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

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: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Anelia Dobrikova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia 1113, 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,

Global climate change and environmental pollution substantially restrict crop growth and development, which highlights the need to develop and research new crop species with increased tolerance to various abiotic stresses. In recent years, there is an increasing interest in clarifying the mechanisms of plant adaptation and tolerance against environmental stress. Many researchers have focused their efforts on exploring the resistance of different crop species (including varieties, cultivars, genotypes, hybrids, and others) to different environmental stress factors, alone or in combination, such as high light, UV radiation, oxidative stress, salinity, water stress, 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 plant tolerance to different abiotic stresses includes application of exogenous phytoprotectants, which can mitigate their effects on plants.

Plant responses to environmental stresses 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, 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 will also draw attention to medicinal plants (herbs) and the effects of drought, salt, light, temperature, and heavy metal stresses 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 medical plant tolerance to adverse environmental conditions.

Prof. Dr. Anelia Dobrikova
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • abiotic stress
  • adaptation mechanisms
  • crop plant responses
  • environmental pollution
  • exogenous phytoprotectants
  • medical plant tolerance
  • oxidative stress defense systems
  • photodamage
  • photoregulation
  • photosynthesis
  • photosynthetic apparatus
  • reactive oxygen species

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Article
Bacillus thuringiensis and Silicon Modulate Antioxidant Metabolism and Improve the Physiological Traits to Confer Salt Tolerance in Lettuce
Plants 2021, 10(5), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10051025 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
We investigated the impact of Bacillus thuringiensis as seed treatment and application with silicon on lettuce plants exposed to salinity levels (4 dS m−1 and 8 dS m−1). Results revealed that leaves number, head weight, total yield, relative water content [...] Read more.
We investigated the impact of Bacillus thuringiensis as seed treatment and application with silicon on lettuce plants exposed to salinity levels (4 dS m−1 and 8 dS m−1). Results revealed that leaves number, head weight, total yield, relative water content (RWC), and chlorophyll a and b declined considerably due to two salinity levels. Oxidative stress markers, i.e., hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide (O2), and lipid peroxidation (MDA) dramatically augmented in stressed plants. On the other hand, leaves number, total yield, RWC, and chlorophyll a, b in stressed lettuce plants were considerably enhanced because of the application of Si or B. thuringiensis. In contrast, EL%, MDA, and H2O2 were considerably reduced in treated lettuce plants with Si and B. thuringiensis. In addition, the treatment with Si and B. thuringiensis increased head weight (g) and total yield (ton hectare-1), and caused up-regulation of proline and catalase, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and polyphenol oxidase activity in lettuce leaves under salinity conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Exogenous Gibberellic Acid or Dilute Bee Honey Boosts Drought Stress Tolerance in Vicia faba by Rebalancing Osmoprotectants, Antioxidants, Nutrients, and Phytohormones
Plants 2021, 10(4), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040748 - 11 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
The use of growth regulators such as gibberellic acid (GA3) and biostimulants, including diluted bee honey (Db-H) can improve drought tolerance in many crops, including the faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Db-H contains high values of osmoprotectants, mineral nutrients, vitamins, [...] Read more.
The use of growth regulators such as gibberellic acid (GA3) and biostimulants, including diluted bee honey (Db-H) can improve drought tolerance in many crops, including the faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Db-H contains high values of osmoprotectants, mineral nutrients, vitamins, and many antioxidants making it an effective growth regulator against environmental stress effects. Therefore, the present study was planned to investigate the potential improvement in the faba bean plant performance (growth and productivity) under full watering (100% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc)) and drought stress (60% of ETc) by foliar application of GA3 (20 mg L−1) or Db-H (20 g L−1). The ameliorative impacts of these growth regulators on growth, productivity, physio-biochemical attributes, nutrient status, antioxidant defense system, and phytohormones were evaluated. GA3 or Db-H attenuated the negative influences of drought stress on cell membrane stability, ion leakage, relative water content, nutrient status, leaf pigments related to photosynthesis (chlorophylls and carotenoids), and efficiency of the photosystem II (PSII in terms of Fv/Fm and performance index), thus improving faba bean growth, green pod yield, and water use efficiency. Drought stress caused an abnormal state of nutrients and photosynthetic machinery due to increased indicators of oxidative stress (malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide (O2•−)), associated with increased osmoprotectants (proline, glycine betaine, soluble sugars, and soluble protein), non-enzymatic antioxidants (ascorbic acid, glutathione, and α-tocopherol), and enzymatic antioxidant activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, and ascorbate peroxidase). However, foliar-applied GA3 or Db-H mediated further increases in osmoprotectants, antioxidant capacity, GA3, indole-3-acetic acid, and cytokinins, along with decreased levels of MDA and abscisic acid. These results suggest the use of GA3 or Db-H at the tested concentrations to mitigate drought-induced damage in bean plants to obtain satisfactory growth and productivity under a water deficit of up to 40%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
Article
Structural and Chemical Adaptations of Artemisia monosperma Delile and Limbarda crithmoides (L.) Dumort. in Response to Arid Coastal Environments along the Mediterranean Coast of Egypt
Plants 2021, 10(3), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10030481 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 736
Abstract
Arid coastal habitats are stressful regions subjected to the effects of biotic and abiotic factors. Vascular plants in these habitats display different responses to cope with these environmental fluctuations. This work addressed the morpho-anatomical features and chemical responses of two medicinal vascular plant [...] Read more.
Arid coastal habitats are stressful regions subjected to the effects of biotic and abiotic factors. Vascular plants in these habitats display different responses to cope with these environmental fluctuations. This work addressed the morpho-anatomical features and chemical responses of two medicinal vascular plant species Artemisia monosperma Delile and Limbarda crithmoides (L.) Dumort., growing naturally along the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. Soil properties (physical and chemical), morpho-anatomical features and chemical constituents (secondary metabolites, antioxidant activity and essential oils) for the two species were performed. Our results displayed that both species are surviving where soils are alkaline, high saline with low moisture and organic carbon. The morphology of both species appeared woody low shrub with fleshy leaves. The most marked anatomical attributes were the thick cuticle of the epidermal layer in leaves and stems, compact palisade cells and abundant idioblasts (secretory ducts, phenolic compounds and calcium oxalate). Also, sclerenchymatous pericycle fibers in stem and glandular trichomes on the leaf had appeared in A. monosperma. Both plants exhibited a considerable content of phenolics, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids and antioxidant activity with a higher level in A. monosperma than L. crithmoides. The leaf extracts of both plants showed higher values than the stem extracts. The sesquiterpenes group were the major identified compounds of the essential oils (EOs) in A. monosperma and L. crithmoides, and the majority were oxygenated sesquiterpenes with percentages of 42.63% and 51.49%, respectively. The second major group of EOs was monoterpenes, which were represented in A. monosperma in concentrations (34.04%) much higher than those recorded in L. crithmoides (4.97%). Exploring the local adaptation mechanism used by the target plants helps us to understand how these plants can acclimatize to harsh conditions, and this provides critical insights into the protection and survival strategy of species under extreme conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Enhancement of Brassica napus Tolerance to High Saline Conditions by Seed Priming
Plants 2021, 10(2), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020403 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
Plants grown in saline soils undergo osmotic and oxidative stresses, affecting growth and photosynthesis and, consequently, the yield. Therefore, the increase in soil salinity is a major threat to crop productivity worldwide. Plant’s tolerance can be ameliorated by applying simple methods that induce [...] Read more.
Plants grown in saline soils undergo osmotic and oxidative stresses, affecting growth and photosynthesis and, consequently, the yield. Therefore, the increase in soil salinity is a major threat to crop productivity worldwide. Plant’s tolerance can be ameliorated by applying simple methods that induce them to adopt morphological and physiological adjustments to counteract stress. In this work, we evaluated the effects of seed priming on salt stress response in three cultivars of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) that had different tolerance levels. Seed chemical priming was performed with 2.5 mM spermine (SPM), 5 mM spermidine (SPD), 40 mM NaCl and 2.5 mM Ca (NO3)2. Primed and not primed seeds were sown on saline and not saline (controls) media, and morphological and physiological parameters were determined. Since SPD treatment was effective in reducing salinity negative effects on growth, membrane integrity and photosynthetic pigments, we selected this priming to further investigate plant salt stress response. The positive effects of this seed treatment on growth and physiological responses were evident when primed plants were compared to not primed ones, grown under the same saline conditions. SPD priming ameliorated the tolerance towards saline stress, in a genotype-independent manner, by increasing photosynthetic pigments, proline amounts and antioxidant responses in all cultivars exposed to salt. These results may open new perspectives for crop productivity in the struggle against soil salinization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Tolerance Mechanisms of the Aromatic and Medicinal Plant Salvia sclarea L. to Excess Zinc
Plants 2021, 10(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020194 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 753
Abstract
In recent years, due to the development of industrial and agricultural production, heavy metal contamination has attracted increasing attention. Aromatic and medicinal plant Salvia sclarea L. (clary sage) is classified to zinc (Zn) accumulators and considered as a potential plant for the phytoremediation [...] Read more.
In recent years, due to the development of industrial and agricultural production, heavy metal contamination has attracted increasing attention. Aromatic and medicinal plant Salvia sclarea L. (clary sage) is classified to zinc (Zn) accumulators and considered as a potential plant for the phytoremediation of heavy metal polluted soils. In this study, an adaptation of clary sage to 900 µM (excess) Zn exposure for eight days in a hydroponic culture was investigated. The tolerance mechanisms under excess Zn exposure were assessed by evaluating changes in the nutrient uptake, leaf pigment and phenolic content, photosynthetic activity and leaf structural characteristics. The uptake and the distribution of Zn, as well as some essential elements such as: Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn and Cu, were examined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The results revealed that Salvia sclarea is a Zn-accumulator plant that tolerates significantly high toxic levels of Zn in the leaves by increasing the leaf contents of Fe, Ca and Mn ions to protect the photosynthetic function and to stimulate the photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) activities. The exposure of clary sage to excess Zn significantly increased the synthesis of total phenolics and anthocyanins in the leaves; these play an important role in Zn detoxification and protection against oxidative stress. The lipid peroxidation and electrolyte leakage in leaves, used as clear indicators for heavy metal damage, were slightly increased. All these data highlight that Salvia sclarea is an economically interesting plant for the phytoextraction and/or phytostabilization of Zn-contaminated soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Ecophysiological Variability of Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC. Green Alder Leaves in the Bieszczady Mountains (Poland)
Plants 2021, 10(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010096 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC., green alder, is a fast-growing shrub that grows expansively in the European mountainside. In Poland, A. viridis naturally occurs only in the Bieszczady Mountains (south-eastern part of the country), above the upper forest border. In this study, we assessed [...] Read more.
Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC., green alder, is a fast-growing shrub that grows expansively in the European mountainside. In Poland, A. viridis naturally occurs only in the Bieszczady Mountains (south-eastern part of the country), above the upper forest border. In this study, we assessed the potential of green alder to expand in post-farming areas in the Bieszczady Mountains. We investigated the effects of topographical, climatic, and edaphic characteristics of four various study sites on the physiological and morphological properties of A. viridis leaves in order to answer the question whether the growth of plants in lower positions improves their physiological condition to such an extent that it increases the species invasiveness. This is the first comprehensive ecophysiological study of this species to be carried out in this part of Europe. The photochemical efficiency of PSII, the chlorophyll content, and leaf 13C and 15N discrimination were analyzed. On the basis of leaf radiation reflection, coefficients such as reflectance indices of anthocyanins, carotenoids, flavonoids (ARI2, CRI1, FRI), photochemical index of reflection (PRI), and the water band index (WBI) were calculated. We observed favorable physiological effects in A. viridis plants growing in locations below the upper forest border compared to plants growing in higher locations. As a result, A. viridis may become an invasive species and disturb the phytocoenotic balance of plant communities of the altitudinal zones in the Polish Western Carpathians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Application of Exogenous Phytohormones at Silking Stage Improve Grain Quality under Post-Silking Drought Stress in Waxy Maize
Plants 2021, 10(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010048 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
The application of exogenous plant growth regulator can improve plant resistance to drought stress. The effects of application of exogenous cytokinin (CTK), brassinolide (BR), or gibberellic acid (GA) at the silking time on the grain quality of two waxy maize hybrids under drought [...] Read more.
The application of exogenous plant growth regulator can improve plant resistance to drought stress. The effects of application of exogenous cytokinin (CTK), brassinolide (BR), or gibberellic acid (GA) at the silking time on the grain quality of two waxy maize hybrids under drought stress at grain formation stage were studied. Grain weight of both hybrids was unaffected by exogenous phytohormones under control conditions but increased under drought conditions with the application of BR. The grain starch content in response to drought varied with hybrid and phytohormone. Starch granule size and protein content in grains were increased by drought under all conditions, but various phytohormones exerted different forms of influence. The starch λmax in Yunuo7 was unaffected by single or interaction of phytohormones and water deficit, λmax in Jingkenuo2000 with BR was unaffected but with CTK or GA increased by drought. Relative crystallinity was reduced by drought without the application of phytohormone, but with phytohormones in response to drought it was different. Flour peak viscosity was reduced by drought. The value was increased with BR spraying under control and drought conditions. Retrogradation percentage under drought conditions was unaffected by exogenous phytohormones in Jingkenuo2000. In Yunuo7, retrogradation percentage was unaffected by BR but reduced by CTK and GA. In conclusion, spraying phytohormones at the silking stage can affect grain weight and starch quality, grains with a sticky taste can be improved by applying BR, and grains with low retrograde tendency can be produced by applying CTK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
An Inositol 1,3,4,5,6-Pentakisphosphate 2-Kinase 1 Mutant with a 33-nt Deletion Showed Enhanced Tolerance to Salt and Drought Stress in Rice
Plants 2021, 10(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010023 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 792
Abstract
OsIPK1 encodes inositol 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate 2-kinase, which catalyzes the conversion of myo-inositol-1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate to myo-inositol-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakisphosphate (IP6) in rice. By clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein (Cas9)-mediated mutagenesis in the 3rd exon [...] Read more.
OsIPK1 encodes inositol 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate 2-kinase, which catalyzes the conversion of myo-inositol-1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate to myo-inositol-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakisphosphate (IP6) in rice. By clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein (Cas9)-mediated mutagenesis in the 3rd exon of the gene, three OsIPK1 mutations, i.e., osipk1_1 (a 33-nt deletion), osipk1_2 (a 1-nt deletion), and osipk1_3 (a 2-nt deletion) were identified in T0 plants of the rice line Xidao #1 (wild type, WT). A transfer DNA free line with the homozygous osipk1_1 mutation was developed; however, no homozygous mutant lines could be developed for the other two mutations. The comparative assay showed that the osipk1_1 mutant line had a significantly lower level of phytic acid (PA, IP6; −19.5%) in rice grain and agronomic traits comparable to the WT. However, the osipk1_1 mutant was more tolerant to salt and drought stresses than the WT, with significantly lower levels of inositol triphosphate (IP3), reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induced IP6, and higher activities of antioxidant enzymes in seedlings subjected to these stresses. Further analyses showed that the transcription of stress response genes was significantly upregulated in the osipk1_1 mutant under stress. Thus, the low phytic acid mutant osipk1_1 should have potential applications in rice breeding and production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Evaluating the Contribution of Growth, Physiological, and Ionic Components Towards Salinity and Drought Stress Tolerance in Jatropha curcas
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111574 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 829
Abstract
Salinity and drought stress, singly or in combination, are major environmental menaces. Jatropha curcas L. is a biodiesel plant that can tolerate long periods of drought. However, the growth performance and stress tolerance based on physical, chemical, and physiological attributes of this plant [...] Read more.
Salinity and drought stress, singly or in combination, are major environmental menaces. Jatropha curcas L. is a biodiesel plant that can tolerate long periods of drought. However, the growth performance and stress tolerance based on physical, chemical, and physiological attributes of this plant have not yet been studied. To address this question, J. curcas seedlings were grown in a completely randomized design in plastic pots filled with soil to evaluate the effects of salinity and drought stresses on growth, ionic composition, and physiological attributes. The experiment consisted of six treatments: control (without salinity and drought stress), salinity alone (7.5 dS m−1, 15 dS m−1), drought, and a combination of salinity and drought (7.5 dS m−1+ Drought, 15 dS m−1+Drought). Our results revealed that, compared with the control, both plant height (PH) and stem diameter (SD) were reduced by (83%, 80%, and 77%) and (69%, 56%, and 55%) under salinity and drought combination (15 dS m−1+Drought) after three, six, and nine months, respectively. There was 93% more leaf Na+ found in plants treated with 15 dS m−1+Drought compared with the control. The highest significant average membrane stability index (MSI) and relative water content (RWC) values (81% and 85%, respectively) were found in the control. The MSI and RWC were not influenced by 7.5 dS m−1 and drought treatments and mostly contributed towards stress tolerance. Our findings imply that J. curcas is moderately tolerant to salinity and drought. The Na+ toxicity and disturbance in K+: Na+ ratio were the main contributing factors for limited growth and physiological attributes in this plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Influence of Maternal Habitat on Salinity Tolerance of Zygophyllum coccineum with Regard to Seed Germination and Growth Parameters
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111504 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Zygophyllum coccineum is a facultative halophyte widely distributed in desert wadis and coastal areas in Egypt. Here, we investigated the influences of maternal habitat on tolerance to salt stress during germination and seedling growth under salinity (0, 100, 200, 400 mM NaCl) of [...] Read more.
Zygophyllum coccineum is a facultative halophyte widely distributed in desert wadis and coastal areas in Egypt. Here, we investigated the influences of maternal habitat on tolerance to salt stress during germination and seedling growth under salinity (0, 100, 200, 400 mM NaCl) of three populations of Z. coccineum from a saline habitat (Manzala coast) and non-saline habitats (Wadi Houf and Wadi Asyuti). In all populations, seed germination started within two days in distilled water but germination indices were reduced significantly with salt level increase. Germination percentage was not significantly greater for seeds from non-saline habitats than for those from the saline habitat under moderate salinity (100, 200 mM NaCl), but only seeds from the saline habitat were able to germinate under high salt stress (400 mM NaCl). Germination recovery was greater for seeds from the saline habitat compared to non-saline populations. At the seedling level, the Manzala population showed the lowest inhibition of shoot length and leaf area under salinity (200 and 400 mM NaCl) compared to non-saline habitats. In the same context, the Manzala population had the maximum chlorophyll a content, superoxide dismutase and esterase activities under salinity compared to non-saline populations, but salinity had a non-significant effect on chlorophyll b between the three populations. Carotenoids were enhanced with the increase of salt levels in all populations. These results suggest the salt tolerance of Manzala population is derived from maternal salinity and adaptive plasticity of this species may play an important role in the wide distribution of Z. coccineum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Communication
OsmiR535, a Potential Genetic Editing Target for Drought and Salinity Stress Tolerance in Oryza sativa
Plants 2020, 9(10), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9101337 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
OsmiR535 belongs to the miR156/miR529/miR535 superfamily, a highly conserved miRNA family in plants. OsmiR535 is involved in regulating the cold-stress response, modulating plant development, and determining panicle architecture and grain length. However, the role that OsmiR535 plays in plant responses to drought and [...] Read more.
OsmiR535 belongs to the miR156/miR529/miR535 superfamily, a highly conserved miRNA family in plants. OsmiR535 is involved in regulating the cold-stress response, modulating plant development, and determining panicle architecture and grain length. However, the role that OsmiR535 plays in plant responses to drought and salinity are elusive. In the current study, molecular and genetic engineering techniques were used to elucidate the possible role of OsmiR535 in response to NaCl, PEG(Poly ethylene glycol), ABA(Abscisic acid), and dehydration stresses. Our results showed that OsmiR535 is induced under stressed conditions as compared to control. With transgenic and CRISPR/Cas9 knockout system techniques, our results verified that either inhibition or knockout of OsmiR535 in rice could enhance the tolerance of plants to NaCl, ABA, dehydration and PEG stresses. In addition, the overexpression of OsmiR535 significantly reduced the survival rate of rice seedlings during PEG and dehydration post-stress recovery. Our results demonstrated that OsmiR535 negatively regulates the stress response in rice. Moreover, our practical application of CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome editing created a homozygous 5 bp deletion in the coding sequence of OsmiR535, demonstrating that OsmiR535 could be a useful genetic editing target for drought and salinity tolerance and a new marker for molecular breeding of Oryza sativa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
The Molecular and Functional Characterization of the Durum Wheat Lipoxygenase TdLOX2 Suggests Its Role in Hyperosmotic Stress Response
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1233; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091233 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 784
Abstract
In plants, lipoxygenases (LOXs) are involved in various processes, such as growth, development, and response to stress cues. In the present study, the expression pattern of six durum wheat LOX-encoding genes (TdLpx-B1.1, TdLpx-B1.2, TdLpx-A2, TdLpx-B2, TdLpx-A3 and TdLpx-B3 [...] Read more.
In plants, lipoxygenases (LOXs) are involved in various processes, such as growth, development, and response to stress cues. In the present study, the expression pattern of six durum wheat LOX-encoding genes (TdLpx-B1.1, TdLpx-B1.2, TdLpx-A2, TdLpx-B2, TdLpx-A3 and TdLpx-B3) under hyperosmotic stress was investigated. With osmotic (0.42 M mannitol) and salt (0.21 M NaCl) stress imposed at the early stages of seedling growth, a strong induction of the TdLpx-A2 gene expression in the shoots paralleled an equally strong increase in the LOX activity. Enhanced levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and increased rates of superoxide anion generation were also observed as a result of the stress imposition. Sequence analysis of the TdLOX2 encoded by the TdLpx-A2 gene revealed that it belonged to the type-1 9-LOX group. When overexpressed in E. coli, TdLOX2 exhibited normal enzyme activity, high sensitivity to specific LOX inhibitors, with 76% and 99% inhibition by salicylhydroxamic and propyl gallate, respectively, and a preference for linoleic acid as substrate, which was converted exclusively to its corresponding 13-hydroperoxide. This unexpected positional specificity could be related to the unusual TV/K motif that in TdLOX2 replaces the canonical TV/R motif of 9-LOXs. Treatment of seedlings with propyl gallate strongly suppressed the increase in LOX activity induced by the hyperosmotic stress; the MDA accumulation was also reduced but less markedly, whereas the rate of superoxide anion generation was even more increased. Overall, our findings suggest that the up-regulation of the TdLpx-A2 gene is a component of the durum wheat response to hyperosmotic stress and that TdLOX2 may act by counteracting the excessive generation of harmful reactive oxygen species responsible for the oxidative damages that occur in plants under stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Effects of Drought and Salinity on Two Commercial Varieties of Lavandula angustifolia Mill
Plants 2020, 9(5), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050637 - 16 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1433
Abstract
Global warming is not only affecting arid and semi-arid regions but also becoming a threat to agriculture in Central and Eastern European countries. The present study analyzes the responses to drought and salinity of two varieties of Lavandula angustifolia cultivated in Romania. Lavender [...] Read more.
Global warming is not only affecting arid and semi-arid regions but also becoming a threat to agriculture in Central and Eastern European countries. The present study analyzes the responses to drought and salinity of two varieties of Lavandula angustifolia cultivated in Romania. Lavender seedlings were subjected to one month of salt stress (100, 200, and 300 mM NaCl) and water deficit (complete withholding of irrigation) treatments. To assess the effects of stress on the plants, several growth parameters and biochemical stress markers (photosynthetic pigments, mono and divalent ions, and different osmolytes) were determined in control and stressed plants after the treatments. Both stress conditions significantly inhibited the growth of the two varieties, but all plants survived the treatments, indicating a relative stress tolerance of the two varieties. The most relevant mechanisms of salt tolerance are based on the maintenance of foliar K+ levels and the accumulation of Ca2+ and proline as a functional osmolyte in parallel with increasing external salinities. Under water stress, significant increases of Na+ and K+ concentrations were detected in roots, indicating a possible role of these cations in osmotic adjustment, limiting root dehydration. No significant differences were found when comparing the stress tolerance and stress responses of the two selected lavender varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Article
Exogenous Ascorbic Acid Induced Chilling Tolerance in Tomato Plants Through Modulating Metabolism, Osmolytes, Antioxidants, and Transcriptional Regulation of Catalase and Heat Shock Proteins
Plants 2020, 9(4), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040431 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2147
Abstract
Chilling, a sort of cold stress, is a typical abiotic ecological stress that impacts the development as well as the growth of crops. The present study was carried to investigate the role of ascorbic acid root priming in enhancing tolerance of tomato seedlings [...] Read more.
Chilling, a sort of cold stress, is a typical abiotic ecological stress that impacts the development as well as the growth of crops. The present study was carried to investigate the role of ascorbic acid root priming in enhancing tolerance of tomato seedlings against acute chilling stress. The treatments included untreated control, ascorbic acid-treated plants (AsA; 0.5 mM), acute chilling-stressed plants (4 °C), and chilling stressed seedlings treated by ascorbic acid. Exposure to acute chilling stress reduced growth in terms of length, fresh and dry biomass, pigment synthesis, and photosynthesis. AsA was effective in mitigating the injurious effects of chilling stress to significant levels when supplied at 0.5 mM concentrations. AsA priming reduced the chilling mediated oxidative damage by lowering the electrolyte leakage, lipid peroxidation, and hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, up regulating the activity of enzymatic components of the antioxidant system. Further, 0.5 mM AsA proved beneficial in enhancing ions uptake in normal and chilling stressed seedlings. At the gene expression level, AsA significantly lowered the expression level of CAT and heat shock protein genes. Therefore, we theorize that the implementation of exogenous AsA treatment reduced the negative effects of severe chilling stress on tomato. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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