Developing Temperature-Resilient Plants: Responses and Mitigation Strategies

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Breeding and Genetics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 September 2022) | Viewed by 74707

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Guest Editor
College of Agricultural, Environmental and Nutrition Sciences Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088, USA
Interests: plant genetics; biotechnology; genomics
Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Genetics, Breeding and Multiple Utilization of Crops, Center of Legume Crop Genetics and Systems Biology/College of Agriculture, Oil Crops Research Institute, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU), Fuzhou 350002, China
Interests: Crop genetics and breeding; plant biotechnology; crop stress physiology; genetic diversity; abiotic stress responses and tolerance mechanisms; transcription factors; multi-omics; RNA-seq; genomics; transcriptomics; metabolomics; proteomics; metabolic pathways; plant hormones; gene functional analysis; transgenic plants; oilseed crops
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Co-Guest Editor
Oil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Wuhan 430062, China
Interests: genetics; abotic stress; environmental stresses

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Co-Guest Editor
School of Life Sciences, Henan University, Jin Ming Avenue, Kaifeng, Henan 475004, China
Interests: plant breeding; heritability; transcription factors regulation network dissection in plant abiotic stresses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are extensively well-thought-out as the primary source for nourishing natural life on earth. However, plants have to face various temperature stresses, mainly heat, chilling, and freezing stress, due to adverse climate fluctuations. These stresses are considered as a major threat to sustainable agriculture by hindering plant growth and development, causing damage, ultimately leading to yield losses worldwide, and counteracting to achieve the goal of “ZERO HUNGER” proposed by the FAO-UN. Notably, this is primarily because of the numerous inequities happening at the molecular, cellular and/or physiological levels, especially during plant developmental stages under temperature stress. Plants counter to temperature stress via a complex phenomenon including variations at different developmental stages that comprise modifications in physiological and biochemical processes, gene expression, and differences in the levels of metabolites and proteins.

During the last decade, omics approaches and seed priming with different phytohormones/plant growth regulators have revolutionized how plant biologists explore stress-responsive mechanisms and pathways, driven by current scientific developments. However, investigations are still required to explore numerous features of temperature stress responses in plants to create a complete idea in stress signaling. Therefore, this special issue will highlight the recent advances in the utilization of different conventional and modern biotechnological strategies such as (but not limited to) genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, miRNA, genome editing, transgenic plants, exogenous application of plant growth regulators, etc., to understand stress adaptation and tolerance mechanisms to feed the growing population. 

We welcome submissions of original research and review articles dealing with temperature stress at both physiological and molecular levels.

Prof. Dr. Channapatna S. Prakash
Dr. Ali Raza
Prof. Dr. Xiling Zou
Prof. Dr. Daojie Wan
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Bioinformatics
  • biotechnology
  • cold stress
  • crop improvement
  • CRISPR/Cas system
  • freezing stress
  • gene functional analysis
  • gene family
  • genomics
  • heat stress
  • metabolomics
  • miRNAs
  • proteomics
  • physiological and molecular mechanisms
  • plant growth regulators
  • stress signalling
  • transgenic plants
  • transcriptomics.

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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7 pages, 235 KiB  
Editorial
Developing Temperature-Resilient Plants: A Matter of Present and Future Concern for Sustainable Agriculture
by Ali Raza, Daojie Wang, Xiling Zou and Channapatna S. Prakash
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041006 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1512
Abstract
Plants are decisive for nurturing life on Earth, but climate change threatens global food security, poverty decrease, and sustainable agriculture [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

18 pages, 6119 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Characterization of the SAMS Gene Family in Cotton Unveils the Putative Role of GhSAMS2 in Enhancing Abiotic Stress Tolerance
by Joseph Wanjala Kilwake, Muhammad Jawad Umer, Yangyang Wei, Teame Gereziher Mehari, Richard Odongo Magwanga, Yanchao Xu, Yuqing Hou, Yuhong Wang, Margaret Linyerera Shiraku, Joy Nyangasi Kirungu, Xiaoyan Cai, Zhongli Zhou, Renhai Peng and Fang Liu
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020612 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2213
Abstract
The most devastating abiotic factors worldwide are drought and salinity, causing severe bottlenecks in the agricultural sector. To acclimatize to these harsh ecological conditions, plants have developed complex molecular mechanisms involving diverse gene families. Among them, S-adenosyl-L-methionine synthetase (SAMS) genes initiate the physiological, [...] Read more.
The most devastating abiotic factors worldwide are drought and salinity, causing severe bottlenecks in the agricultural sector. To acclimatize to these harsh ecological conditions, plants have developed complex molecular mechanisms involving diverse gene families. Among them, S-adenosyl-L-methionine synthetase (SAMS) genes initiate the physiological, morphological, and molecular changes to enable plants to adapt appropriately. We identified and characterized 16 upland cotton SAMS genes (GhSAMSs). Phylogenetic analysis classified the GhSAMSs into three major groups closely related to their homologs in soybean. Gene expression analysis under drought and salt stress conditions revealed that GhSAMS2, which has shown the highest interaction with GhCBL10 (a key salt responsive gene), was the one that was most induced. GhSAMS2 expression knockdown via virus-induced gene silencing (VGIS) enhanced transgenic plants’ susceptibility to drought and salt stress. The TRV2:GhSAMS2 plants showed defects in terms of growth and physiological performances, including antioxidative processes, chlorophyll synthesis, and membrane permeability. Our findings provide insights into SAMS genes’ structure, classification, and role in abiotic stress response in upland cotton. Moreover, they show the potential of GhSAMS2 for the targeted improvement of cotton plants’ tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses. Full article
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13 pages, 965 KiB  
Article
Disentangling the Genetic Diversity of Grass Pea Germplasm Grown under Lowland and Highland Conditions
by Mehmet Arslan, Engin Yol and Mevlüt Türk
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2426; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102426 - 06 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Grass pea is recognized as one of the most resilient and versatile crops, thriving in extreme environments. It has also high protein content and suitable for forage production. These abilities make the crop a superior product for guaranteeing food security in changing climate [...] Read more.
Grass pea is recognized as one of the most resilient and versatile crops, thriving in extreme environments. It has also high protein content and suitable for forage production. These abilities make the crop a superior product for guaranteeing food security in changing climate conditions. To address this concern, a total of 94 accessions were assessed in relation to three qualitative and 19 quantitative traits in lowland (Antalya, Turkey) and highland (Isparta, Turkey) conditions. There were significant differences among genotypes for all agronomic traits in lowland location. The maximum biological yield was detected in GP104 and GP145 with values of 22.5 and 82.4 g in lowland and highland, respectively. The t-test of significance for mean values indicated that there were significant differences between the growing areas for all agronomic traits except for number of pods. Principal component analysis using the 11 agronomic traits including maturity, yield and yield related-traits showed that 76.4% and 72.2% variability were accounted for the first four principal components (PCs) with eigenvalues ≥ 1 in collection grown in highland and lowland, respectively. The data on variations in agronomic, quality and forage traits detected in this research provided useful genetic resources. The parental genotypes which have desired traits can be used in grass pea improvement programs to develop new cultivars. Full article
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17 pages, 7109 KiB  
Article
Agronomic and Physiological Indices for Reproductive Stage Heat Stress Tolerance in Green Super Rice
by Syed Adeel Zafar, Muhammad Hamza Arif, Muhammad Uzair, Umer Rashid, Muhammad Kashif Naeem, Obaid Ur Rehman, Nazia Rehman, Imdad Ullah Zaid, Muhammad Shahbaz Farooq, Nageen Zahra, Bilal Saleem, Jianlong Xu, Zhikang Li, Jauhar Ali, Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Seung Hwan Yang and Muhammad Ramzan Khan
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1907; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081907 - 14 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2342
Abstract
Optimum growing temperature is necessary for maximum yield-potential in any crop. The global atmospheric temperature is changing more rapidly and irregularly every year. High temperature at the flowering/reproductive stage in rice causes partial to complete pollen sterility, resulting in significant reduction in grain [...] Read more.
Optimum growing temperature is necessary for maximum yield-potential in any crop. The global atmospheric temperature is changing more rapidly and irregularly every year. High temperature at the flowering/reproductive stage in rice causes partial to complete pollen sterility, resulting in significant reduction in grain yield. Green Super Rice (GSR) is an effort to develop an elite rice type that can withstand multiple environmental stresses and maintain yield in different agro-ecological zones. The current study was performed to assess the effect of heat stress on agronomic and physiological attributes of GSR at flowering stage. Twenty-two GSR lines and four local checks were evaluated under normal and heat-stress conditions for different agro-physiological parameters, including plant height (PH), tillers per plant (TPP), grain yield per plant (GY), straw yield per plant (SY), harvest index (HI), 1000-grain weight (GW), grain length (GL), cell membrane stability (CMS), normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI), and pollen fertility percentage (PFP). Genotypes showed high significant variations for all the studied parameters except NDVI. Association and principal component analysis (PCA) explained the genetic diversity of the genotypes, and relationship between the particular parameters and grain yield. We found that GY, along with other agronomic traits, such as TPP, SY, HI, and CMS, were greatly affected by heat stress in most of the genotypes, while PH, GW, GL, PFP, and NDVI were affected only in a few genotypes. Outperforming NGSR-16 and NGSR-18 in heat stress could be utilized as a parent for the development of heat-tolerant rice. Moreover, these findings will be helpful in the prevention and management of heat stress in rice. Full article
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21 pages, 1481 KiB  
Article
Identification and Genetic Mapping of Potential QTLs Conferring Heat Tolerance in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) by Using Micro Satellite Marker’s Approach
by Shazia Rani, Muhammad Baber, Tahir Naqqash and Saeed Ahmad Malik
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061381 - 08 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1885
Abstract
High-temperature stress can cause serious abiotic damage that limits the yield and quality of cotton plants. Heat Tolerance (HT) during the different developmental stages of cotton can guarantee a high yield under heat stress. HT is a complex trait that is regulated by [...] Read more.
High-temperature stress can cause serious abiotic damage that limits the yield and quality of cotton plants. Heat Tolerance (HT) during the different developmental stages of cotton can guarantee a high yield under heat stress. HT is a complex trait that is regulated by multiple quantitative trait loci (QTLs). In this study, the F2 population derived from a cross between MNH-886, a heat-tolerant cultivar, and MNH-814, a heat-sensitive variety, was used to map HT QTLs during different morphological stages in cotton. A genetic map covering 4402.7 cm, with 175 marker loci and 26 linkage groups, was constructed by using this F2 population (94 individuals). This population was evaluated for different 23 morpho-physiological HT contributing traits QTL analysis via composite interval mapping detected 17 QTLs: three QTLs each for Total Number of Sympodes (TNS), Length of Bract (LOB), and Length of Staminal-column (LOS); two QTLs for First Sympodial Node Height (FSH), and one QTL each for Sympodial Node Height (SNH), Percent Boll set on second position along Sympodia (PBS), Total Number of Nodes (TNN), Number of Bolls (NOB), Total Number of Buds (TNB), and Length of Petal (LOP). Individually, the QTLs accounted for 7.76%–36.62% of phenotypic variation. QTLs identified linked with heat tolerance traits can facilitate marker-assisted breeding for heat tolerance in cotton. Full article
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14 pages, 7107 KiB  
Article
The Role of Salicylic Acid in Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Chilling Stress on “Seddik” Mango Transplants
by Ibrahim Hmmam, Amr E. M. Ali, Samir M. Saleh, Nagwa Khedr and Abdou Abdellatif
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061369 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2112
Abstract
Salicylic acid (SA) was sprayed on “Seddik” mango transplants at concentrations of 0, 0.5, 1, and 1.5 mM. Then, the mango transplants were subjected to 72 h of chilling stress at 4 ± 1 °C, followed by a six-day recovery under greenhouse conditions. [...] Read more.
Salicylic acid (SA) was sprayed on “Seddik” mango transplants at concentrations of 0, 0.5, 1, and 1.5 mM. Then, the mango transplants were subjected to 72 h of chilling stress at 4 ± 1 °C, followed by a six-day recovery under greenhouse conditions. Untreated transplants exposed to chilling stress represented the positive control, while those not exposed were the negative control. SA-pretreated mango transplants were compared to the positive and negative controls, evaluating physiological and biochemical changes. The SA concentration of 1.5 mM L−1 was the most efficient in mitigating chilling injury (CI) in mango transplants by maintaining the integrity of the leaves’ cell membrane and minimizing electrolyte leakage (EL), specifically after six days of recovery. SA increased photosynthetic pigment content, total sugar content, and 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity and decreased proline and total phenolic content in the “Seddik” mango transplants’ leaves. After exposure to chilling stress, the antioxidant enzymes’ internal activities in SA-pretreated chilled mango transplants improved, especially on the sixth day of recovery, compared to the negative control; the transplants nearly attained normal growth levels. Thus, SA can protect plants against the adverse effects of chilling stress. Full article
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23 pages, 2989 KiB  
Article
Estimation of Genetic Variances and Stability Components of Yield-Related Traits of Green Super Rice at Multi-Environmental Conditions in Pakistan
by Imdad Ullah Zaid, Nageen Zahra, Madiha Habib, Muhammad Kashif Naeem, Umair Asghar, Muhammad Uzair, Anila Latif, Anum Rehman, Ghulam Muhammad Ali and Muhammad Ramzan Khan
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051157 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2463
Abstract
Identifying adopted Green Super Rice (GSR) under different agro-ecological locations in Pakistan is crucial to sustaining the high productivity of rice. For this purpose, the multi-location trials of GSR were conducted to evaluate the magnitude of genetic variability, heritability, and stability in eight [...] Read more.
Identifying adopted Green Super Rice (GSR) under different agro-ecological locations in Pakistan is crucial to sustaining the high productivity of rice. For this purpose, the multi-location trials of GSR were conducted to evaluate the magnitude of genetic variability, heritability, and stability in eight different locations in Pakistan. The experimental trial was laid out in a randomized complete block (RCB) design with three replications at each location. The combined analysis of variance (ANOVA) manifested significant variations for tested genotypes (g), locations (L), years (Y), genotype × year (GY), and genotype × location (GL) interactions revealing the influence of environmental factors (L and Y) on yield traits. High broad-sense heritability estimates were observed for all the studied traits representing low environmental influence over the expression of traits. Noticeably, GSR 48 showed maximum stability than all other lines in the univariate model across the two years for grain yield and related traits data. Multivariate stability analysis characterized GSR 305 and GSR 252 as the highest yielding with optimum stability across the eight tested locations. Overall, Narowal, Muzaffargarh, and Swat were the most stable locations for GSR cultivation in Pakistan. In conclusion, this study revealed that G×E interactions were an important source of rice yield variation, and its AMMI and biplots analysis are efficient tools for visualizing the response of genotypes to different locations. Full article
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16 pages, 3335 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification, Characterization, and Expression Analysis of TUBBY Gene Family in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under Biotic and Abiotic Stresses
by Adil Altaf, Ahmad Zada, Shahid Hussain, Sadia Gull, Yonggang Ding, Rongrong Tao, Min Zhu and Xinkai Zhu
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051121 - 06 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
The TUBBY gene family is a group of transcription factors found in animals and plants with many functions. TLP genes have a significant role in response to different abiotic stresses. However, there is limited knowledge regarding the TUBBY gene family in T. aestivum [...] Read more.
The TUBBY gene family is a group of transcription factors found in animals and plants with many functions. TLP genes have a significant role in response to different abiotic stresses. However, there is limited knowledge regarding the TUBBY gene family in T. aestivum. Here we identified 40 TaTLP genes in wheat to reveal their potential function. This study found that TUBBY (TaTLP) genes are highly conserved in wheat. The GO analysis of TaTLP genes revealed their role in growth and stress responses. Promoter analysis revealed that most TaTLPs participate in hormone and abiotic stress responses. The heatmap analysis also showed that TaTLP genes showed expression under various hormonal and abiotic stress conditions. Several genes were upregulated under different hormonal and temperature stresses. The qRT-PCR analysis confirmed our hypotheses. The results clearly indicate that various TaTLP genes showed high expression under temperature stress conditions. Furthermore, the results showed that TaTLP genes are expressed in multiple tissues with different expression patterns. For the first time in wheat, we present a comprehensive TaTLP analysis. These findings provide valuable clues for future research about the role of TLPs in the abiotic stress process in plants. Overall, the research outcomes can serve as a model for improving wheat quality through genetic engineering. Full article
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17 pages, 2201 KiB  
Article
Leaf Pigments, Surface Wax and Spectral Vegetation Indices for Heat Stress Resistance in Pea
by Endale Geta Tafesse, Thomas D. Warkentin, Steve Shirtliffe, Scott Noble and Rosalind Bueckert
Agronomy 2022, 12(3), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12030739 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2575
Abstract
Pea is a grain legume crop commonly grown in semi-arid temperate regions. Pea is susceptible to heat stress that affects development and reduces yield. Leaf pigments and surface wax in a crop canopy make the primary interaction with the environment and can impact [...] Read more.
Pea is a grain legume crop commonly grown in semi-arid temperate regions. Pea is susceptible to heat stress that affects development and reduces yield. Leaf pigments and surface wax in a crop canopy make the primary interaction with the environment and can impact plant response to environmental stress. Vegetation indices can be used to indirectly assess canopy performance in regard to pigment, biomass, and water content to indicate overall plant stress. Our objectives were to investigate the contribution of leaf pigments and surface wax to heat avoidance in pea canopies, and their associations with spectral vegetation indices. Canopies represented by 24 pea cultivars varying in leaf traits were tested in field trials across six environments with three stress levels in western Canada. Compared with the control non-stress environments, heat stress reduced leaf lamina and petiole chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoid concentrations by 18–35%, and increased leaf lamina chlorophyll a/b ratio, anthocyanin and wax concentrations by 24–28%. Generally, greater leaf pigment and wax concentrations were associated with cooler canopy temperature and high heat tolerance index (HTI) values. Upright cultivars had higher HTI values, whereas the lowest HTI was associated with normal leafed vining cultivars. Vegetation indices, including photochemical reflectance index (PRI), green normalized vegetation index (GNDVI), normalized pigment chlorophyll ratio index (NPCI), and water band index (WBI), had strong correlations with HTI and with heat avoidance traits. This study highlights the contribution of pigments and wax as heat avoidance traits in crop canopies, and the potential application of spectral measurements for selecting genotypes with more heat resistant vegetation. Full article
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20 pages, 2864 KiB  
Article
Low Temperature Effect on Different Varieties of Corchorus capsularis and Corchorus olitorius at Seedling Stage
by Susmita Dey, Ashok Biswas, Siqi Huang, Defang Li, Liangliang Liu, Yong Deng, Aiping Xiao, Ziggiju Mesenbet Birhanie, Jiangjiang Zhang, Jianjun Li and Youcai Gong
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2547; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11122547 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2911
Abstract
To address the demand for natural fibers, developing new varieties that are resistant to abiotic stress is necessary. The present study was designed to investigate the physiological and biochemical traits of three varieties of C. capularis (Y49, Y38, and Y1) and four varieties [...] Read more.
To address the demand for natural fibers, developing new varieties that are resistant to abiotic stress is necessary. The present study was designed to investigate the physiological and biochemical traits of three varieties of C. capularis (Y49, Y38, and Y1) and four varieties C. olitorius (T8, W57, M33, M18) under low temperature to identify the cold-tolerant varieties and elucidate the mechanisms involved in enhancing cold tolerance. Research findings revealed that the varieties Y49 and M33 exhibited the highest chlorophyll and carotenoid content. Biochemical profiles revealed that varieties Y49 and M33 were found to be able to withstand low-temperature stress by accumulating different enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APx), glutathione (GSH), and phenolics, which participated in reducing the content of malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) caused by low temperature. Osmolytes compounds, such as total soluble sugar, significantly increased in Y49 and M33; and proline content decreased in all varieties except Y49 and M33 after low-temperature exposure. The rise in these osmolytes molecules can be a defense mechanism for the jute’s osmotic readjustment to reduce the oxidative damage induced by low temperature. Furthermore, PCA and hierarchical cluster analysis distinguished the seven varieties into three separate groups. Results confirmed that group I (Y49 and M33 varieties) were low-temperature tolerant, group II (M18, W57) were intermediate, whereas III groups (Y38, T8, and Y1) were low temperature susceptible. PCA also explained 88.36% of the variance of raw data and clearly distinguished three groups that are similar to the cluster heat map. The study thus confirmed the tolerance of selected varieties that might be an efficient adaptation strategy and utilized them for establishing breeding programs for cold tolerance. Full article
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24 pages, 5084 KiB  
Article
Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase (PAL) Genes Family in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): Genome-Wide Characterization and Expression Profiling
by Fatima Rasool, Muhammad Uzair, Muhammad Kashif Naeem, Nazia Rehman, Amber Afroz, Hussain Shah and Muhammad Ramzan Khan
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2511; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11122511 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 5610
Abstract
Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) is the first enzyme in the phenylpropanoid pathway and plays a vital role in adoption, growth, and development in plants but in wheat its characterization is still not very clear. Here, we report a genome-wide identification of TaPAL genes and [...] Read more.
Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) is the first enzyme in the phenylpropanoid pathway and plays a vital role in adoption, growth, and development in plants but in wheat its characterization is still not very clear. Here, we report a genome-wide identification of TaPAL genes and analysis of their transcriptional expression, duplication, and phylogeny in wheat. A total of 37 TaPAL genes that cluster into three subfamilies have been identified based on phylogenetic analysis. These TaPAL genes are distributed on 1A, 1B, 1D, 2A, 2B, 2D, 4A, 5B, 6A, 6B, and 6D chromosomes. Gene structure, conserved domain analysis, and investigation of cis-regulatory elements were systematically carried out. Chromosomal rearrangements and gene loss were observed by evolutionary analysis of the orthologs among Triticum urartu, Aegilops tauschii, and Triticum aestivum during the origin of bread wheat. Gene ontology analysis revealed that PAL genes play a role in plant growth. We also identified 27 putative miRNAs targeting 37 TaPAL genes. The high expression level of PAL genes was detected in roots of drought-tolerant genotypes compared to drought-sensitive genotypes. However, very low expressions of TaPAL10, TaPAL30, TaPAL32, TaPAL3, and TaPAL28 were recorded in all wheat genotypes. Arogenate dehydratase interacts with TaPAL29 and has higher expression in roots. The analysis of all identified genes in RNA-seq data showed that they are expressed in roots and shoots under normal and abiotic stress. Our study offers valuable data on the functioning of PAL genes in wheat. Full article
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14 pages, 3444 KiB  
Article
Intra-Plant Variability for Heat Tolerance Related Attributes in Upland Cotton
by Aneeq ur Rehman, Iqrar Ahmad Rana, Sajid Majeed, Muhammad Tanees Chaudhary, Mujahid Zulfiqar, Seung-Hwan Yang, Gyuhwa Chung, Yinhua Jia, Xiongming Du, Lori Hinze and Muhammad Tehseen Azhar
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2375; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11122375 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2513
Abstract
Abiotic stress, particularly heat stress, affects various parts of the cotton plant and ultimately impacts the seed cotton yield. Different portions of a single cotton plant of a cultivar exhibit variable responses to stress during reproductive and vegetative phases. To test this hypothesis, [...] Read more.
Abiotic stress, particularly heat stress, affects various parts of the cotton plant and ultimately impacts the seed cotton yield. Different portions of a single cotton plant of a cultivar exhibit variable responses to stress during reproductive and vegetative phases. To test this hypothesis, physiological and morphological traits related to heat stress were observed for two flowering positions in 13 genotypes of upland cotton. These genotypes were sown in field conditions in triplicate following a randomized complete block design. Data were collected for pollen germination, pollen viability, cell membrane thermostability, chlorophyll content, boll weight, and boll retention for both the top and bottom branches of each genotype. The collected data were analyzed for the identification of variability within and between genotypes for these two flowering positions. Tukey’s test was applied to estimate the significance of differences between genotypes and positions within each genotype. Results showed that the two positions within the same plant statistically varied from each other. The bottom branches of the genotypes performed significantly better for all traits measured except boll weight. The genotype AA-933 performed best for pollen germination and boll retention, while CYTO-608 exhibited maximum pollen viability in both the bottom and top flower positions compared with other genotypes. Overall, MNH-1016 and CIM-602 showed better cell membrane thermostability and chlorophyll content, respectively. This intra-plant variability can be further exploited in breeding programs to enhance the stress tolerance capabilities of the resulting varieties. Full article
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35 pages, 10267 KiB  
Article
Adaptability Mechanisms of Japonica Rice Based on the Comparative Temperature Conditions of Harbin and Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province of Northeast China
by Muhammad Shahbaz Farooq, Amatus Gyilbag, Ahmad Latif Virk and Yinlong Xu
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2367; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112367 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2542
Abstract
Japonica rice has been considerably impacted from climate change, mainly regarding temperature variations. Adjusting the crop management practices based on the assessment of adaptability mechanisms to take full advantage of climate resources during the growing season is an important technique for japonica rice [...] Read more.
Japonica rice has been considerably impacted from climate change, mainly regarding temperature variations. Adjusting the crop management practices based on the assessment of adaptability mechanisms to take full advantage of climate resources during the growing season is an important technique for japonica rice adaptation to climate changed conditions. Research based on the adaptability mechanisms of japonica rice to temperature and other environmental variables has theoretical and practical significance to constitute a theoretical foundation for sustainable japonica rice production system. A contrived study was arranged with method of replacing time with space having four different japonica cultivars namely Longdao-18, Longdao-21, Longjing-21, and Suijing-18, and carried out in Harbin and Qiqihar during the years 2017–2019 to confer with the adaptability mechanisms in terms of growth, yield and quality. The formation of the grain-filling material for superior and inferior grains was mainly in the middle phase which shared nearly 60% of whole grain-filling process. Maximum yield was noticed in Longdao-18 at Harbin and Qiqihar which was 9500 and 13,250 kg/ha, respectively. The yield contributing components fertile tillers, number of grains per panicle, and 1000-grain weight were higher at Qiqihar; therefore, there was more potential to get higher yield. The data for grain-filling components demonstrated that the filling intensity and duration at Qiqihar was contributive to increase the grain yield, whereas the limiting agents to limit yield at Harbin were the dry weights of inferior grains. The varietal differences in duration and time of day of anthesis were small. Across all cultivars and both study sites, nearly 85% of the variation of the maximum time of anthesis could be justified with mean atmospheric temperature especially mean minimum temperature. Mean onset of anthesis was earliest in Longdao-21 at Harbin, whereas it was latest in Longdao-18 at Qiqihar. The maximum time to end anthesis and the longest duration of anthesis were taken by Longdao-18, i.e., 9.0 hasr and 4.2 h, respectively. Chalkiness and brown rice percentages were elevated at Qiqihar showing Harbin produced good quality rice. This study investigated the adaptability mechanisms of japonica rice under varying temperature conditions to distinguish the stress tolerance features for future sustainability and profitability in NEC. It was concluded that there is an adaptive value for anthesis especially regarding Tmin and, moreover, earlier transplantation may produce tall plants. The results demonstrated that high temperature at the onset of anthesis at the start of the day enhanced the escape from high temperature later during the day. Early transplantation is recommended in NEC because earlier anthesis during humid days rendered for potential escape from high ambient temperature later during that day. Temperature influenced japonica rice significantly and coherently, whereas the influence of growing season precipitation was not significant. Daily mean sunshine influenced the japonica rice significantly, but the impact was less spatially coherent. The results foregrounded the response of the japonica rice to external driving factors focusing climate, but ignored socioeconomic suggesting emphasis on both driving factors to target future research and render important insights into how japonica rice can adapt in mid-high-latitude regions. Full article
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19 pages, 3403 KiB  
Article
Effects of Environmental Stresses (Heat, Salt, Waterlogging) on Grain Yield and Associated Traits of Wheat under Application of Sulfur-Coated Urea
by Adil Altaf, Xinkai Zhu, Min Zhu, Ma Quan, Sana Irshad, Dongyi Xu, Muhammad Aleem, Xinbo Zhang, Sadia Gull, Fujian Li, Amir Zaman Shah and Ahmad Zada
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2340; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112340 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3223
Abstract
Abiotic stresses, such as heat, salt, waterlogging, and multiple-stress environments have significantly reduced wheat production in recent decades. There is a need to use effective strategies for overcoming crop losses due to these abiotic stresses. Fertilizer-based approaches are readily available and can be [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses, such as heat, salt, waterlogging, and multiple-stress environments have significantly reduced wheat production in recent decades. There is a need to use effective strategies for overcoming crop losses due to these abiotic stresses. Fertilizer-based approaches are readily available and can be managed in all farming communities. This research revealed the effects of sulfur-coated urea (SCU, 130 kg ha−1, release time of 120 days) on wheat crops under heat, salt, waterlogging, and combined-stress climatic conditions. The research was done using a completely randomized design with three replicates. The results revealed that SCU at a rate of 130 kg of N ha−1 showed a significantly (p ≤ 0.05) high SPAD value (55) in the case of waterlogging stress, while it was the lowest (31) in the case of heat stress; the control had a SPAD value of 58. Stress application significantly (p ≤ 0.05) reduced the leaf area and was the highest in control (1898 cm2), followed by salt stress (1509 cm2), waterlogging (1478 cm2), and heat stress (1298 cm2). A significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lowest crop yield was observed in the case of heat stress (3623.47 kg ha−1) among all stresses, while it was 10,270 kg ha−1 in control and was reduced up to 35% after the application of heat stress. Among all stresses, the salt stress showed the highest crop yield of 5473.16 kg ha−1. A significant correlation was observed among growth rate, spike length, yield, and physiological constraints with N content in the soil. The SCU fertilizer was the least effective against heat stress but could tolerate salt stress in wheat plants. The findings suggested the feasibility of adding SCU as an alternative to normal urea to alleviate salt stresses and improve wheat crop growth and yield traits. For heat stress tolerance, the applicability of SCU with a longer release period of ~180 days is recommended as a future prospect for study. Full article
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27 pages, 6471 KiB  
Article
In Silico Characterization and Expression Profiles of Heat Shock Transcription Factors (HSFs) in Maize (Zea mays L.)
by Saqlain Haider, Shazia Rehman, Yumna Ahmad, Ali Raza, Javaria Tabassum, Talha Javed, Hany S. Osman and Tariq Mahmood
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2335; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112335 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3929
Abstract
Heat shock transcription factors (HSFs) regulate many environmental stress responses and biological processes in plants. Maize (Zea mays L.) is a major cash crop that is grown worldwide. However, the growth and yield of maize are affected by several adverse environmental stresses. [...] Read more.
Heat shock transcription factors (HSFs) regulate many environmental stress responses and biological processes in plants. Maize (Zea mays L.) is a major cash crop that is grown worldwide. However, the growth and yield of maize are affected by several adverse environmental stresses. Therefore, investigating the factors that regulate maize growth and development and resistance to abiotic stress is an essential task for developing stress-resilient maize varieties. Thus, a comprehensive genome-wide identification analysis was performed to identify HSFs genes in the maize genome. The current study identified 25 ZmHSFs, randomly distributed throughout the maize genome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that ZmHSFs are divided into three classes and 13 sub-classes. Gene structure and protein motif analysis supported the results obtained through the phylogenetic analysis. Segmental duplication is shown to be responsible for the expansion of ZmHSFs. Most of the ZmHSFs are localized inside the nucleus, and the ZmHSFs which belong to the same group show similar physio-chemical properties. Previously reported and publicly available RNA-seq analysis revealed a major role of class A HSFs including ZmHSFA-1a and ZmHSFA-2a in all the maize growth stages, i.e., seed, vegetative, and reproductive development. Under abiotic stress conditions (heat, drought, cold, UV, and salinity), members of class A and B ZmHSFs are induced. Gene ontology and protein–protein interaction analysis indicated a major role of ZmHSFs in resistance to environmental stress and regulation of primary metabolism. To summarize, this study provides novel insights for functional studies on the ZmHSFs in maize breeding programs. Full article
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14 pages, 649 KiB  
Article
Seed Priming with Sulfhydral Thiourea Enhances the Performance of Camelina sativa L. under Heat Stress Conditions
by Ejaz Ahmad Waraich, Muhammad Ahmad, Walid Soufan, Muhammad Taimoor Manzoor, Zahoor Ahmad, Muhammad Habib-Ur-Rahman and Ayman EL Sabagh
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091875 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2896
Abstract
Temperature is a key factor influencing plant growth and productivity; however, temperature fluctuations can cause detrimental effects on crop growth. This study aimed to assess the effect of seed priming on Camelina sativa L. under heat stress. Experimental treatments were comprised of; seed [...] Read more.
Temperature is a key factor influencing plant growth and productivity; however, temperature fluctuations can cause detrimental effects on crop growth. This study aimed to assess the effect of seed priming on Camelina sativa L. under heat stress. Experimental treatments were comprised of; seed priming including, no-priming, hydropriming (distilled water priming), and osmopriming (thiourea applications at 500 ppm), heat stress (control = 20 °C and heat stress = 32 °C), and camelina varieties (7126 and 8046). Heat stress hammered crop growth as relative water content and photosynthetic rate were reduced by 35.9% and 49.05% in 7126, respectively, and 25.6% and 41.2% in 8046 as compared with control-no thiourea applied. However, osmopriming with thiourea improved the root and shoot length, and biomass production compared to control–no application under heat stress, with more improvement in variety 8046 as compared with 7126. Moreover, the maximum values of gas exchange and water relations were recorded at thiourea priming and no stress as compared with no-priming under heat stress that helped to improve seed yield by 12% in 7126 and 15% in 8046, respectively. Among the varieties, camelina variety 8046 showed better performance than 7126 by producing higher seed yield especially when subjected to thiourea priming. In conclusion, thiourea seed priming helped the plants to mitigate the adverse effects of heat stress by upregulating plant physiological attributes that lead to maintain camelina seed yield. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

14 pages, 333 KiB  
Review
Comprehensive Understanding of Selecting Traits for Heat Tolerance during Vegetative and Reproductive Growth Stages in Tomato
by Kwanuk Lee, Sherzod Nigmatullayevich Rajametov, Hyo-Bong Jeong, Myeong-Cheoul Cho, Oak-Jin Lee, Sang-Gyu Kim, Eun-Young Yang and Won-Byoung Chae
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040834 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3252
Abstract
Climate change is an important emerging issue worldwide; the surface temperature of the earth is anticipated to increase by 0.3 °C in every decade. This elevated temperature causes an adverse impact of heat stress (HS) on vegetable crops; this has been considered as [...] Read more.
Climate change is an important emerging issue worldwide; the surface temperature of the earth is anticipated to increase by 0.3 °C in every decade. This elevated temperature causes an adverse impact of heat stress (HS) on vegetable crops; this has been considered as a crucial limiting factor for global food security as well as crop production. In tomato plants, HS also causes changes in physiological, morphological, biochemical, and molecular responses during all vegetative and reproductive growth stages, resulting in poor fruit quality and low yield. Thus, to select genotypes and develop tomato cultivars with heat tolerance, feasible and reliable screening strategies are required that can be adopted in breeding programs in both open-field and greenhouse conditions. In this review, we discuss previous and recent studies describing attempts to screen heat-tolerant tomato genotypes under HS that have adopted different HS regimes and threshold temperatures, and the association of heat tolerance with physiological and biochemical traits during vegetative and reproductive growth stages. In addition, we examined the wide variety of parameters to evaluate the tomato’s tolerance to HS, including vegetative growth, such as leaf growth parameters, plant height and stem, as well as reproductive growth in terms of flower number, fruit set and yield, and pollen and ovule development, thereby proposing strategies for the development of heat-tolerant tomato cultivars in response to high temperature. Full article
16 pages, 2351 KiB  
Review
‘Breathing Out’ under Heat Stress—Respiratory Control of Crop Yield under High Temperature
by Nitin Sharma, Meenakshi Thakur, Pavithra Suryakumar, Purbali Mukherjee, Ali Raza, Channapatna S. Prakash and Anjali Anand
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040806 - 27 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5698
Abstract
Respiration and photosynthesis are indispensable plant metabolic processes that are affected by elevated temperatures leading to disruption of the carbon economy of the plants. Increasing global temperatures impose yield penalties in major staple crops that are attributed to increased respiratory carbon loss, through [...] Read more.
Respiration and photosynthesis are indispensable plant metabolic processes that are affected by elevated temperatures leading to disruption of the carbon economy of the plants. Increasing global temperatures impose yield penalties in major staple crops that are attributed to increased respiratory carbon loss, through higher maintenance respiration resulting in a shortage of non-structural carbohydrates and an increase in metabolic processes like protein turnover and maintenance of ion concentration gradients. At a cellular level, warmer temperatures lead to mitochondrial swelling as well as downregulation of respiration by increasing the adenosine triphosphate:adenosine diphosphate (ATP:ADP) ratio, the abscisic acid-mediated reduction in ATP transfer to the cytosol, and the disturbance in a concentration gradient of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates, as well as increasing lipid peroxidation in mitochondrial membranes and cytochrome c release to trigger programmed cell death. In this review, we discuss the mechanistic insight into the heat stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction that controls dark respiration in plants. Furthermore, the role of hormones in regulating the network of processes that are involved in retrograde signaling is highlighted. We also propose different strategies to reduce carbon loss under high temperature, e.g., selecting genotypes with low respiration rates and using genome editing tools to target the carbon-consuming pathways by replacing, relocating, or rescheduling the metabolic activities. Full article
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12 pages, 1166 KiB  
Review
Role of Glycine Betaine in the Thermotolerance of Plants
by Faisal Zulfiqar, Muhammad Ashraf and Kadambot H. M. Siddique
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020276 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 7839
Abstract
As global warming progresses, agriculture will likely be impacted enormously by the increasing heat stress (HS). Hence, future crops, especially in the southern Mediterranean regions, need thermotolerance to maintain global food security. In this regard, plant scientists are searching for solutions to tackle [...] Read more.
As global warming progresses, agriculture will likely be impacted enormously by the increasing heat stress (HS). Hence, future crops, especially in the southern Mediterranean regions, need thermotolerance to maintain global food security. In this regard, plant scientists are searching for solutions to tackle the yield-declining impacts of HS on crop plants. Glycine betaine (GB) has received considerable attention due to its multiple roles in imparting plant abiotic stress resistance, including to high temperature. Several studies have reported GB as a key osmoprotectant in mediating several plant responses to HS, including growth, protein modifications, photosynthesis, gene expression, and oxidative defense. GB accumulation in plants under HS differs; therefore, engineering genes for GB accumulation in non-accumulating plants is a key strategy for improving HS tolerance. Exogenous application of GB has shown promise for managing HS in plants, suggesting its involvement in protecting plant cells. Even though overexpressing GB in transgenics or exogenously applying it to plants induces tolerance to HS, this phenomenon needs to be unraveled under natural field conditions to design breeding programs and generate highly thermotolerant crops. This review summarizes the current knowledge on GB involvement in plant thermotolerance and discusses knowledge gaps and future research directions for enhancing thermotolerance in economically important crop plants. Full article
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22 pages, 1207 KiB  
Review
MicroRNA and cDNA-Microarray as Potential Targets against Abiotic Stress Response in Plants: Advances and Prospects
by Tariq Pervaiz, Muhammad Waqas Amjid, Ashraf El-kereamy, Shi-Hui Niu and Harry X. Wu
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010011 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3613
Abstract
Abiotic stresses, such as temperature (heat and cold), salinity, and drought negatively affect plant productivity; hence, the molecular responses of abiotic stresses need to be investigated. Numerous molecular and genetic engineering studies have made substantial contributions and revealed that abiotic stresses are the [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses, such as temperature (heat and cold), salinity, and drought negatively affect plant productivity; hence, the molecular responses of abiotic stresses need to be investigated. Numerous molecular and genetic engineering studies have made substantial contributions and revealed that abiotic stresses are the key factors associated with production losses in plants. In response to abiotic stresses, altered expression patterns of miRNAs have been reported, and, as a result, cDNA-microarray and microRNA (miRNA) have been used to identify genes and their expression patterns against environmental adversities in plants. MicroRNA plays a significant role in environmental stresses, plant growth and development, and regulation of various biological and metabolic activities. MicroRNAs have been studied for over a decade to identify those susceptible to environmental stimuli, characterize expression patterns, and recognize their involvement in stress responses and tolerance. Recent findings have been reported that plants assign miRNAs as critical post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in a sequence-specific manner to adapt to multiple abiotic stresses during their growth and developmental cycle. In this study, we reviewed the current status and described the application of cDNA-microarray and miRNA to understand the abiotic stress responses and different approaches used in plants to survive against different stresses. Despite the accessibility to suitable miRNAs, there is a lack of simple ways to identify miRNA and the application of cDNA-microarray. The elucidation of miRNA responses to abiotic stresses may lead to developing technologies for the early detection of plant environmental stressors. The miRNAs and cDNA-microarrays are powerful tools to enhance abiotic stress tolerance in plants through multiple advanced sequencing and bioinformatics techniques, including miRNA-regulated network, miRNA target prediction, miRNA identification, expression profile, features (disease or stress, biomarkers) association, tools based on machine learning algorithms, NGS, and tools specific for plants. Such technologies were established to identify miRNA and their target gene network prediction, emphasizing current achievements, impediments, and future perspectives. Furthermore, there is also a need to identify and classify new functional genes that may play a role in stress resistance, since many plant genes constitute an unexplained fraction. Full article
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20 pages, 1412 KiB  
Review
Heat Stress in Cotton: A Review on Predicted and Unpredicted Growth-Yield Anomalies and Mitigating Breeding Strategies
by Sajid Majeed, Iqrar Ahmad Rana, Muhammad Salman Mubarik, Rana Muhammad Atif, Seung-Hwan Yang, Gyuhwa Chung, Yinhua Jia, Xiongming Du, Lori Hinze and Muhammad Tehseen Azhar
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091825 - 12 Sep 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 7037
Abstract
The demand for cotton fibres is increasing due to growing global population while its production is facing challenges from an unpredictable rise in temperature owing to rapidly changing climatic conditions. High temperature stress is a major stumbling block relative to agricultural production around [...] Read more.
The demand for cotton fibres is increasing due to growing global population while its production is facing challenges from an unpredictable rise in temperature owing to rapidly changing climatic conditions. High temperature stress is a major stumbling block relative to agricultural production around the world. Therefore, the development of thermo-stable cotton cultivars is gaining popularity. Understanding the effects of heat stress on various stages of plant growth and development and its tolerance mechanism is a prerequisite for initiating cotton breeding programs to sustain lint yield without compromising its quality under high temperature stress conditions. Thus, cotton breeders should consider all possible options, such as developing superior cultivars through traditional breeding, utilizing molecular markers and transgenic technologies, or using genome editing techniques to obtain desired features. Therefore, this review article discusses the likely effects of heat stress on cotton plants, tolerance mechanisms, and possible breeding strategies. Full article
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