Special Issue "Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2022 | Viewed by 4189

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Anelia Dobrikova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: abiotic stress factors; adaptation mechanisms of plants; photosynthesis; photosynthetic apparatus; plant tolerance; oxidative stress; exogenous application of phytoprotectants; chlorophyll fluorescence; electron transport; oxygen evolution; phytoremediation; heavy metals
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

After the successful completion of Volume I of this Special Issue and the great interest in this research topic, we continue with Volume II.

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in clarifying the mechanisms of plant adaptation and tolerance against environmental abiotic stress factors. Many researchers have focused their efforts on exploring the resistance of different crop species (including varieties, cultivars, genotypes, hybrids, and others) to different environmental stressors, alone or in combination. These include high light, UV radiation, oxidative stress, drought, salinity, extreme temperatures, heavy metal toxicity, etc. Achieving stable crop production in stressful conditions depends largely on the ability of plants to maintain their functions under environmental stress. One of the methods for improving plants’ tolerance to different abiotic stresses includes the application of exogenous phytoprotectants, which can mitigate their effects on plants.

Plant responses to abiotic stress factors are complex and involve a wide array of morphological, physiological, and biochemical processes. Photosynthesis is the primary physiological process affected by abiotic stresses in all its phases. Photosynthetic membranes are very sensitive to environmental stress, as damage of the photosynthetic apparatus occurs at different levels of its organization: chloroplast ultrastructure as well as pigment, lipid, and protein composition. Therefore, knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in the response and adaptation of the photosynthetic apparatus to stressful conditions is of great importance for a deeper understanding of plant tolerance under abiotic stress, which can support new strategies for the development of climate-resilient crops.

The current Special Issue also draws attention to medicinal plants (herbs) and the effects of drought, salt, light, temperature, and heavy metals on their adaptation mechanisms and secondary metabolite production.

Scientists from all over the world are invited to submit original research and review articles on topics related to crop and medicinal plants’ tolerance to adverse environmental conditions.

Prof. Dr. Anelia Dobrikova
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • abiotic stress
  • adaptation mechanisms
  • environmental pollution
  • exogenous phytoprotectants
  • medicinal plants tolerance
  • oxidative stress
  • photodamage
  • photosynthesis
  • photosynthetic apparatus
  • phytoprotectants
  • plants responses
  • reactive oxygen species
  • signaling molecules

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Exogenously Applied Trehalose Augments Cadmium Stress Tolerance and Yield of Mung Bean (Vigna radiata L.) Grown in Soil and Hydroponic Systems through Reducing Cd Uptake and Enhancing Photosynthetic Efficiency and Antioxidant Defense Systems
Plants 2022, 11(6), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060822 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 762
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) toxicity is a serious environmental issue causing a significant reduction in crop growth and productivity globally. Trehalose (Tre) has emerged as an important reducing sugar that can reduce the adverse impacts of different abiotic stresses. Therefore, the present investigation was performed [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) toxicity is a serious environmental issue causing a significant reduction in crop growth and productivity globally. Trehalose (Tre) has emerged as an important reducing sugar that can reduce the adverse impacts of different abiotic stresses. Therefore, the present investigation was performed to determine the key role of Tre in alleviating Cd stress in the mung bean (Vigna radiata L.) crop. The study was comprised of different treatments of cadmium (0, 10, 20 mg kg−1 soil) and Tre (0, 15 and 30 mM). Cd stress significantly restricted the growth and yield of mung bean. However, Tre supplementation markedly improved growth and yield due to pronounced reductions in Cd uptake and Cd-induced oxidative stress as shown by the lower production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), electrolyte leakage (EL) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in Cd-stressed plants as well as by the enhanced activities of antioxidant enzymes (CAT, POD, APX and AsA). Moreover, the ameliorative role of Tre to Cd toxicity was also demonstrated by its ability to enhance chlorophyll contents, total soluble protein (TSP) and free amino acids (FAA). Taken together, Tre supplementation played a key beneficial role in improving Cd stress tolerance and yield traits of mung bean through restricting Cd uptake and enhancing photosynthetic capacity, osmolytes biosynthesis and antioxidant activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
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Article
Water Shortage Affects Vegetative and Reproductive Stages of Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) Chilean Landraces, Differentially Impacting Grain Yield Components
Plants 2022, 11(6), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060749 - 11 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Water availability for agricultural use is currently a global problem that worsens with climate change in several regions of the world. Among grain legumes, common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is the most cultivated in the worldwide. The Chilean germplasm of common bean [...] Read more.
Water availability for agricultural use is currently a global problem that worsens with climate change in several regions of the world. Among grain legumes, common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is the most cultivated in the worldwide. The Chilean germplasm of common bean is characterized by tolerance to water stress. Here, we analyzed a selection of nine ancient Chilean landraces in regard to their drought tolerance, simulating optimal (OW) and restricted watering (RW) in a Mediterranean environment. Phenological, growth, and yield traits were recorded, and correlation analysis was performed. Accordingly, leaf temperature and osmotic potential were higher under RW, while the leaf chlorophyll content decreased in all landraces. Physiological maturity days and seed-filling days were lower in RW than in OW. This similarly occurred with the grain yield. The % yield reduction was negatively correlated with the % pod reduction and the relative rate of leaf expansion (RLAE) reduction. However, the 100-seed weight value was not significantly modified by water treatment (p > 0.05). For instance, landraces that preferred to fill the grain with a lower rate of leaf expansion showed a lower loss in grain yield under drought conditions. These results suggest that the resource partitioning between growing leaves, flowers, and developing pods in Chilean landraces is variable, affecting the common bean drought tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
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Article
Characterization of Maize Hybrids (Zea mays L.) for Detecting Salt Tolerance Based on Morpho-Physiological Characteristics, Ion Accumulation and Genetic Variability at Early Vegetative Stage
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112549 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Increasing soil salinity due to global warming severely restricts crop growth and yield. To select and recommend salt-tolerant cultivars, extensive genotypic screening and examination of plants’ morpho-physiological responses to salt stress are required. In this study, 18 prescreened maize hybrid cultivars were examined [...] Read more.
Increasing soil salinity due to global warming severely restricts crop growth and yield. To select and recommend salt-tolerant cultivars, extensive genotypic screening and examination of plants’ morpho-physiological responses to salt stress are required. In this study, 18 prescreened maize hybrid cultivars were examined at the early growth stage under a hydroponic system using multivariate analysis to demonstrate the genotypic and phenotypic variations of the selected cultivars under salt stress. The seedlings of all maize cultivars were evaluated with two salt levels: control (without NaCl) and salt stress (12 dS m−1 simulated with NaCl) for 28 d. A total of 18 morpho-physiological and ion accumulation traits were dissected using multivariate analysis, and salt tolerance index (STI) values of the examined traits were evaluated for grouping of cultivars into salt-tolerant and -sensitive groups. Salt stress significantly declined all measured traits except root–shoot ratio (RSR), while the cultivars responded differently. The cultivars were grouped into three clusters and the cultivars in Cluster-1 such as Prabhat, UniGreen NK41, Bisco 51, UniGreen UB100, Bharati 981 and Star Beej 7Star exhibited salt tolerance to a greater extent, accounting for higher STI in comparison to other cultivars grouped in Cluster-2 and Cluster-3. The high heritability (h2bs, >60%) and genetic advance (GAM, >20%) were recorded in 13 measured traits, indicating considerable genetic variations present in these traits. Therefore, using multivariate analysis based on the measured traits, six hybrid maize cultivars were selected as salt-tolerant and some traits such as Total Fresh Weight (TFW), Total Dry Weight (TDW), Total Na+, Total K+ contents and K+–Na+ Ratio could be effectively used for the selection criteria evaluating salt-tolerant maize genotypes at the early seedling stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
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Article
Alleviation of Lead Stress on Sage Plant by 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA)
Plants 2021, 10(9), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10091969 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 690
Abstract
Oxidative stress is imparted by a varying range of environmental factors involving heavy metal stress. Thus, the mechanisms of antioxidant resistance may advance a policy to improve metal tolerance. Lead as a toxic heavy metal negatively affects the metabolic activities and growth of [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is imparted by a varying range of environmental factors involving heavy metal stress. Thus, the mechanisms of antioxidant resistance may advance a policy to improve metal tolerance. Lead as a toxic heavy metal negatively affects the metabolic activities and growth of medicinal and aromatic plants. This investigation aimed to assess the function of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) in the alleviation of Pb stress in sage plants (Salvia officinalis L.) grown either hydroponically or in pots. Various concentrations of Pb (0, 100, 200, and 400 µM) and different concentrations of ALA (0, 10, and 20 mg L−1) were tested. This investigation showed that Pb altered the physiological parameters. Pb stress differentially reduced germination percentage and protein content compared to control plants. However, lead stress promoted malondialdehyde (MDA) and H2O2 contents in the treated plants. Also, lead stress enhanced the anti-oxidative enzyme activities; ascorbate peroxidase superoxide, dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione reductase in Salvia plants. ALA application enhanced the germination percentage and protein content compared to their corresponding controls. Whereas, under ALA application MDA and H2O2 contents, as well as the activities of SOD, APX, GPX, and GR, were lowered. These findings suggest that ALA at the 20 mgL−1 level protects the Salvia plant from Pb stress. Therefore, the results recommend ALA application to alleviate Pb stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
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Review

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Review
Melatonin as a Possible Natural Safener in Crops
Plants 2022, 11(7), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11070890 - 27 Mar 2022
Viewed by 538
Abstract
Melatonin is a well-known animal hormone with relevant and multiple cellular and hormonal roles. Its discovery in plants in 1995 has led to a great diversity of molecular and physiological studies that have been showing its multiple actions also in plants. Its roles [...] Read more.
Melatonin is a well-known animal hormone with relevant and multiple cellular and hormonal roles. Its discovery in plants in 1995 has led to a great diversity of molecular and physiological studies that have been showing its multiple actions also in plants. Its roles as a biostimulator and modulator agent of responses to abiotic and biotic stresses have been widely studied. This review raises the possible use of melatonin as a natural safener in herbicide treatments. Existing studies have shown excellent co-acting qualities between both the following agents: herbicide and melatonin. The presence of melatonin reduces the damage caused by the herbicide in the crop and enhances the stress antioxidant response of plants. In this area, a similar role is suggested in the co-action between fungicides and melatonin, where a synergistic response has been demonstrated in some cases. The possible reduction in the fungicide doses is proposed as an eco-friendly advance in the use of these pesticides in certain crops. Finally, future research and applied actions of melatonin on these pest control agents are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Yield component are dependent of leaf growth and their performance during drought in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).
Authors: Gerardo Tapia1; Camila Lozano1; Luis Inostroza1.; Jose Mendez1.
Affiliation: 1Unidad de Recursos genéticos Vegetales, Instituto de investigaciones agropecuarias, INIA-Quilamapu, Chillán, Chile.
Abstract: Water availability for agriculture use is currently a global problem, that it make worse with the climate change in several region of the world. Among legumes species, common bean is the most cultivated. Two main genepool as product of domestication and different races are present. Within the Mesoamerican genepool, Durango and Mesoamerica races contain drought resistant genotypes, while in Andean genepool races such as Chile have been scarcely studied. The Chilean germplasm of common bean is mainly composed by race Chile but it also includes other hybridized landraces that had exhibited suitable agronomical performance under low soil water availability. Here, we analyzed the drought tolerance of nine ancient Chilean varieties. Plants were growth in optimal (OW) and restricted watering (RW) condition. The drought treatment was stablished during flowering until grain pod. The results showed that the leaf/canopy temperature was increased significantly under RW treatment relative to OW, while the chlorophyll content was in general decreased. Phenological traits such as flowering time, days to pod, and days to mature grain exhibited significant differences among common bean varieties. Among them, Pinto was the earliest variety, while Coscorron was the latest. Grain yield was reduced severely during RW, reaching 38-60% of reduction relative to OW. This reduction was positively correlated with the reduction of pod number. At the same time, the number of seeds by pod was reduced 22% in average under RW, relative to OW. However, the 100 seeds weight was not modified by water treatment. Additionally, the grain yield reduction was negatively correlated with the rate of growth reduction (r2=0.84; P<0.001). Our results allowed to concluded that Chilean landraces are variable in the mechanism to drought resistance. The partition between leaf growth rate and grain pod is disbalanced during drought, where the varieties with higher yield have also a higher inhibition of leaf growth. Additionally, we suggest an additive negative-effect of temperature on productivity of common bean under drought conditions, which affects pod number, number of seed by pod and finally grain yield.

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