Special Issue "Management of Agricultural Microbiomes towards Sustainability and Restoration"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Blanca R. López
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Bashan Institute of Science, Auburn, AL, USA
2. Environmental Microbiology Group, Northwestern Center for Biological Research (CIBNOR), La Paz, BCS, Mexico
Interests: soil restoration; drylands; plant–microbe interactions; microbial communities; plant-growth-promoting microorganisms
Dr. Luz E. de-Bashan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bashan Institute of Science, Auburn, AL, USA
Interests: microalga–plant-growth-promoting bacteria interaction; microbial synthetic inoculants; microbial-assisted restoration of eroded arid lands

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last century, crop production has been characterized by the excessive use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural practices that challenge the resilience of agroecosystems, leading in many cases to soil degradation and desertification, intensified by climate change. Microorganisms are nutrient cycling drivers and essential players in agroecological processes that influence soil fertility and improve crop performance against pests and environmental stress. Currently, comprehensive studies using omic technologies elucidate the diversity and function of microbial assemblages across agricultural components (soils, water) and different trophic levels (plants, soil mesofauna, herbivores), thus enabling the potential use of microbiomes as a biotechnological tool for agroecosystems sustainability and restoration.

This Special Issue aims to gather transdisciplinary contributions with innovative research, methodological proposals, and research ideas on agricultural microbiomes, focused on (but not restricted to) the following topics:

  • Methodological and experimental approaches that assess microbiomes across multitrophic levels (interactions) in degraded and recovered agroecosystems;
  • Management of agricultural microbiomes to address issues such as pest management or soil restoration;
  • Culture approaches (culturomics);
  • Microbiome-based biostimulants and their effect on plants, animals, and other components of the agroecosystem;
  • Microbial tools to revert soil degradation in agroecosystems.

We seek regular research papers, communications, short notes, reviews with research proposals, and original ideas.

Dr. Blanca R. López
Dr. Luz E. de-Bashan
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 1800 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.


  • agricultural microbiomes
  • soil degradation
  • restoration
  • multitrophic interactions

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Use of Acyl-Homoserine Lactones Leads to Improved Growth of Ginseng Seedlings and Shifts in Soil Microbiome Structure
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112177 - 28 Oct 2021
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Panax ginseng is a well-known medicinal plant that achieves strong resistance against plant pathogens while growing in the wild. Due to the high market demand for ginseng as a health food source, ginseng cultivation is prevalent in South Korea. However, continuous monocropping creates [...] Read more.
Panax ginseng is a well-known medicinal plant that achieves strong resistance against plant pathogens while growing in the wild. Due to the high market demand for ginseng as a health food source, ginseng cultivation is prevalent in South Korea. However, continuous monocropping creates problems like irregular growth or vulnerability to crop diseases. Quorum sensing (QS) deals with the intracellular communication of bacteria and plays a role in dynamic changes in the soil microbiome. Here, we investigated how acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signaling molecules in QS (C8, C10, and C12) improve plant growth and induce shifts in the soil microbiome. To assess the effects, we recorded root and shoot growth of ginseng seedlings and checked the changes in the soil microbiome during different time points (0, 2, 4, and 8) after 8 weeks of growth. We observed that soils treated with N-decanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C10) showed the most pronounced effects. Very striking was that C10 had the lowest alpha diversity. Using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt2), we observed a high number of QS-related functional genes, with the highest count occurring in the untreated planted soil (W). Together with the known direct and beneficial effects of AHLs on plant development, AHLs treated mono-cropped soil showed trends in the microbiome community. Full article
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