, salinity stress often leads to osmotic and ionic stress in plants, either increasing or decreasing certain secondary plant metabolites. In this study, different concentrations of NaCl, betaine, and combined NaCl and betaine were used in time-course experiments to investigate growth pattern variation and accumulation of phenylpropanoid compounds in buckwheat sprouts. A significant increase in growth was observed with the application of 0.1–1.0 mM betaine. Although overall, the total phenylpropanoid compounds were lower compared to the control, the sole application of 50 mM NaCl and 1.0 mM betaine especially enhanced the accumulation of some of these compounds in comparison to others. Betaine application at lower concentrations was found to enhance the growth of buckwheat sprouts slightly. The results of this study show that phenylpropanoid content did not increase significantly in any of the treatments. However, it was proven that the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway is stimulated under abiotic stress, resulting in a higher accumulation of various phenylpropanoid compounds. This suggests that the level of accumulation of phenylpropanoid compounds due to abiotic stress may be species-dependent. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Effects of the Application of Glauconitic Fertilizer on Oat Development: A Two-Year Field-Based Investigation
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060872 - 18 Jun 2020
Abstract
This study explores the fertilizer potential of glauconitic soil by monitoring its impact on the growth of plants during the second growing season after application. Our study documents a higher growth of oats (Avena sativa) in glauconitic amended soil compared to [...] Read more.
This study explores the fertilizer potential of glauconitic soil by monitoring its impact on the growth of plants during the second growing season after application. Our study documents a higher growth of oats (Avena sativa) in glauconitic amended soil compared to that recorded with the control sample at the end of a 97-day-long experiment. Concentrations of nutrients (K, P, ammonium, Ca, Mg) and pH of the soil increase sharply in the first growing season and mildly thereafter, after an initial concentration of 200 g·m−2 glauconite (equivalent to 2 t·ha−1). The pH of the glauconitic-amended soil increases from an initial 6.0 to 6.34 during the second season. Organic matter and nitrates decrease in the soil mixture at the end of the second growing season, while the exchangeable ammonium increases. Organic acids promote the mobility and bioavailability of nutrients in the soil. Glauconitic soil is particularly effective for weakly acidic soils with a low moisture content. The steady increase in total yield and plant height, and the slow-release of nutrients during the second growing season indicates that glauconitic soil can be an effective and eco-friendly fertilizer. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Early Season Foliar Iron Fertilization Increases Fruit Yield and Quality in Pomegranate
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060832 - 12 Jun 2020
Abstract
Early season foliar fertilization with different nutrients is a promising tool in pomegranate grown in poor, high pH soils. The effects of foliar fertilization with FeSO4 and the synthetic chelate Fe(III)-EDDHA (Fe(III)-ethylendiaminedi(o-hydroxyphenylacetate)) on fruit yield and physicochemical characteristics were assessed in a [...] Read more.
Early season foliar fertilization with different nutrients is a promising tool in pomegranate grown in poor, high pH soils. The effects of foliar fertilization with FeSO4 and the synthetic chelate Fe(III)-EDDHA (Fe(III)-ethylendiaminedi(o-hydroxyphenylacetate)) on fruit yield and physicochemical characteristics were assessed in a two-season field trial. Fertilizers were sprayed at full bloom and one month later, using Fe concentrations of 1.3 and 2.6 mM for FeSO4 and 1.1 and 2.1 mM for the Fe-chelate. Both doses of FeSO4 and the higher chelate dose increased leaf Fe concentrations and fruit yield, with the best results being observed with 2.6 mM FeSO4 (20–31% increases in yield). On the other hand, leaf N, P, K, Ca, and Mn concentrations were not affected by foliar Fe fertilization. The only treatment that increased the number of fruits per tree, aril juice content and juice total soluble solids and decreased juice total acidity in both seasons was 2.6 mM FeSO4. Both FeSO4 doses caused consistent increases in the maturity index and total sugars in juice, along with minor decreases in juice total phenolic compounds. The antioxidant activity in juice was slightly decreased by 2.6 mM FeSO4. In conclusion, early season foliar Fe fertilization had positive effects on pomegranate yield and quality, with FeSO4 being better than Fe(III)-EDDHA. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Grain Endogenous Selenium and Moderate Salt Stress Work as Synergic Elicitors in the Enrichment of Bioactive Compounds in Maize Sprouts
Agronomy 2020, 10(5), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10050735 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Salt stress and selenium are known to elicitate the production of plant secondary metabolites with antioxidant properties. On this basis, maize grains obtained from mother plants fertilized or not fertilized with selenium were sprouted at different levels of salinity (0, 25, and 50 [...] Read more.
Salt stress and selenium are known to elicitate the production of plant secondary metabolites with antioxidant properties. On this basis, maize grains obtained from mother plants fertilized or not fertilized with selenium were sprouted at different levels of salinity (0, 25, and 50 mM NaCl) to evaluate the effects on the sprout yield, inorganic and organic Se species, minerals, and secondary metabolites, as revealed by a metabolomics analysis. Grain endogenous selenium (135 mg kg−1 vs. 0.19 mg kg−1 of the non-enriched grain) and salinity affected the sprout yield and composition, with salinity having the greatest effect on secondary metabolites. Most of the Se in sprouts was in an inorganic form, despite Se-enriched grains only containing organic Se. Some synergic effect was observed between Se and salinity. The best combination was obtained with Se-enriched grains sprouted at 25 mM NaCl, since this provided a good yield (not lower than in the untreated control), while sprout shoots were enriched in selenocystine and pro-nutritional semipolar compounds with antioxidant properties. Therefore, using grains from Se-fertilized crops and sprouting them under mild salt stress might represent a promising technique for improving the nutritional value of sprouts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop