Special Issue "Germplasm Exploitation and Product Innovation of Vegetable, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2020.
Interests: vegetable, aromatic, and medicinal plant diversity; crop domestication and evolution; agronomic, organoleptic, nutraceutical, and technological traits; miRNAs; healthy and super foods.
The domestication and crop evolution have occurred for several species, but until now, not all the agro-biodiversity available has been well exploited and utilized. In addition, a great contribution could be offered by several landraces and crop wild relatives that to date have grown in several traditional agrosystems and/or conserved in several genebanks around the world. So far, there is a long list of neglected and/or underutilized species of interest for innovating and for improving vegetables and aromatic and medicinal product. The climate change constraints and the new requests of consumers for healthy foods and of growers for resilient, efficient, and sustainable new cultivars and crops have encouraged several research groups to characterize and to evaluate the collected germplasm for their agronomic, organoleptic, nutraceutical, technological, and genetic traits.
The proposed Special Issue would like to point the attention to the ongoing research activities dealing with the germplasm exploitation of traditional, neglected and underutilized species for innovative vegetable, aromatic, and medicinal food supply chains.
Dr. Ferdinando Branca
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.
- vegetable, aromatic, and medicinal plant innovation
- crop domestication and evolution
- agronomic, organoleptic, nutraceutical, and technological traits
- healthy and super foods
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Characterization of flowering time and pollen production in jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) towards a strategy for the selection of elite male genotypes
N. Tel-Zur, R. Rothschild, U. Zurgil, and Y. Vaknin
ABSTRACT: The seeds of the dioecious jojoba [Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schneider] shrub yield a liquid wax that is in high demand for the cosmetics industry. While elite female cultivars of this species are currently clonally propagated, male plants are grown from seeds, resulting in large variations in the flowering period and in pollen viability and hence in yields. We characterized the existing male plant material in a local plantation as a platform for future selection of elite male cultivars that would produce sufficient amounts of viable pollen throughout the extended flowering period of the female cultivars. Using as a guide the number of viable pollen grains per 1-m branch, defined here as the calculated "effective pollen productivity" (EPP), we identified plants with an elevated EPP that flower concurrently with the female cultivars.
Keywords: dioecious; flowering time; phenological diversity; pollen viability
Characterization of Lebanese germplasm of snake melon (Cucumis melo subsp. melo L. var. flexuosus (L.) Naudin) using morphological traits and SSR markers
Joe Merheb1, Magdalena Pawełkowicz2, Ferdinando Branca3, Hanna Bolibok-Brągoszewska2, Agnieszka Skarzyńska2, Wojciech Pląder2, Lamis Chalak1,*Abstract: Snake melon (Cucumis melo subsp. melo L. var. flexuosus (L.) Naudin) is an ancient and traditional crop in the Mediterranean region. It is highly appreciated in Lebanon and is consumed when immature as fresh or pickled. Nevertheless, germplasm assessment has attributed poor interest to snake melon while its genetic resources have not been surveyed before despite their potential in adaptation to environmental changes. In this study, we assess the genetic diversity of snake melon landraces collected from different Lebanese regions at both morphological and molecular levels. Morphological characterization using a set of 18 descriptors revealed an important phenotypic variability among the landraces studied. Principle component analysis indicated that fruit hair and its consistency, fruit size and skin color pattern were good criteria for discriminating between landraces. Based on the scattered plot diagram, landraces of snake melon formed five different groups with one being defined as typical var. flexuosus. For the molecular characterization, 10 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used. Fifty six different alleles were detected, with an average of 5.6 alleles per locus. Polymorphism information content of SSR markers ranged from 0.06 to 0.84 (average 0.38). Cluster analysis based on molecular markers showed high genetic diversity and divided the landraces into five distinct genetic groups, confirming thereby the morphological variability. Findings of this study indicate a significant diversity for the Lebanese snake melon germplasm that must be further conserved and considered in improvement programs of this ancient crop.
Keywords: Armenian cucumber, fruit morphological descriptors, SSRs markers, germplasm diversity
Effect of Transplanting Time and Tomato Genotypes in Association with Salicylic Acid on Various Morpho-Chemical Attributes Under Heat Stress Conditions
Muhammad Rashid Shaheen1, Rashid Hussain2, Muhammad Nafees1, Ambreen Maqsood3*, Muhammad Aurangzaib4, Zulfiqar Ahmad5, Sajjad Ali6, Hafiz Nazar Faried7, Shehzad Iqbal8, Sunny Ahmar8 and Ferdinando Branca9*
Abstract: Heat stress is an important factor curtailing yield in summer crops, especially in semi-arid and sub-tropical areas of the world. It not only lowers the yield but also results in a squeezed growing season because of suppressed reproductive growth and hastened maturity. An experiment was designed under field settings to study the physiological and biochemical changes in various tomato genotypes owing the heat stress. Furthermore, salicylic acid (SA) mediated modulation of the processes was studied in relation to yield. The results revealed that SA enhanced the photosynthetic rate, intrinsic water use efficiency and chlorophyll contents. Whereas, transpiration rate showed non-significant change. Furthermore, significantly lowered electrolyte leakage, sub-stomatal CO2, stomatal conductance to water, leaf surface temperature was noted. These significant variations resulted in increased number of truss per plant, number of fruits per truss, number of fruits per plant, average fruit weight and ultimately per plants yield. It was concluded from the results that salicylic acid increased the heat tolerance in tomato plants under field conditions by altering the physiological processes. A more vibrant response was noted in tolerant genotypes as compared to the sensitive ones. It was further noted that SA induced heat resistance to a certain level of stress (44ºC) and became less effective under extreme conditions of high temperature (≥ 47ºC).
Keywords: Vegetables; Drought stress; High temperature; Photosynthesis; Fruit yield