Special Issue "Recent Advances in Metabolic Processes and Metabolites of Agricultural Crops"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Horticultural and Floricultural Crops".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture can be defined as that human activity aimed at obtaining the highest number of plant products with the best nutritional potentialities. For that reason, humans have always devoted a great part of their time seeking those health-promoting treasures. From the simple and intuitive first-sight analysis of the plant products initiated in the Neolithic to the application of cutting-edge approaches today, many issues have been the focus of human efforts oriented towards agriculture.

Genetic breeding has been one of the strategies developed since pioneering Plant Science started, improving species and cultivars with profitable use, either nutritional, forage or industrial. Due to the rapid development of genetic tools, genomic and transcriptomic eras have achieved considerable advances to obtain the best and most resistant varieties to uncountable stresses. However, due to the complex and mostly specific secondary metabolism which performs in plant cells, a deeper knowledge of how the plant cell physiology is able to adapt to the imminent scenario of climate change is still necessary.

With these perspectives, works (either research papers and reviews) focused on the investigation of the most updated issues related to plant metabolic processes, including single and complex enzymatic pathways, and the report and potential implications of new metabolites in agricultural crops, including exogenous growth promoters (salicylic acid, silicon, nanoparticles, among others), will be welcomed.

Prof. Dr. José M. Palma
Prof. Francisco Corpas
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.


  • Antioxidants;
  • Enzyme;
  • Metabolic pathways;
  • Metabolomics;
  • Nanoparticles;
  • Phytohormones (classical but also including melatonin, serotonin, and others);
  • Secondary metabolism;
  • Signaling (nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide and other) events;

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Metabolomic Analysis for Compositional Differences of Bush Tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.) Subjected to Seasonal Dynamics
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060892 - 23 Jun 2020
Bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.) is a South African indigenous herbal tea rich in secondary metabolites with medicinal significance. However, studies on the effects of seasonal changes on bush tea and quantification of its metabolites using untargeted approach have not been explored. [...] Read more.
Bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.) is a South African indigenous herbal tea rich in secondary metabolites with medicinal significance. However, studies on the effects of seasonal changes on bush tea and quantification of its metabolites using untargeted approach have not been explored. Therefore, this study’s objective was to investigate the effects of seasonal variation on the metabolites of bush tea using LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry) and 1H NMR (High-Resolution Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) techniques. Bush tea leaves were plucked once in each season namely, autumn (March to May), winter (June to August), spring (September to November), and summer (December to February). The primary metabolites including non-essential amino acids, organic acids, and vitamins in bush tea were predominantly elevated during summer and spring. The 1H NMR-based metabolomic analysis revealed that bush tea metabolome was strongly affected by seasonal variations, using the partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) which demonstrated four distinct groups of seasons. Similarly, the 1H NMR based metabolic profiling of bush tea subjected to different seasons resulted in putative annotation of six phenolic compounds which included rutin, 4-(hydroxyphenyl) propyl coumarate, caffeic acid, hymenoxin, quercetin, and kaempferol. The phenolics and primary metabolites differed remarkably per season with enhanced accumulation observed in the summer and spring harvested bush tea. The LC-MS and 1H NMR metabolomics analysis suggests that summer and spring can be recommended as preferred plucking seasons for bush tea leaves and twigs. Full article
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