Special Issue "Metabolomics to Elucidate the Metabolic Mechanisms of Plant Responses to Variable Environmental Stresses"

A special issue of Metabolites (ISSN 2218-1989). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Carla António
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Forest Research Centre (CEF), School of Agriculture University of Lisbon (ISA/ULisbon), Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: plant metabolomics; mass spectrometry; analytical method validation; sample preparation; metabolite profiling; abiotic/biotic stress factors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are routinely exposed to abiotic/biotic stress factors, and, as sessile organisms, must develop different strategies to cope with this multitude of natural environmental conditions. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based analytical tools are the most widely used in plant metabolomics applications to investigate the molecular and biochemical mechanisms that underlie plant responses to changing environments.

This Special Issue of Metabolites "Metabolomics to Elucidate the Metabolic Mechanisms of Plant Responses to Variable Environmental Stresses" invites manuscripts on such mechanisms in flexible aspects of plant biology. Ultimately, the knowledge provided would facilitate our understanding of how environmental stresses, single or combined, activate and coordinate different metabolic pathways to ensure plant adaptation and survival. Manuscripts on novel plant sample preparation techniques, MS-based analytical methods to identify/quantify key signaling metabolites, as well as bioinformatics tools and other technical improvements, are welcome in this Special Issue.

Dr. Carla António
Guest Editor

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. Metabolites is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Plant metabolomics
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Abiotic/biotic-stress factors
  • Climate change
  • Plant stress response
  • Plant defense mechanisms
  • Plant adaptation
  • Metabolic pathways
  • Bioinformatics tools

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Will Casuarina glauca Stress Resilience Be Maintained in the Face of Climate Change?
Metabolites 2021, 11(9), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11090593 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Actinorhizal plants have been regarded as promising species in the current climate change context due to their high tolerance to a multitude of abiotic stresses. While combined salt-heat stress effects have been studied in crop species, their impact on the model actinorhizal plant, [...] Read more.
Actinorhizal plants have been regarded as promising species in the current climate change context due to their high tolerance to a multitude of abiotic stresses. While combined salt-heat stress effects have been studied in crop species, their impact on the model actinorhizal plant, Casuarina glauca, has not yet been fully addressed. The effect of single salt (400 mM NaCl) and heat (control at 26/22 °C, supra optimal temperatures at 35/22 °C and 45/22 °C day/night) conditions on C. glauca branchlets was characterised at the physiological level, and stress-induced metabolite changes were characterised by mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. C. glauca could withstand single salt and heat conditions. However, the harshest stress condition (400 mM NaCl, 45 °C) revealed photosynthetic impairments due to mesophyll and membrane permeability limitations as well as major stress-specific differential responses in C and N metabolism. The increased activity of enzymatic ROS scavengers was, however, revealed to be sufficient to control the plant oxidative status. Although C. glauca could tolerate single salt and heat stresses, their negative interaction enhanced the effects of salt stress. Results demonstrated that C. glauca responses to combined salt-heat stress could be explained as a sum of the responses from each single applied stress. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Exploring Genotype-by-Environment Interactions of Chemical Composition of Raspberry by Using a Metabolomics Approach
Metabolites 2021, 11(8), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11080490 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1110
Abstract
Promoting the consumption of fruits is a key objective of nutrition policy campaigns due to their associated health benefits. Raspberries are well appreciated for their remarkable flavor and nutritional value attributable to their antioxidant properties. Consequently, one of the objectives of present-day raspberry [...] Read more.
Promoting the consumption of fruits is a key objective of nutrition policy campaigns due to their associated health benefits. Raspberries are well appreciated for their remarkable flavor and nutritional value attributable to their antioxidant properties. Consequently, one of the objectives of present-day raspberry breeding programs is to improve the fruit’s sensory and nutritive characteristics. However, developing new genotypes with enhanced quality traits is a complex task due to the intricate impacts genetic and environmental factors have on these attributes, and the difficulty to phenotype them. We used a multi-platform metabolomic approach to compare flavor- and nutritional-related metabolite profiles of four raspberry cultivars (‘Glen Ample’, ‘Schönemann’, ‘Tulameen’ and ‘Veten’) grown in different European climates. Although the cultivars appear to be better adapted to high latitudes, for their content in soluble solids and acidity, multivariate statistical analyses allowed us to underscore important genotypic differences based on the profiles of important metabolites. ‘Schönemann’ and ‘Veten’ were characterized by high levels of anthocyanins and ellagitannins, respectively, ‘Tulameen’ by its acidity, and ‘Glen Ample’ for its content of sucrose and β-ionone, two main flavor contributors. Our results confirmed the value of metabolomic-driven approaches, which may foster the development of cultivars with enhanced health properties and flavor. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Metabolomic Approaches to Studying the Response to Drought Stress in Corn (Zea mays) Cobs
Metabolites 2021, 11(7), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11070438 - 03 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Metabolomics is a technique that allows for the evaluation of the entire extractable chemical profile of a plant, for example, using high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and can be used to evaluate plant stress responses, such as those due to drought. Metabolomic analysis is [...] Read more.
Metabolomics is a technique that allows for the evaluation of the entire extractable chemical profile of a plant, for example, using high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and can be used to evaluate plant stress responses, such as those due to drought. Metabolomic analysis is dependent upon the efficiency of the extraction protocol. Currently, there are two common extraction procedures widely used in metabolomic experiments, those that extract from plant tissue processed in liquid nitrogen or extraction from lyophilised plant tissues. Here, we evaluated the two using non-targeted metabolomics to show that lyophilisation can stabilise the maize (Zea mays) extractable metabolome, increasing throughput and efficiency of extraction as compared to the more traditional processing in liquid nitrogen. Then, we applied the lyophilisation approach to explore the effect of drought upon the maize metabolome in a non-targeted HRMS metabolomics approach. Metabolomics revealed differences in the mature maize metabolome having undergone three drought conditions imposed at two critical development stages (three-leaf stage and grain-fill stage); moreover, this difference was observed across two tissue types (kernel and inner cob/pith). It was shown that under ideal conditions, the biochemical make-up of the tissue types is different. However, under stress conditions, the stress response dominates the metabolic profile. Drought-related metabolites known from other plant systems have been identified and metabolomics has revealed potential novel drought-stress indicators in our maize system. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Primary Metabolite Profile Changes in Coffea spp. Promoted by Single and Combined Exposure to Drought and Elevated CO2 Concentration
Metabolites 2021, 11(7), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11070427 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Climate change scenarios pose major threats to many crops worldwide, including coffee. We explored the primary metabolite responses in two Coffea genotypes, C. canephora cv. Conilon Clone 153 and C. arabica cv. Icatu, grown at normal (aCO2) or elevated (eCO2 [...] Read more.
Climate change scenarios pose major threats to many crops worldwide, including coffee. We explored the primary metabolite responses in two Coffea genotypes, C. canephora cv. Conilon Clone 153 and C. arabica cv. Icatu, grown at normal (aCO2) or elevated (eCO2) CO2 concentrations of 380 or 700 ppm, respectively, under well-watered (WW), moderate (MWD), or severe (SWD) water deficit conditions, in order to assess coffee responses to drought and how eCO2 can influence such responses. Primary metabolites were analyzed with a gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry metabolomics platform (GC-TOF-MS). A total of 48 primary metabolites were identified in both genotypes (23 amino acids and derivatives, 10 organic acids, 11 sugars, and 4 other metabolites), with differences recorded in both genotypes. Increased metabolite levels were observed in CL153 plants under single and combined conditions of aCO2 and drought (MWD and SWD), as opposed to the observed decreased levels under eCO2 in both drought conditions. In contrast, Icatu showed minor differences under MWD, and increased levels (especially amino acids) only under SWD at both CO2 concentration conditions, although with a tendency towards greater increases under eCO2. Altogether, CL153 demonstrated large impact under MWD, and seemed not to benefit from eCO2 in either MWD and SWD, in contrast with Icatu. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
A Metabolic Choreography of Maize Plants Treated with a Humic Substance-Based Biostimulant under Normal and Starved Conditions
Metabolites 2021, 11(6), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11060403 - 20 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1158
Abstract
Humic substance (HS)-based biostimulants show potentials as sustainable strategies for improved crop development and stress resilience. However, cellular and molecular mechanisms governing the agronomically observed effects of HS on plants remain enigmatic. Here, we report a global metabolic reprogramming of maize leaves induced [...] Read more.
Humic substance (HS)-based biostimulants show potentials as sustainable strategies for improved crop development and stress resilience. However, cellular and molecular mechanisms governing the agronomically observed effects of HS on plants remain enigmatic. Here, we report a global metabolic reprogramming of maize leaves induced by a humic biostimulant under normal and nutrient starvation conditions. This reconfiguration of the maize metabolism spanned chemical constellations, as revealed by molecular networking approaches. Plant growth and development under normal conditions were characterized by key differential metabolic changes such as increased levels of amino acids, oxylipins and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) intermediate, isocitric acid. Furthermore, under starvation, the humic biostimulant significantly impacted pathways that are involved in stress-alleviating mechanisms such as redox homeostasis, strengthening of the plant cell wall, osmoregulation, energy production and membrane remodelling. Thus, this study reveals that the humic biostimulant induces a remodelling of inter-compartmental metabolic networks in maize, subsequently readjusting the plant physiology towards growth promotion and stress alleviation. Such insights contribute to ongoing efforts in elucidating modes of action of biostimulants, generating fundamental scientific knowledge that is necessary for development of the biostimulant industry, for sustainable food security. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Metabolomics-Based Evaluation of Crop Quality Changes as a Consequence of Climate Change
Metabolites 2021, 11(7), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11070461 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Fruit composition determines the fruit quality and, consequently, consumer acceptance. As fruit quality can be modified by environmental conditions, it will be impacted by future alterations produced by global warming. Therefore, agricultural activities will be influenced by the changes in climatological conditions in [...] Read more.
Fruit composition determines the fruit quality and, consequently, consumer acceptance. As fruit quality can be modified by environmental conditions, it will be impacted by future alterations produced by global warming. Therefore, agricultural activities will be influenced by the changes in climatological conditions in cultivable areas, which could have a high socioeconomic impact if fruit production and quality decline. Currently, different stresses are being applied to several cultivated species to evaluate their impact on fruit metabolism and plant performance. With the use of metabolomic tools, these changes can be precisely measured, allowing us to determine changes in the patterns of individual compounds. As these changes depend on both the stress severity and the specific species involved and even on the specific cultivar, individual analysis must be conducted. To date, the most-studied crops have mainly been crops that are widely cultivated and have a high socioeconomic impact. In the near future, with the development of these metabolomic strategies, their implementation will be extended to other species, which will allow the adaptation of cultivation conditions and the development of varieties with high adaptability to climatological changes. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Plant Responses to Abiotic Stresses and Rhizobacterial Biostimulants: Metabolomics and Epigenetics Perspectives
Metabolites 2021, 11(7), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11070457 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1280
Abstract
In response to abiotic stresses, plants mount comprehensive stress-specific responses which mediate signal transduction cascades, transcription of relevant responsive genes and the accumulation of numerous different stress-specific transcripts and metabolites, as well as coordinated stress-specific biochemical and physiological readjustments. These natural mechanisms employed [...] Read more.
In response to abiotic stresses, plants mount comprehensive stress-specific responses which mediate signal transduction cascades, transcription of relevant responsive genes and the accumulation of numerous different stress-specific transcripts and metabolites, as well as coordinated stress-specific biochemical and physiological readjustments. These natural mechanisms employed by plants are however not always sufficient to ensure plant survival under abiotic stress conditions. Biostimulants such as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) formulation are emerging as novel strategies for improving crop quality, yield and resilience against adverse environmental conditions. However, to successfully formulate these microbial-based biostimulants and design efficient application programs, the understanding of molecular and physiological mechanisms that govern biostimulant-plant interactions is imperatively required. Systems biology approaches, such as metabolomics, can unravel insights on the complex network of plant-PGPR interactions allowing for the identification of molecular targets responsible for improved growth and crop quality. Thus, this review highlights the current models on plant defence responses to abiotic stresses, from perception to the activation of cellular and molecular events. It further highlights the current knowledge on the application of microbial biostimulants and the use of epigenetics and metabolomics approaches to elucidate mechanisms of action of microbial biostimulants. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop