Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants: Towards a Sustainable Agriculture

A topical collection in Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This collection belongs to the section "Crop Breeding and Genetics".

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Editors

Departemnt of Biotechnology, Institute for Conservation & Improvement of Valentian Agrodiversity (COMAV), Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: genetics; plant breeding
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Some of the main challenges of present and future agriculture are the deterioration of the environmental conditions in many areas of the world and the uncertainty of climate. Therefore, improving crop tolerance to different types of abiotic stress is a priority to ensure a stable food supply for a growing human population. The nature of different abiotic stresses is very diverse, and so are plants' responses to them.

This Special Issue will focus on the "Physiological and Molecular Characterization of Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress". We invite novel research articles, reviews, and opinion papers covering all aspects of plant responses and mechanisms of tolerance to abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought, extreme temperatures, flooding, nutrient deficiencies, high radiation levels, toxic compounds (heavy metals, pesticides), ozone, etc. Physiological, biochemical, and molecular studies of crop responses to abiotic stresses, as well as papers describing the function of stress-responding genes, the development of stress-tolerant varieties, marker-assisted screening of stress-tolerant genotypes, and genetic engineering and other biotechnological approaches to improve crop tolerance will be welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Monica Boscaiu
Dr. Ana Fita
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • drought
  • salinity
  • extreme temperatures
  • plant breeding
  • stress tolerance
  • stress responses

Published Papers (26 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021

22 pages, 2046 KiB  
Review
Pesticides Toxicity, Removal and Detoxification in Plants: A Review
by Boyu Zhang, Fang Lv and Jing Yang
Agronomy 2024, 14(6), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14061260 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Pesticides play a crucial role in agricultural production by preventing diseases and pests and ensuring food yield. However, the irrational use of pesticides can lead to numerous issues that compromise crop quality and counteract the original intentions of their application. Therefore, it is [...] Read more.
Pesticides play a crucial role in agricultural production by preventing diseases and pests and ensuring food yield. However, the irrational use of pesticides can lead to numerous issues that compromise crop quality and counteract the original intentions of their application. Therefore, it is necessary to identify more effective methods to counteract pesticide stress. Here we review the impacts of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides on plants and the measures taken to reduce pesticide residues on plants. We have found that despite the substantial differences in the mechanisms of action of the aforementioned three types of pesticides, the adverse effects they inflict on plants are similar, and at certain dosages, they can severely constrain plant growth and disrupt physiological functions. Also, most current research on using exogenous growth regulators to alleviate pesticide stress still focuses on photosynthesis, the antioxidant system, three-stage detoxification, and secondary metabolites, neglecting the search for genes that respond to pesticide stress. We believe that by combining biological protection with post-harvest treatment techniques and exploring potential genes that are responsive to pesticide stress, a better strategy for dealing with pesticide stress can be found, thereby promoting sustainable agricultural development. Full article
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16 pages, 2031 KiB  
Article
Identification of Candidate Genes for Salt Tolerance at Seedling Stage in Rice Using QTL-Seq and Chromosome Segment Substitution Line-Derived Population
by Jiraporn Leawtrakun, Wanchana Aesomnuk, Srisawat Khanthong, Reajina Dumhai, Decha Songtoasesakul, Sunadda Phosuwan, Jiratchaya Nuanpirom, Varodom Charoensawan, Jonaliza L. Siangliw, Vinitchan Ruanjaichon, Theerayut Toojinda, Samart Wanchana, Meechai Siangliw and Siwaret Arikit
Agronomy 2024, 14(5), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14050929 - 28 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. However, the pervasive problem of salinity is severely undermining rice production, especially in coastal and low-lying areas where soil salinization is widespread. This stress, exacerbated by climate change, necessitates the [...] Read more.
Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. However, the pervasive problem of salinity is severely undermining rice production, especially in coastal and low-lying areas where soil salinization is widespread. This stress, exacerbated by climate change, necessitates the development of salt-tolerant rice varieties to ensure food security. In this study, an F2:3 population (n = 454) from a cross of KDML105 and its chromosome segment substitution line (CSSL) was used to identify genomic regions associated with salt tolerance at the seedling stage. Using the QTL-seq approach, a QTL significantly associated with salt tolerance was identified on chromosome 1. Annotation of candidate genes in this region revealed the potential regulators of salt tolerance, including MIKC-type MADS domain proteins, calmodulin-binding transcription factors, and NB-ARC domain-containing proteins. These and other identified genes provide insights into the genetic basis of salt tolerance. This study underscores the importance of using advanced genomics tools and CSSL populations in the study of complex traits such as salt tolerance in rice. Several candidate genes identified in this study could be used in further studies on molecular or physiological mechanisms related to the salt response and tolerance mechanism in rice. Additionally, these genes could also be utilized in plant breeding programs for salt tolerance. Full article
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18 pages, 4758 KiB  
Article
Performance and Stability Analysis of Extra-Early Maturing Orange Maize Hybrids under Drought Stress and Well-Watered Conditions
by Tégawendé Odette Bonkoungou, Baffour Badu-Apraku, Victor Olawale Adetimirin, Kiswendsida Romaric Nanema and Idris Ishola Adejumobi
Agronomy 2024, 14(4), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14040847 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 597
Abstract
The consistently low yield turnout of maize on farmers’ fields owing to drought and the nutritional challenges attributable to the consumption of white endosperm maize pose a major threat to food and nutritional security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The objectives of this study [...] Read more.
The consistently low yield turnout of maize on farmers’ fields owing to drought and the nutritional challenges attributable to the consumption of white endosperm maize pose a major threat to food and nutritional security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The objectives of this study were to assess the performance of newly developed extra-early maturing orange hybrids under managed drought and well-watered conditions, compare the outcomes of multiple-trait base index and multi-trait genotype–ideotype distance index selection procedures, and identify drought-tolerant hybrids with stable performance across contrasting environments for commercialization in SSA. One hundred and ninety orange hybrids and six checks were evaluated under managed drought and well-watered conditions at Ikenne for two seasons between 2021 and 2023. A 14 × 14-lattice design was used for the field evaluations under both research conditions. Drought stress was achieved by the complete withdrawal of irrigation water 25 days after planting. Results revealed significant differences among the hybrids under drought and well-watered conditions. Grain yield, ears per plant, and plant aspect under managed drought were correlated to the same traits under well-watered conditions, suggesting that the expression of these traits is governed by common genetic factors. Twenty-nine hybrids were identified as top-performing drought-tolerant hybrids by the multiple-trait base index and the multi-trait genotype–ideotype distance index. Of the selected outstanding 29 hybrids, 34% were derived from crosses involving the tester TZEEIOR 197, demonstrating the outstanding genetic potential of this inbred line. Further analysis of the 29 selected hybrids revealed TZEEIOR 509 × TZEEIOR 197 as the hybrid that combined the most drought-tolerant adaptive traits. However, the hybrids TZEEIOR 526 × TZEEIOR 97, TZEEIOR 384 × TZEEIOR 30, TZEEIOR 515 × TZEEIOR 249, TZEEIOR 510 × TZEEIOR 197, TZEEIOR 479 × TZEEIOR 197, and TZEEIOR 458 × TZEEIOR 197 were identified as the most stable hybrids across drought and well-watered conditions. These hybrids should be extensively tested in multi-location trials for deployment and commercialization in SSA. Full article
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14 pages, 2567 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Wheat Pollen Preservation for Enhanced Viability and In Vitro Germination
by Irum Khan, Muhammad Kashif Naeem, Armghan Shahzad, Zijin Zhang, Jing Chen and Muhammad Sajjad
Agronomy 2024, 14(1), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14010201 - 17 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1307
Abstract
Wheat pollen, which is characterized by its short lifespan, exhibits rapid germination after anthesis. The preservation of wheat pollen is contingent upon environmental factors including temperature, relative humidity, light, and wind. The aim is to explicate the process for efficiently storing wheat pollen, [...] Read more.
Wheat pollen, which is characterized by its short lifespan, exhibits rapid germination after anthesis. The preservation of wheat pollen is contingent upon environmental factors including temperature, relative humidity, light, and wind. The aim is to explicate the process for efficiently storing wheat pollen, particularly with regard to breeding. The short longevity of wheat pollen grains renders it impractical to conduct tests for pollen viability and in vitro germination on a large scale. Herein, the impact of storage temperatures and duration was assessed on pollen viability and in vitro germination in order to optimize storage conditions for preserving pollen viability. Pollen grains from 50 diverse spring wheat genotypes, each with three replicates, were harvested and stored at temperatures of 22 °C, −20 °C, and 4 °C. Subsequently, pollen viability and in vitro germination rates were determined after storage for 1, 3, and 6 days. The results revealed that storage temperatures, durations, genotypes, and their interactions had a statistically significant impact on both pollen viability and in vitro germination. Notably, when pollen was kept at 22 °C, almost all genotypes exhibited a loss of pollen viability and in vitro germination after 1, 3, and 6 days of storage. Likewise, storage at −20 °C failed to extend pollen germination. However, at a storage temperature of 4 °C, the pollen of 36 wheat genotypes exhibited a range of 6–14% for in vitro pollen germination and even remained viable for 6 days. The ANOVA revealed a substantial variation in grain number per spike between wheat genotypes, thereby highlighting the significant influence of genetic variations on grain yield. Moreover, a slight positive association between the viability of wheat pollen and the number of grains was found in the current study, suggesting that a variety of factors affect the number of grains produced. Simple linear regression analysis further revealed a significant negative correlation between pollen viability, in vitro germination, and storage time and temperature. In conclusion, our findings underscore that 4 °C is the optimal temperature for preserving pollen viability and in vitro pollen germination in spring wheat for up to 6 days. The results of the present study suggests that the pollen viability of wheat is dependent on genotype, storage temperature, and storage duration. Thus, the 36 wheat genotypes identified during the present work could be efficiently maintained at 4 °C for short-term storage (6 days) and could be further used for genetic and breeding purposes. Full article
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2023

Jump to: 2024, 2022, 2021

20 pages, 3176 KiB  
Article
Contribution of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) in Improving the Growth and Yield Performances of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) to Salinity Stress
by Ioanna Kakabouki, Panteleimon Stavropoulos, Ioannis Roussis, Antonios Mavroeidis and Dimitrios Bilalis
Agronomy 2023, 13(9), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13092416 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Throughout the world, salinity is a major environmental issue that limits agricultural productivity, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. In addition, climate change is the most important reason for the salinization of agricultural soils in the world, so it is now essential to [...] Read more.
Throughout the world, salinity is a major environmental issue that limits agricultural productivity, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. In addition, climate change is the most important reason for the salinization of agricultural soils in the world, so it is now essential to find solutions to increase salinity tolerance in plants. This study investigated the potential of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation to enhance the growth and yield performances of flax under different salinity levels by conducting a pot experiment. The experiment was laid out in a two-factor completely randomized design including AMF inoculation (AMF+: with inoculation; AMF−: without inoculation) and irrigation water salinity (0, 50, 100, and 150 mM NaCl). According to the results, it is evident that salt stress caused negative physiological effects, including limited growth, reduced photosynthesis, and decreased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) content in the shoots and roots of flax plants. Moreover, mycorrhizal association improved the salt tolerance of the plants by increasing chlorophyll content, and enhancing N and P shoot and root contents and consequently yield parameters, such as seed and stem fiber yield, particularly at moderate salt concentrations (50 and 100 mM NaCl). In particular, under 100 mM, AMF increased the total chlorophyll content, N shoot and root content, P shoot and root content, and seed and stem fiber yield by 30.4%, 36.1%, 31.0%, 38.9%, 45.4%, 35.2%, and 26.9%, respectively. As a result of using AMF, flax plants grown under salt stress exhibited tolerance, suggesting that AMF could be applied in saline environments to maintain ecological stability. Full article
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23 pages, 3813 KiB  
Article
Finding Phenotypic Biomarkers for Drought Tolerance in Solanum tuberosum
by Karin I. Köhl, Gedif Mulugeta Aneley and Manuela Haas
Agronomy 2023, 13(6), 1457; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13061457 - 25 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
Climate change models predict increased drought frequencies. Maintaining yield stability necessitates drought-tolerant crops. However, their breeding is challenging; drought tolerance is a multigene trait with significant environment interaction. Thus, the training of genomic selection models requires phenotyping a large genotype population under arid [...] Read more.
Climate change models predict increased drought frequencies. Maintaining yield stability necessitates drought-tolerant crops. However, their breeding is challenging; drought tolerance is a multigene trait with significant environment interaction. Thus, the training of genomic selection models requires phenotyping a large genotype population under arid conditions. We aimed to identify phenotypic tolerance traits that facilitate the screening of large populations in the field. We performed three trials on 20 tetraploid Solanum tuberosum ssp. tuberosum genotypes with significant drought tolerance variation. Plants were subjected to early, late and long-term drought under variable climate conditions. For each stress scenario, the drought tolerance index DRYMp was calculated from the relative tuber starch yield. A laser scanner system measured canopy development continuously over the crop’s lifecycle and provided estimates of leaf movement and canopy growth features. Growth curves were evaluated by logistic regression. Different multiple regression approaches were compared for their ability to predict tolerance from phenotype data of optimally watered or stressed plants. We established that early short-term stress can be used as a proxy for long-term stress in the absence of genetic variation for drought stress recovery or memory. The gen-otypes varied significantly in most canopy features. Leaf-area-based features combined significant genotype effects with environmental stability. Multiple regression models based on single-day data outperformed those based on the regression curve parameter. The models included leaf area and leaf position parameters and partially reproduced prior findings on siblings in a genetically more diverse population. Full article
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22 pages, 9269 KiB  
Article
Use of Multivariate Analysis in Screening for Drought Tolerance in Ornamental Asteraceae Species
by Diana M. Mircea, Roberta Calone, Rashmi Shakya, Martín Flores Saavedra, Radu E. Sestras, Monica Boscaiu, Adriana F. Sestras and Oscar Vicente
Agronomy 2023, 13(3), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13030687 - 26 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
Asteraceae is one of the families with a large number of ornamental plants. Climate change imposes the need to select species that are more tolerant to changing environmental conditions, especially drought. In this study, we compared the performance under water stress of six [...] Read more.
Asteraceae is one of the families with a large number of ornamental plants. Climate change imposes the need to select species that are more tolerant to changing environmental conditions, especially drought. In this study, we compared the performance under water stress of six species belonging to different tribes of Asteraceae with different geographical origins. Young plants obtained after seed germination were subjected to intermediate water stress (irrigation with half the water amount used in control treatments) and severe water stress (no irrigation at all) for one month. Growth variables and biochemical stress markers were determined to assess the effects on the plants of the stress treatments. Multivariate analysis tools were used to rank species according to their tolerance. Three species were relatively more susceptible to water stress, Callistephus chinensis, Xerochrysum bracteatum, and Calendula officinalis, whereas Leucanthemum vulgare, Glebionis carinata, and Ageratum houstonianum were more tolerant. Our study indicated that the last two species, which are registered as invasive in some geographic areas, possess a larger phenotypic plasticity. Principal component analysis (PCA) combined with canonical variation analysis (CVA) proved optimal statistical methods for analysing species of diverse origins and belonging to different genera of a large family, such as the Asteraceae. Full article
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18 pages, 3980 KiB  
Review
Interactions and Regulatory Functions of Phenolics in Soil-Plant-Climate Nexus
by Deblina Misra, Writuparna Dutta, Gaurav Jha and Puja Ray
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020280 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4092
Abstract
Phenols are major compounds produced by plant species as a peripheral stimulus or as a regulatory defense mechanism under different environmental biotic stresses. These secondary metabolites are generated from shikimic and acetic acid metabolic pathways. The aromatic benzene ring compound plays an important [...] Read more.
Phenols are major compounds produced by plant species as a peripheral stimulus or as a regulatory defense mechanism under different environmental biotic stresses. These secondary metabolites are generated from shikimic and acetic acid metabolic pathways. The aromatic benzene ring compound plays an important role in plant development, especially in the defense forefront. They provide structural integrity and support to the plants. Phenolic phytoalexins released by pathogen/arthropod-attacked or wounded plants nullify or repel organisms for the advantage of the host. The allelopathic potential of phenolic compounds is observed in both natural and managed ecosystems. The global impacts of climatic variabilities such as drought, increased carbon dioxide, or greenhouse gas emissions alter the quantitative response of plant phenols. This review primarily discusses the different aspects of phenolic interactions concerning health, antioxidant properties, and insect-plant interaction as a nexus of soil and plant relations in response to variable climatic conditions. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2024, 2023, 2021

18 pages, 5946 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification, Structural Characterization, and Gene Expression Analysis of BES1 Transcription Factor Family in Tartary Buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum)
by Anjing Gao, Wenfeng Weng, Xin Yao, Weijiao Wu, Qing Bai, Ruiqi Xiong, Chao Ma, Jianping Cheng and Jingjun Ruan
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2729; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112729 - 3 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1380
Abstract
The transcription factor (TFs) BES1, which mediates brassinosteroid (BR) signaling, regulates plant growth and development. However, BES1 genes have not yet been reported in Tartary buckwheat. Here, ten FtBES1 genes were identified in the Tartary buckwheat genome, and they were named FtBES1-1 to [...] Read more.
The transcription factor (TFs) BES1, which mediates brassinosteroid (BR) signaling, regulates plant growth and development. However, BES1 genes have not yet been reported in Tartary buckwheat. Here, ten FtBES1 genes were identified in the Tartary buckwheat genome, and they were named FtBES1-1 to FtBES1-10. These genes were divided into four groups according to the classification in Arabidopsis thaliana. Multiple sequence alignment indicated that all BES1 gene members contained the BES1_N structural domain. Phylogenetic relationship FtBES1 genes in the same group had similar gene structures and motifs. An analysis of cis-acting elements demonstrated that the BES1 TFs contains many light-responsive, hormonal, and abiotic stress-responsive elements, etc. The 10 FtBES1 genes were located on four chromosomes of Tartary buckwheat, and gene distribution and synteny analysis revealed that segmental duplications have played important roles in FtBES1 gene family expansion. Tissue specificity revealed that all of the ten FtBES1 members expressed highly in two periods, and relatively high expression levels were observed in mature leaves. Gene expression profiles under different hormone treatments demonstrated that FtBES1 gene family participated in the hormone stress response. This study enriches our knowledge of the Tartary buckwheat BES1 gene family and provides a theoretical basis for analyzing the biological functions and stress tolerance mechanisms of the Tartary buckwheat BES1 transcription factors. Full article
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12 pages, 999 KiB  
Review
Physiological Responses of Plants to Combined Drought and Heat under Elevated CO2
by Lamis Osama Anwar Abdelhakim, Rong Zhou and Carl-Otto Ottosen
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2526; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102526 - 16 Oct 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2963
Abstract
Anthropogenic activities over the last century have caused rapid changes in environmental conditions through increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere that contribute to global warming. Moreover, the increased global average temperature is linked with changes in the precipitation rate and distribution, resulting [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic activities over the last century have caused rapid changes in environmental conditions through increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere that contribute to global warming. Moreover, the increased global average temperature is linked with changes in the precipitation rate and distribution, resulting in a negative impact on crop health and productivity. Plants in nature often experience combined stresses; therefore, they have developed adaptive mechanisms to cope with fluctuating environmental conditions. Thus, investigating plant responses under unfavorable environmental conditions will provide a better understanding of how crops can adapt and thereby assist in selecting climate-resilient crops that can withstand climate variability. This review highlights the main adaptive physiological and biochemical responses of crops grown under elevated CO2 (eCO2) and exposed to combined abiotic stresses (drought and heat). Moreover, the mitigation and limitation impact of elevated CO2 on plants under the combination of stress is discussed. Full article
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17 pages, 3470 KiB  
Article
Heterologous Overexpression of ZmHDZIV13 Enhanced Drought and Salt Tolerance in Arabidopsis and Tobacco
by Fang Wang, Huiping Yan, Peng Fang, Xiangzhuo Ji and Yunling Peng
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2378; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102378 - 1 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2056
Abstract
The homeodomain leucine zipper (HD-Zip) IV transcription factor is indispensable in the response of plants to abiotic stress. Systematic studies have been carried out in Arabidopsis, rice and other species from which a series of stress resistance-related genes have been isolated. However, [...] Read more.
The homeodomain leucine zipper (HD-Zip) IV transcription factor is indispensable in the response of plants to abiotic stress. Systematic studies have been carried out in Arabidopsis, rice and other species from which a series of stress resistance-related genes have been isolated. However, the function of the HD-Zip IV protein in maize is not clear. In this study, we cloned the HD-Zip IV gene ZmHDZIV13 and identified its function in the stress response. Our phylogenetic analysis showed that ZmHDZIV13 and AtHDG11 had high homology and might have similar functions. The heterologous overexpression of ZmHDZIV13 in Arabidopsis resulted in sensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA), salt tolerance during germination and drought tolerance in seedlings. Under drought stress, the transgenic Arabidopsis showed stronger drought resistance than the wild-type (control). The malondialdehyde content of ZmHDZIV13 transgenic plants was lower than that of the control, and the relative water content and proline content were significantly higher than those of the control. After the drought was relieved, the expression levels of stress-related genes were up-regulated in transgenic Arabidopsis. These results show that ZmHDZIV13, as a stress-responsive transcription factor, plays a role in the positive regulation of abiotic stress tolerance and can regulate an ABA-dependent signaling pathway to regulate drought response in plants. Full article
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13 pages, 1994 KiB  
Article
Different Drought Tolerance Strategy of Wheat Varieties in Spike Architecture
by Nicole Frantová, Michal Rábek, Petr Elzner, Tomáš Středa, Ivana Jovanović, Ludmila Holková, Petr Martinek, Pavlína Smutná and Ilja Tom Prášil
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2328; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102328 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2670
Abstract
Spike characteristics include spike length, total spikelet number per spike, number of fertile flowers, spike density, spike fertility, grain number, thousand kernel weight, the number of spikes per square meter, harvest index and the grain yield during the flowering and ripening stage. The [...] Read more.
Spike characteristics include spike length, total spikelet number per spike, number of fertile flowers, spike density, spike fertility, grain number, thousand kernel weight, the number of spikes per square meter, harvest index and the grain yield during the flowering and ripening stage. The six winter and one facultative variety differed in earliness, derived in part from the allele of the Ppd-D1 gene and phenological observation. The two sites significantly differed in the soil moisture, which varied during continual microclimate monitoring. The spike architecture of winter wheat was affected by drought. The plant samples from the site FIELD 2 (more drought stressed) showed a higher reduction in spike characteristics such as a lower spike length, total spikelet number, number of fertile flowers and spike fertility, leading to a lower yield than the site FIELD 1. Both early and late varieties possess compensatory abilities to create the grain yield during drought stress; however, the timing and duration of exposure to drought determine the application and success of the compensatory ability. In our experiment, the late varieties (photoperiod sensitive) performed better in yield than the early varieties during both growing seasons. That is at odds with the generally recommended “drought escape strategy” (early varieties) and suggests a possible direction for variety selection and breeding in arid areas in Central Europe. Full article
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12 pages, 776 KiB  
Article
Genetic Potential of New Maize Inbred Lines in Single-Cross Hybrid Combinations under Low-Nitrogen Stress and Optimal Conditions
by Fortunate Makore, Cosmos Magorokosho, Shorai Dari, Edmore Gasura, Upenyu Mazarura and Casper Nyaradzai Kamutando
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2205; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092205 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1929
Abstract
Maize (Zea mays, L.) productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains low, despite breeding efforts spanning across decades. Currently, three-way cross hybrids (TWCH) dominate SSA; however, there is the potential to increase yields by using single-cross hybrids. In this study, five new [...] Read more.
Maize (Zea mays, L.) productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains low, despite breeding efforts spanning across decades. Currently, three-way cross hybrids (TWCH) dominate SSA; however, there is the potential to increase yields by using single-cross hybrids. In this study, five new and four elite CIMMYT lines were inter-mated in a half diallel mating scheme to estimate the combining ability of the lines and to determine the stability of their corresponding 36 single-cross hybrids for grain yield under low-nitrogen stress and optimum growing conditions in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The results revealed that the new inbred line CL121290 showed the highest GCA effects under optimum conditions (1.4 tha−1; p < 0.001) and across sites (0.93 tha−1; p < 0.001). The single-cross hybrids G12 (CML311 × DJL173527) and G16 (DJL173887 × CL1211559) were highly stable and were observed as ideal crosses within both the low-nitrogen and optimal environments. However, G18 (CML311 × DJL173887), which was depicted as ideal genotype under the two management conditions, was an unstable genotype. Hybrid G31 (CML311 × CML312) had the least grain yield under low-nitrogen, optimum and across environments. The hybrid G11 (DJL173527 × CL121290) was the highest yielding genotype amongst the new single-cross hybrids and across environments but was unstable and can be recommended for high potential in environments. Overall, the data demonstrated the potential of single-cross hybrids to supplement TWCH in boosting maize productivity under optimal and nitrogen-stress environments in SSA as well as under other areas with similar climatic conditions in the world. Full article
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22 pages, 2193 KiB  
Article
Variation of Bio-Morphometric Traits and Antioxidant Compounds of Brassica oleracea L. Accessions in Relation to Drought Stress
by Hajer Ben Ammar, Valentina Picchi, Donata Arena, Simone Treccarichi, Giulia Bianchi, Roberto Lo Scalzo, Sonia Marghali and Ferdinando Branca
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2016; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092016 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Drought tolerance of Brassica crops can be genetically improved by establishing plant ideotypes with improved yield responses associated with agronomic traits and biochemical markers. The objective of this study was to compare 20 Brassica oleracea L. accessions grown under two different water treatments [...] Read more.
Drought tolerance of Brassica crops can be genetically improved by establishing plant ideotypes with improved yield responses associated with agronomic traits and biochemical markers. The objective of this study was to compare 20 Brassica oleracea L. accessions grown under two different water treatments (100% and 35% reintegration of evapotranspiration by irrigation) to select potential tolerant genotypes for organic cultivation based on several agronomic and biochemical parameters measured in response to drought stress. Significant differences were registered for the genotype and the irrigation regime and for their interaction (p < 0.0001 ***). A principal component analysis was performed to summarize the correlations among the analyzed phytochemicals and the stressed and not stressed genotypes and highlighted the importance of the antioxidant compounds as stress biomarkers. The present results showed that drought significantly reduces growth parameters and increases the amount of ascorbic acid and polyphenols compared to the irrigated control. Additionally, the results show that antioxidant metabolism increased by drought in some genotypes while others maintained a good biomass production by increasing the value of growth parameters considered. Based on the average sum of ranks (ASR) of morpho-physiological and biochemical parameters, the genotypes CR, CC, and BH were determined to be the most drought tolerant, whereas CI5, BU, and CV1 were determined to be the most susceptible. Due to the potential of these genotypes, further molecular and cellular research will be carried out to identify the genetic marker associated with the water stress response. Full article
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14 pages, 409 KiB  
Communication
Evaluation of Morpho-Physiological Traits in Rice Genotypes for Adaptation under Irrigated and Water-Limited Environments
by Mahmoud M. Gaballah, Adel M. Ghoneim, Hafeez Ur Rehman, Mohamed M. Shehab, Mohamed I. Ghazy, Ahmed S. El-Iraqi, Abdelwahed E. Mohamed, Muhammad Waqas, Noraziyah Abd Aziz Shamsudin and Yaning Chen
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1868; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081868 - 8 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2289
Abstract
Drought is one of the major limitations to rice productivity worldwide. The present study compared variation in seventeen rice genotypes of Egyptian origin for morpho-physiological traits to identify the best genotypes with combination of adaptive traits under water-limited condition (DS). The DS reduced [...] Read more.
Drought is one of the major limitations to rice productivity worldwide. The present study compared variation in seventeen rice genotypes of Egyptian origin for morpho-physiological traits to identify the best genotypes with combination of adaptive traits under water-limited condition (DS). The DS reduced days to heading (DTH), plant height (PH), flag leaf angle (FLA), flag leaf area (FLAR), chlorophyll content (CHC), relative water content (RWC), grain yield (GY), and its components. Among genotypes, Hybrid 2 expressed the highest GY, panicle length (PL), number of tillers (NT), panicles per plant (NPP), and harvest index (HI) with maximum spikelet sterility (SS) under non-stress condition (NS), while the same genotype expressed ≈ 41% yield reduction under DS. The genotype Giza 179 had earlier DTH, higher and stable GY, FLAR, and yield component traits such as NPP, PW, and HI across the water regimes with least yield reduction (30.5%) under DS. The GY and FLAR, RWC, PL, NT, NPP, PW, and HI were positively correlated under DS. The cluster analysis showed a similarity index of 25% among genotypes. The high yielding genotypes Giza 179, IET 1444, and IRAT 170 had also increased yield components (PL, NT, NPP, PW, TGW and HI) under DS that were attributed to highest FLAR, RWC, and PH, while having reduced LR, FLA, TR, and SS; therefore, these genotypes were categorized as drought-tolerant. The Hybrid 2 and Giza 179 genotypes can perform well under NS; however, the cultivation of Giza 179, Sakha 107, IET 1444, and IRAT 170 would give an advantage in DS-prone areas, hence, these can be used as a donor parental line in future rice breeding programs. Full article
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12 pages, 298 KiB  
Review
Breeding for Rice Aroma and Drought Tolerance: A Review
by Cyprien Ndikuryayo, Alexis Ndayiragije, Newton Kilasi and Paul Kusolwa
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1726; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071726 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3235
Abstract
Aroma is one of the main characteristics that guide rice purchases worldwide. Aromatic rice varieties are generally less adapted to biotic and abiotic stresses. Among the abiotic constraints, drought stress causes considerable yield losses. This review describes advances in breeding for aroma and [...] Read more.
Aroma is one of the main characteristics that guide rice purchases worldwide. Aromatic rice varieties are generally less adapted to biotic and abiotic stresses. Among the abiotic constraints, drought stress causes considerable yield losses. This review describes advances in breeding for aroma and drought tolerance in rice and investigates the possibility of combing these traits in one variety. Some of the major quantitative trait loci that have been discovered for drought tolerance were recently introgressed into aromatic varieties. However, more details on the performance of developed lines are still needed. Furthermore, there are not yet any published reports on the release of aromatic drought-tolerant rice varieties. Full article
20 pages, 2343 KiB  
Article
Are Traditional Lima Bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) Landraces Valuable to Cope with Climate Change? Effects of Drought on Growth and Biochemical Stress Markers
by M. Isabel Martínez-Nieto, Sara González-Orenga, Pilar Soriano, Josefa Prieto-Mossi, Elena Larrea, Antonio Doménech-Carbó, Ana Maria Tofei, Oscar Vicente and Olga Mayoral
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1715; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071715 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2325
Abstract
Agrobiodiversity and adaptability to environmental changes derived from global warming are challenges for the future of agriculture. In this sense, landraces often have high levels of genetic variation, tightly connected with the changing environmental conditions of a territory. The genus Phaseolus, with [...] Read more.
Agrobiodiversity and adaptability to environmental changes derived from global warming are challenges for the future of agriculture. In this sense, landraces often have high levels of genetic variation, tightly connected with the changing environmental conditions of a territory. The genus Phaseolus, with five domesticated species, is one of the most important sources of proteins, carbohydrates and micronutrients in various countries. This study aimed to compare the adaptation capacity to drought, in the vegetative growth phase, of a commercial cultivar and two landraces traditionally cultivated in the Mediterranean basin of Phaseolus lunatus (Lima bean). Growth and biochemical responses of the analysed genotypes to different water-deficit treatments were evaluated and compared. In addition, the effectiveness of the voltammetric method for evaluating stress levels in cultivated plants was tested. The studied parameters revealed that P. lunatus is a drought-tolerant species, showing similar results for the three cultivars. However, contrary to what was expected from the germination phase results, the commercial variety Peru showed some better responses under water stress conditions. Finally, the voltammetric method proved to be a good and fast tool for assessing oxidative stress in cultivated plants, showing results in agreement with total phenolic compounds and total flavonoid fluctuations. Full article
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16 pages, 2950 KiB  
Article
Alkaline Salt Tolerance of the Biomass Plant Arundo donax
by Brigitta Müller, Vitor Arcoverde Cerveira Sterner, László Papp, Zoltán May, László Orlóci, Csaba Gyuricza, László Sági, Ádám Solti and Ferenc Fodor
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071589 - 30 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1704
Abstract
Soil alkalinization and salinization have increased worldwide due to extreme and/or prolonged drought periods as well as insufficient irrigation. Since crops generally react to soil salinity and high pH with decreased yield, the cultivation of tolerant biomass plants represents a reasonable alternative. Thus, [...] Read more.
Soil alkalinization and salinization have increased worldwide due to extreme and/or prolonged drought periods as well as insufficient irrigation. Since crops generally react to soil salinity and high pH with decreased yield, the cultivation of tolerant biomass plants represents a reasonable alternative. Thus, we aimed to characterize the tolerance of the biomass plant Arundo donax to alkaline salt stress, induced by irrigation water containing NaHCO3 and Na2CO3 mixture (1:1) at 80 mM and 200 mM of final concentration and pH 10. In terms of physiological parameters such as transpiration, chlorophyll content, photosystem II quantum efficiency, relative water content, and water saturation, the plants were resistant to the stress treatment. The negative impact on the water regime was only measured at 200 mM salt. The K/Na ratio decreased in parallel with Na accumulation. Plants also accumulated Zn, whereas a decrease in the concentration of most other elements (Ca, Cu, K, Mg, Ni, S, Si, and Sr) was detected. Antioxidative defence directed by multiple symplastic enzymes contributed to the high physiological tolerance to the applied stress. In conclusion, the cultivation of Arundo donax as a biomass crop appears to be a feasible alternative in areas affected by salinity or alkaline salt accumulation. Full article
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18 pages, 2976 KiB  
Article
Heritability of Morphophysiological Traits in Popcorn for Drought Tolerance and Their Use as Breeding Indicators of Superior Genotypes
by Flávia Nicácio Viana, Marcelo Moura Chaves, Samuel Henrique Kamphorst, Antônio Teixeira do Amaral Junior, Valter Jário de Lima, Jhean Torres Leite, Katia Fabiane Medeiros Schmidt, Uéliton Alves de Oliveira, Danielle Leal Lamego, Jacymara Lopes Pereira, Guilherme Ferreira Pena, Henrique Duarte Vieira, Jurandi Gonçalves de Oliveira, Rogério Figueiredo Daher, Eliemar Campostrini and Ricardo Bressan-Smith
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071517 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the genetic control of morphological, water status, and root traits in four inbred lines and their pre-selected hybrid combinations of popcorn, and to identify the best parents and hybrids. The plants were grown under greenhouse conditions, and with [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the genetic control of morphological, water status, and root traits in four inbred lines and their pre-selected hybrid combinations of popcorn, and to identify the best parents and hybrids. The plants were grown under greenhouse conditions, and with two water conditions—water-stressed (WS) and well-watered (WW). We evaluated shoot biomass (SB), whole plant leaf area (WPLA), chlorophyll content, carbon isotope discrimination, net CO2 assimilation rate, the stomatal conductance, transpiration, cumulative plant transpiration, and root weight density in three sections. The reductions in SB and WPLA are attributed to stomatal causes, given the maintenance of water condition values in water-stressed plants. In fact, the stomata were closed for long periods during plant growth under the water-stressed condition, as indicated by the more negative carbon isotope discrimination values. The root weight density, regardless of soil depth and water conditions, was higher in hybrids. There was a preponderance of non-additive effects in the control of morphological and root traits, especially in the WS condition, and heterosis was shown to be the fundamental strategy for obtaining superior hybrids. For water status traits, it is essential to choose the female parent in the crossing block, given the maternal effect expressed by net CO2 assimilation rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration. Full article
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16 pages, 2533 KiB  
Article
Delineation of Physiological, Agronomic and Genetic Responses of Different Wheat Genotypes under Drought Condition
by Syed Muhammad Dawood Murtaza Shah, Ghulam Shabbir, Saad Imran Malik, Naveed Iqbal Raja, Zahid Hussain Shah, Muhammad Rauf, Yahya Al Zahrani, Fahad Alghabari, Hameed Alsamadany, Khurram Shahzad and Seung Hwan Yang
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051056 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2279
Abstract
Abioticstress such as drought is a potential threat posing a severe challenge to wheat production across the globe. The current study comparatively delineated the performance of elite Pakistani bread wheat genotypes at physiological (chlorophyll, canopy temperature, cell membrane percentage stability and leaf relative [...] Read more.
Abioticstress such as drought is a potential threat posing a severe challenge to wheat production across the globe. The current study comparatively delineated the performance of elite Pakistani bread wheat genotypes at physiological (chlorophyll, canopy temperature, cell membrane percentage stability and leaf relative water content), agronomic (plant height, tillers plant−1, flag leaf area, spike length, spikelets spike−1, grains spike−1, grain yield spike−1, thousand grain weight and plant biomass) and genetic (TaDREB1A, TaGROS-A, TaLEA3, TaHSFA1a, TaWRKY44 and TaEXPA2) levels. Atri-replicate experiment was conducted in a two factorial arrangement using RCBD, and data were analyzed statistically using the computer-based programsStatistix8.1 and R-studio. In general, all wheat genotypes illustrated significant (p ≤ 0.05) alterations in physiological and agronomic traits under drought stress as compared to the control; however, this alteration was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) different among all genotypes owing to their varying genetic potential. Furthermore, these genotypes were evaluated for the extent of the association of physiological and agronomic traits using PCA, correlation and heatmap analysis, which proved statistically significant variation in the paired association of traits among all genotypes during drought stress as compared to the control. In addition, based on statistical evaluations, the genotypes Pakistan-13, Shahkar-13, AAS-11, Chakwal-86, Chakwal-50 and AUR-09 were found to be tolerant, while genotypes Anmol-97, Chakwal-97, Bhakkar-02 and BWP-97 were comparatively susceptible. Furthermore, these screened genotypes showed differential expression of drought-related genes, with relatively high expression in tolerant genotypes compared to susceptible genotypes. The current study concluded that physiological, agronomic and molecular characteristics are significantly interconnected, and these associations determine the end productivity of wheat genotypes during abiotic stress. Therefore, their integrated study can enhance the pace of wheat breeding for drought tolerance in the near future. Full article
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15 pages, 2362 KiB  
Article
Identification, Expression, and Functional Study of Seven NAC Transcription Factor Genes Involved in Stress Response in Tartary Buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn.)
by Juan Huang, Rongrong Ren, Yuping Rong, Bin Tang, Jiao Deng, Qingfu Chen and Taoxiong Shi
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040849 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
Plant NAC transcription factors play vital roles in diverse biological processes, especially in response to stress. However, only a limited number of the FtNAC genes have been cloned and functionally analyzed in Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn.), which is a coarse [...] Read more.
Plant NAC transcription factors play vital roles in diverse biological processes, especially in response to stress. However, only a limited number of the FtNAC genes have been cloned and functionally analyzed in Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn.), which is a coarse grain crop that is highly resistant to abiotic stress. Here, we identified seven Tartary buckwheat FtNAC genes, namely FtNAC11, FtNAC12, FtNAC26, FtNAC28, FtNAC65, FtNAC70, and FtNAC78. Multiple-sequence alignments revealed that all of them contained the conserved NAM domain, which consisted of the A, B, C, D, and E subdomains. Seven NAC proteins were classified into six subgroups based on phylogenetic analyses. Cis-acting regulatory elements analyses (CARE) indicated that there were numerous CAREs related to biotic and abiotic responses and hormone responses in the promoters of FtNAC genes. qRT-PCR showed that they were tissue-specifically expressed and could be induced by four out of six treatments, namely PEG, NaCl, cold, MeJA, ABA, and GA, implying that they were abiotic and hormone responsive. Among these, FtNAC70 was the most strongly induced gene and could be induced by all six treatments. Meanwhile, FtNAC70-overexpressed Arabidopsis showed more resistance to salt and drought. The identification, phylogenetics, expression, and functional study of seven stress-responsive FtNAC genes laid a foundation for further research on the molecular mechanism of abiotic stress regulated by NAC TFs in Tartary buckwheat. Full article
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20 pages, 5601 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Biochemical Responses to Water Stress and Salinity of the Invasive Moth Plant, Araujia sericifera Brot., during Seed Germination and Vegetative Growth
by Manel Bellache, Nadia Moltó, Leila Allal Benfekih, Natalia Torres-Pagan, Ricardo Mir, Mercedes Verdeguer, Monica Boscaiu and Oscar Vicente
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020361 - 31 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2937
Abstract
Araujia sericifera is an invasive plant with an increasing presence in South East Spain, where it produces damage to native trees and shrubs and citric orchards. As the climatic conditions in the study area are becoming harsher due to the climate change, the [...] Read more.
Araujia sericifera is an invasive plant with an increasing presence in South East Spain, where it produces damage to native trees and shrubs and citric orchards. As the climatic conditions in the study area are becoming harsher due to the climate change, the stress tolerance of this species has been studied during germination and vegetative growth. Growth parameters, photosynthetic pigments, ion accumulation, and antioxidant mechanisms were analysed in plants that were subjected to water deficit and salt stress. Seed germination was reduced by salinity but 50% of the seeds still germinated at 50 mM NaCl. The ungerminated seeds did not lose their germination capacity as shown in ‘recovery’ germination assays in distilled water. Germination was less affected by osmotic stress that was induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG), and germination velocity increased in the recovery treatments after exposure to NaCl or PEG. Plant growth was practically unaffected by 150 mM NaCl but inhibited by higher NaCl concentrations or severe drought stress. Nevertheless, all the plants survived throughout the experiment, even under high salinity (600 mM NaCl). A. sericifera relative stress tolerance relies, at least to some extent, on effective antioxidant mechanisms that are based on flavonoid biosynthesis and the activation of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, and glutathione reductase. Full article
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15 pages, 3149 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant Response and Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases Involvement in Canola (Brassica napus L.) Tolerance to Drought
by Hossein Ahmadi, Alireza Abbasi, Alireza Taleei, Valiollah Mohammadi and José J. Pueyo
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010125 - 5 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2451
Abstract
Canola is an important temperate oil crop that can be severely affected by drought. Understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms involved in canola tolerance to water deficit is essential to obtain drought-tolerant productive cultivars. To investigate the role of antioxidant response and the [...] Read more.
Canola is an important temperate oil crop that can be severely affected by drought. Understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms involved in canola tolerance to water deficit is essential to obtain drought-tolerant productive cultivars. To investigate the role of antioxidant response and the possible involvement of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) in canola tolerance to drought, we analyzed four genotypes with different sensitivity to water stress. Leaf relative water content, canopy temperature, PSII efficiency, electrolyte leakage index and lipid peroxidation were used as indicators to classify the cultivars as drought-tolerant or drought-sensitive. Antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, guaiacol peroxidase and catalase displayed significantly higher activities in drought-tolerant than in drought-sensitive cultivars subjected to water deficit, suggesting that the efficiency of the antioxidant response is essential in canola drought tolerance. The increased expression of genes BnaCDPK6 and BnaCDPK14 under drought conditions, their differential expression in drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive genotypes, and the presence of multiple cis-acting stress-related elements in their promoter regions suggest that CDPKs are part of the signaling pathways that regulate drought response in canola. We propose the BnaCDPK genes and their regulator elements as potential molecular targets to obtain drought-tolerant productive canola cultivars through breeding or genetic transformation. Full article
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2021

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16 pages, 19495 KiB  
Article
Effects of Sowing Mode on Lodging Resistance and Grain Yield in Winter Wheat
by Lifeng Wu, Xiaowei Han, Shahidul Islam, Shengnan Zhai, Hui Zhao, Guoshun Zhang, Gangzhu Cui, Feng Zhang, Wenliang Han, Xiaosheng You, Zhengchun Ju, Peng Lv, Jiangming Zhou, Qi Gao, Baoming Cui, Yanfang Wu, Zhichao Yang, Qier Liu, Fan Yang, Jingjuan Zhang and Hang Liuadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Agronomy 2021, 11(7), 1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071378 - 7 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2752
Abstract
For improving lodging resistance and increasing grain yield in wheat in the Yellow-Huai River Basin in China, different sowing modes have been investigated. Conventionally, the small-flat-plot sowing mode has been adopted in wheat cultivation. However, this sowing mode leads to heavy lodging and [...] Read more.
For improving lodging resistance and increasing grain yield in wheat in the Yellow-Huai River Basin in China, different sowing modes have been investigated. Conventionally, the small-flat-plot sowing mode has been adopted in wheat cultivation. However, this sowing mode leads to heavy lodging and low land use efficiency. In this study, a new sowing mode, high-low-plot sowing mode with two more rows sowed on the high plot, was investigated. Two cultivars, Hengguan 35 and Jimai 44 were used for two seasonal field experiments from 2018 to 2020. The results showed that grain yield improved with the high-low sowing mode by as much as 25% since more spikes per unit area were observed concomitant with reduced stem lodging. The grain yield increase was mainly due to the enhanced spike number per m2, while the lodging resistance was improved through the lowered plant height and the center of gravity height. This research proves that the high-low-plot sowing mode is an improved sowing mode for producing greater grain yield with better lodging resistance in the wheat production area in northern China. Full article
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18 pages, 2784 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Pesticide Endosulfan and Two Different Biostimulants on the Stress Responses of Phaseolus leptostachyus Plants Grown in a Saline Soil
by Anbu Landa-Faz, Sara González-Orenga, Monica Boscaiu, Refugio Rodríguez-Vázquez and Oscar Vicente
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061208 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2892
Abstract
Soil salinity and the indiscriminate use of agrochemicals has significantly reduced the productivity of the ‘Chinampas’ agroecosystem in Mexico City. Crop improvement under these stressful conditions may be achieved by soil bioremediation. In this study, we checked the effects of the organochlorine pesticide [...] Read more.
Soil salinity and the indiscriminate use of agrochemicals has significantly reduced the productivity of the ‘Chinampas’ agroecosystem in Mexico City. Crop improvement under these stressful conditions may be achieved by soil bioremediation. In this study, we checked the effects of the organochlorine pesticide endosulfan and bioremediation with Penicillium crustosum or a citric waste on the growth of Phaseolus leptostachyus plants in saline soil from the Chinampas area. Biochemical markers associated with specific stress responses were also determined after one month of growth in the different substrates. Plant growth was stimulated by bioremediation of the soil. Both biostimulants reduced the degree of stress affecting the plants, as shown by the increase in photosynthetic pigments and the reduction of proline, malondialdehyde (MDA), and H2O2 contents, and the activation of antioxidant systems. However, the biostimulants appeared to mitigate oxidative stress through different mechanisms. Endosulfan contamination inhibited seed germination—which was reverted to control values in the presence of the biostimulants—and further decreased plant growth. No clear patterns of variation of biochemical stress markers were observed combining endosulfan and the biostimulants. In any case, bioremediation with P. crustosum and/or citric waste is recommended to improve the germination and growth of P. leptostachyus plants. Full article
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20 pages, 917 KiB  
Review
Modern Biotechnologies: Innovative and Sustainable Approaches for the Improvement of Sugarcane Tolerance to Environmental Stresses
by Rubab Shabbir, Talha Javed, Irfan Afzal, Ayman El Sabagh, Ahmad Ali, Oscar Vicente and Pinghua Chen
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061042 - 22 May 2021
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 5434
Abstract
Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is one of the most important industrial cash crops, contributing to the world sugar industry and biofuel production. It has been cultivated and improved from prehistoric times through natural selection and conventional breeding and, more recently, using the modern [...] Read more.
Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is one of the most important industrial cash crops, contributing to the world sugar industry and biofuel production. It has been cultivated and improved from prehistoric times through natural selection and conventional breeding and, more recently, using the modern tools of genetic engineering and biotechnology. However, the heterogenicity, complex poly-aneuploid genome and susceptibility of sugarcane to different biotic and abiotic stresses represent impediments that require us to pay greater attention to the improvement of the sugarcane crop. Compared to traditional breeding, recent advances in breeding technologies (molecular marker-assisted breeding, sugarcane transformation, genome-editing and multiple omics technologies) can potentially improve sugarcane, especially against environmental stressors. This article will focus on efficient modern breeding technologies, which provide crucial clues for the engineering of sugarcane cultivars resistant to environmental stresses. Full article
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