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Special Issue "Plant Biomechanics"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dorota Kwiatkowska
Website
Guest Editor
Biophysics and Morphogenesis of Plants research group, Institute of Biology, Biotechnology and Environment Protection, University of Silesia in Katowice, Jagiellońska 28, 40‐032 Katowice, Poland
Interests: plant development; plant morphogenesis; plant growth; cell wall and tissue mechanics
Dr. Agata Burian
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Institute of Biology, Biotechnology and Environment Protection, University of Silesia in Katowice, Jagiellońska 28, 40‐032 Katowice, Poland
Interests: plant morphogenesis; shoot meristems; cytoskeleton; cell divisions; cell growth; gene regulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, dedicated to “Plant Biomechanics”, will cover a range of research topics in the field, from the role of mechanical factors in the regulation of plant development to the mechanical design of plant bodies that facilitate specific function performances and adaptations to environment. Both experimental papers and review articles are welcome.

To say that the plant bodies of tiny arabidopsis or trees are physical objects and observe the rules of mechanics is an obvious statement. However, mechanical aspects of plant biology have often been neglected in a maze of chemical, genetic, and molecular details. Nowadays, the role of mechanics in plant biology is recognised and better understood, thanks to research on the interface between biology, physics, mathematics, and computer science. In accordance with this trend, plant biomechanics has also been introduced to journals focused mainly on molecular biology.

Plant organs consist of a network of interconnected protoplasts embedded in a network of tightly joined cell walls, which facilitate mechanical signalling at the organ level. In consequence, biomechanical processes acting at subcellular, cellular, and organ scales are closely related and hard to separate. In this Special Issue, papers focusing on plant biomechanics at any of these organisation levels are thus invited.

Prof. Dorota Kwiatkowska
Dr. Agata Burian
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cell wall mechanics;
  • Cytoskeleton;
  • Mechanical adaptation;
  • Mechanical signalling;
  • Plant growth and development;
  • Plant mechanical design;
  • Plant movements;
  • Tree mechanics.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Self-Repair in Cacti Branches: Comparative Analyses of Their Morphology, Anatomy, and Biomechanics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134630 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
Damage-repair is particularly important for the maintenance of the water-storing abilities of succulent plants such as cacti. Comparative morphological, anatomical, and biomechanical analyses of self-repair were performed on artificially wounded branches of Opuntia ficus-indica and Cylindropuntia bigelovii. Macroscopic observations, contrast staining, and [...] Read more.
Damage-repair is particularly important for the maintenance of the water-storing abilities of succulent plants such as cacti. Comparative morphological, anatomical, and biomechanical analyses of self-repair were performed on artificially wounded branches of Opuntia ficus-indica and Cylindropuntia bigelovii. Macroscopic observations, contrast staining, and lignin-proof staining were used to investigate morphological and anatomical responses after wounding at various time intervals. Two-point bending tests were repeatedly performed on the same branches under unwounded, freshly wounded, and healed conditions by using customized 3D-printed clamping jaws. Morphologically, both species showed a rolling-in of the wound edges, but no mucilage discharge. Anatomically, ligno-suberized peridermal layers developed that covered the wound region, and new parenchyma cells formed, especially in O. ficus-indica. In all samples, the wounding effect directly after damage caused a decrease between 18% and 37% in all the tested mechanical parameters, whereas a positive healing effect after 21 days was only found for C. bigelovii. Based on our data, we hypothesize a high selection pressure on the restoration of structural integrity in the wound area, with a focus on the development of efficient water-retaining mechanisms, whereas the concept of “sufficient is good enough” seems to apply for the restoration of the mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biomechanics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Protective Role of Bark and Bark Fibers of the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) during High-Energy Impacts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(9), 3355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21093355 - 09 May 2020
Abstract
The influences of (1) a high fiber content, (2) the arrangement of fibers in fiber groups, and (3) a layered hierarchical composition of the bark of the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) on its energy dissipation capability are analyzed and discussed regarding [...] Read more.
The influences of (1) a high fiber content, (2) the arrangement of fibers in fiber groups, and (3) a layered hierarchical composition of the bark of the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) on its energy dissipation capability are analyzed and discussed regarding the relevance for an application in bioinspired components in civil engineering. The giant sequoia is native to the Sierra Nevada (USA), a region with regular rockfalls. It is thus regularly exposed to high-energy impacts, with its bark playing a major protective role, as can be seen in the wild and has been proven in laboratory experiments. The authors quantify the fundamental biomechanical properties of the bark at various length scales, taking into account its hierarchical setup ranging from the integral level (whole bark) down to single bark fibers. Microtensile tests on single fibers and fiber pairs give insights into the properties of single fibers as well as the benefits of the strong longitudinal interconnection between single fibers arranged in pairs. Going beyond the level of single fibers or fiber pairs, towards the integral level, quasistatic compression tests and dynamic impact tests are performed on samples comprising the whole bark (inner and outer bark). These tests elucidate the deformation behavior under quasistatic compression and dynamic impact relevant for the high energy dissipation and impact-damping behavior of the bark. The remarkable energy dissipation capability of the bark at the abovementioned hierarchical levels are linked to the layered and fibrous structure of the bark structurally analyzed by thin sections and SEM and µCT scans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biomechanics)
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