Special Issue "Crop Enhancement for Global Food Security"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 January 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Simon E. Bull
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Molecular Plant Breeding, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Interests: crop biotechnology; breeding; genome editing; cassava (Manihot esculenta); apple (Malus); transformation; tissue culture
Dr. Andrew J. Simkin
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Genetics, Genomics and Breeding, NIAB-EMR, New Road, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ, UK
Interests: crop biotechnology; breeding; flavour; secondary metabolism; crop improvement
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Increasing demands for food and resources are challenging existing markets, driving a need to continually investigate and establish crop varieties with improved yields and traits. Biotechnology and breeding programs are at the forefront of agricultural research and adopting techniques such as genome editing to meet global needs. The knowledge garnered from model species, including Arabidopsis and tobacco, has been crucial for enhancing key agricultural crops such as rice, wheat, maize and soybean. However, as crop research enters a new era, it is important to unlock the potential of many established and alternative crop systems to improve agricultural diversity and sustainability. In this Special Issue, primary research papers, technical papers and reviews addressing crop enhancement for global food security will be compiled. Of particular interest are papers looking at improvements in photosynthesis, biofortification and breeding. We would also be keen to hear of studies investigating the domestication of plant species with the potential to improve yields, nutrition or resilience of important cereal, perennial, legume and tropical and temperate root crops. In addition to research papers we welcome method and technical publications demonstrating proof-of-concept techniques to advance genomic breeding, including genetic transformation systems, cisgenesis, grafting, etc., in crops.

Dr. Simon E. Bull
Dr. Andrew J. Simkin
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 1200 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

  • Crops
  • Biotechnology
  • Metabolism
  • Photosynthesis
  • Breeding
  • Food security

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Leaf Promoters for Use in Transgenic Wheat
Plants 2018, 7(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7020027 - 28 Mar 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Wheat yields have plateaued in recent years and given the growing global population there is a pressing need to develop higher yielding varieties to meet future demand. Genetic manipulation of photosynthesis in elite wheat varieties offers the opportunity to significantly increase yields. However, [...] Read more.
Wheat yields have plateaued in recent years and given the growing global population there is a pressing need to develop higher yielding varieties to meet future demand. Genetic manipulation of photosynthesis in elite wheat varieties offers the opportunity to significantly increase yields. However, the absence of a well-defined molecular tool-box of promoters to manipulate leaf processes in wheat hinders advancements in this area. Two promoters, one driving the expression of sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase (SBPase) and the other fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (FBPA) from Brachypodium distachyon were identified and cloned into a vector in front of the GUS reporter gene. Both promoters were shown to be functionally active in wheat in both transient assays and in stably transformed wheat plants. Analysis of the stable transformants of wheat (cv. Cadenza) showed that both promoters controlled gus expression throughout leaf development as well as in other green tissues. The availability of these promoters provides new tools for the expression of genes in transgenic wheat leaves and also paves the way for multigene manipulation of photosynthesis to improve yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Enhancement for Global Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle
Selecting Lentil Accessions for Global Selenium Biofortification
Plants 2017, 6(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030034 - 26 Aug 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
The biofortification of lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus.) has the potential to provide adequate daily selenium (Se) to human diets. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine how low-dose Se fertilizer application at germination affects seedling biomass, antioxidant activity, and Se [...] Read more.
The biofortification of lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus.) has the potential to provide adequate daily selenium (Se) to human diets. The objectives of this study were to (1) determine how low-dose Se fertilizer application at germination affects seedling biomass, antioxidant activity, and Se uptake of 26 cultivated lentil genotypes; and (2) quantify the seed Se concentration of 191 lentil wild accessions grown in Terbol, Lebanon. A germination study was conducted with two Se treatments [0 (control) and 30 kg of Se/ha] with three replicates. A separate field study was conducted in Lebanon for wild accessions without Se fertilizer. Among cultivated lentil accessions, PI533690 and PI533693 showed >100% biomass increase vs. controls. Se addition significantly increased seedling Se uptake, with the greatest uptake (6.2 µg g−1) by PI320937 and the least uptake (1.1 µg g−1) by W627780. Seed Se concentrations of wild accessions ranged from 0 to 2.5 µg g−1; accessions originating from Syria (0–2.5 µg g−1) and Turkey (0–2.4 µg g−1) had the highest seed Se. Frequency distribution analysis revealed that seed Se for 63% of accessions was between 0.25 and 0.75 µg g−1, and thus a single 50 g serving of lentil has the potential to provide adequate dietary Se (20–60% of daily recommended daily allowance). As such, Se application during plant growth for certain lentil genotypes grown in low Se soils may be a sustainable Se biofortification solution to increase seed Se concentration. Incorporating a diverse panel of lentil wild germplasm into Se biofortification programs will increase genetic diversity for effective genetic mapping for increased lentil seed Se nutrition and plant productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Enhancement for Global Food Security)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Advances in Non-Destructive Early Assessment of Fruit Ripeness towards Defining Optimal Time of Harvest and Yield Prediction—A Review
Plants 2018, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7010003 - 10 Jan 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Global food security for the increasing world population not only requires increased sustainable production of food but a significant reduction in pre- and post-harvest waste. The timing of when a fruit is harvested is critical for reducing waste along the supply chain and [...] Read more.
Global food security for the increasing world population not only requires increased sustainable production of food but a significant reduction in pre- and post-harvest waste. The timing of when a fruit is harvested is critical for reducing waste along the supply chain and increasing fruit quality for consumers. The early in-field assessment of fruit ripeness and prediction of the harvest date and yield by non-destructive technologies have the potential to revolutionize farming practices and enable the consumer to eat the tastiest and freshest fruit possible. A variety of non-destructive techniques have been applied to estimate the ripeness or maturity but not all of them are applicable for in situ (field or glasshouse) assessment. This review focuses on the non-destructive methods which are promising for, or have already been applied to, the pre-harvest in-field measurements including colorimetry, visible imaging, spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging. Machine learning and regression models used in assessing ripeness are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Enhancement for Global Food Security)
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