Special Issue "Biological Seed Treatments for Ecosustainable Agriculture"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Physiology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mariateresa Cardarelli
Guest Editor
CREA-Centro di Ricerca Orticoltura e Florovivaismo, Pontecagnano Faiano, Italy
Interests: studies on interactions between biostimulants and plants; seed treatments; growth and quality of vegetable plants under different nutrient conditions or abiotic stress
Dr. Sheridan L. Woo
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples (NA), Italy
Interests: use of beneficial microbes for biological control of plant pathogens and pests; increasing plant resistance to abiotic stress; plant growth promotion to improve crop production and quality; selection and development of bioformulations/biotechnologies for sustainable agriculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biological seed applications include seed treatments that are based on beneficial microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi) or natural substances (e.g., plant extracts, protein hydrolysates, seaweeds, humic substances), with the objective to promote rapid and uniform seed germination, optimal plant establishment, and crop growth and protection resulting in improved plant health, production, and quality. Biological products can be applied to the seed in formulations as a powder or liquid, using different technologies such as seed priming, pelleting, film-coating, etc. The application of biological products directly to the seed is an efficient and cost-effective process for physiological seed conditioning and for assuring that the beneficial treatments are accessible in the spermosphere, endosphere, and rhizosphere at the critical ‘early germination’ stages to facilitate healthy and rapid development in addition to the improvement of nutrient uptake and tolerance to abiotic/biotic stresses. However, several fundamental and technical issues still need to be addressed in order to understand and promote the development of this technology, including (i) the identification of active substances and microorganisms for each crop, the method of application, and optimal growing conditions, (ii)  investigations on the molecular mechanisms underlying the biological activity of components alone or in combination with other agrochemicals (e.g., phytosanitary products, synthetic fertilizers, hormones) on the seed, as well as (iii) the development and implementation of new technologies for seed treatment.

This Special Issue invites submissions on topics related but not limited to seed enhancement technologies based on beneficial microorganisms/natural substances alone or in combination with other agrochemicals; studies on agronomic, physiological, and molecular characteristics of crops following seed treatments; effects of seed treatments on crop tolerance to abiotic stress; seed treatments for biological control of diverse pathogens and pests; and seed treatments with biostimulants and their impacts on the plant microbiome. This Special Issue also welcomes review articles that summarize and comprehensively discuss the recent findings and future directions in the field of biological seed treatments.

Dr. Mariateresa Cardarelli
Dr. Sheridan L. Woo
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. Plants 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 1600 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.


  • biopriming
  • seed coating
  • biostimulants
  • microbial inoculants
  • mycorrhizal fungi
  • Trichoderma
  • PGPR
  • seed germination
  • crop yield
  • nutrient uptake
  • crop stress resistance

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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