Special Issue "Selected Papers from the 1st International Electronic Conference on Plant Science"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 9401

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Paula Baptista
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mountain Research Centre (CIMO), Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
Interests: plant microbiome; microbe-induced plant tolerance to stresses; endophyte; sustainable agriculture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Geraint Parry
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
GARNet, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
Interests: national coordinator for the GARNet community research network
Dr. Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Plant Science, School of Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Interests: plant development; cell wall biophysics; cell–cell transport and callose: B-1,3 glucans; plasmodesmata
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Azahara C. Martín
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK
Interests: Meiosis; recombination; polyploidy; wheat; cytogenetic; male fertility; wheat nuclear organization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Plants will include selected papers from invited speakers and registered participants of the 1st International Electronic Conference on Plant Science, which will be held online from 1 to 15 December 2020 and hosted on the MDPI Sciforum platform (https://iecps2020.sciforum.net/). A broad range of topics related to Plant Science will be discussed, including plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, plant nutrition, plant physiology and biochemistry, plant developmental mechanisms, plant-based cleanup technologies, and plant science communication.

Submitted papers will be subjected to peer review and published with the aim of the rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

The Special Issue will maintain the topical subdivision of the conference in the following five fields:

  • Plant protection, Response to Stress and Climate Change;
  • Plant Nutrition, Plant Physiology and Metabolism;
  • Plant Cell and Developmental Biology;
  • Phytochemistry and Bioremediation;
  • Plant Outreach and Educational Resources.

Prof. Dr. Paula Baptista
Dr. Geraint Parry
Dr. Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso
Dr. Azahara C. Martín
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2200 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 protection
  • abiotic stress tolerance
  • plant nutrition
  • plant physiology
  • plant development
  • agronomy
  • plant biotechnology

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
The Role of the GSTF11 Gene in Resistance to Powdery Mildew Infection and Cold Stress
Plants 2021, 10(12), 2729; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10122729 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) is an economically important crop. In a temperate climate, powdery mildew Erysiphe crucifertaum can drastically reduce its yield. Nevertheless, cultivars resistant to this fungal disease have not yet been selected. Glutathione S-transferase GSTF11 is involved in glucosinolate [...] Read more.
Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) is an economically important crop. In a temperate climate, powdery mildew Erysiphe crucifertaum can drastically reduce its yield. Nevertheless, cultivars resistant to this fungal disease have not yet been selected. Glutathione S-transferase GSTF11 is involved in glucosinolate (GSL) biosynthesis and response to stress, including fungal deceases. However, the impact of exogenous GSTF11 gene expression on resistance to powdery mildew has not yet been confirmed and requires further investigation. Transgenic B. napus was generated for this purpose. It demonstrated increased GST activity and a higher GSH:GSSG ratio under normal conditions. Powdery mildew Erysiphe crucifertaum caused 50% mortality in wild type (WT) plants. In most of transgenic plants, mycelium growth was inhibited. The infection contributed to higher GSTF11 expression and increased levels of glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in both transgenic and WT plants. In contrast, GSTF11 mRNA content, GST activity and GSSG level were lower only in WT plants. In transgenic plants, increased resistance to powdery mildew correlated with a lower GSH:GSSG ratio, indicating a higher content of neutralized toxic molecules. GSTF11 expression was also affected by cold stress, but not drought. At −1 °C, the expression level increased only in transgenic plants. Therefore, GSTF11 appears to be nonspecific and is able to protect plants under several types of stress. This gene could be used as a target in the production of stress tolerant cultivars. Full article
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Article
Reactive Oxygen Species in Host Plant Are Required for an Early Defense Response against Attack of Stagonospora nodorum Berk. Necrotrophic Effectors SnTox
Plants 2021, 10(8), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081586 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a central role in plant immune responses. The most important virulence factors of the Stagonospora nodorum Berk. are multiple fungal necrotrophic effectors (NEs) (SnTox) that affect the redox-status and cause necrosis and/or chlorosis in wheat lines possessing dominant [...] Read more.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a central role in plant immune responses. The most important virulence factors of the Stagonospora nodorum Berk. are multiple fungal necrotrophic effectors (NEs) (SnTox) that affect the redox-status and cause necrosis and/or chlorosis in wheat lines possessing dominant susceptibility genes (Snn). However, the effect of NEs on ROS generation at the early stages of infection has not been studied. We studied the early stage of infection of various wheat genotypes with S nodorum isolates -Sn4VD, SnB, and Sn9MN, carrying a different set of NE genes. Our results indicate that all three NEs of SnToxA, SnTox1, SnTox3 significantly contributed to cause disease, and the virulence of the isolates depended on their differential expression in plants (Triticum aestivum L.). The Tsn1–SnToxA, Snn1–SnTox1and Snn3–SnTox3 interactions played an important role in inhibition ROS production at the initial stage of infection. The Snn3–SnTox3 inhibited ROS production in wheat by affecting NADPH-oxidases, peroxidases, superoxide dismutase and catalase. The Tsn1–SnToxA inhibited ROS production in wheat by affecting peroxidases and catalase. The Snn1–SnTox1 inhibited the production of ROS in wheat by mainly affecting a peroxidase. Collectively, these results show that the inverse gene-for gene interactions between effector of pathogen and product of host sensitivity gene suppress the host’s own PAMP-triggered immunity pathway, resulting in NE-triggered susceptibility (NETS). These results are fundamentally changing our understanding of the development of this economical important wheat disease. Full article
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Article
PEG-Induced Osmotic Stress Alters Root Morphology and Root Hair Traits in Wheat Genotypes
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061042 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
Wheat crop in drought-prone regions of Bangladesh suffers from osmotic stress. The objective of this study was to investigate the response of wheat genotypes with respect to root morphology and root hair traits under polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced osmotic stress. A total of 22 [...] Read more.
Wheat crop in drought-prone regions of Bangladesh suffers from osmotic stress. The objective of this study was to investigate the response of wheat genotypes with respect to root morphology and root hair traits under polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced osmotic stress. A total of 22 genotypes of wheat were grown hydroponically and two treatments—0% and 10% PEG—were imposed at 14 days after germination. Plant growth was reduced in terms of plant height, number of live leaves per tiller, shoot dry weight, number of root-bearing phytomers, and roots per tiller. Notably, PEG-induced osmotic stress increased root dry weight per tiller by increasing length of the main axis and lateral roots, as well as the diameter and density of both lateral roots and root hairs of the individual roots. A biplot was drawn after a principal component analysis, taking three less-affected (high-yielding genotypes) and three highly affected (low-yielding genotypes and landrace) genotypes under 10% PEG stress, compared to control. Principal component 1 separated PEG-treated wheat genotypes from control-treated genotypes, with a high and positive coefficient for the density of lateral roots and root hairs, length and diameter of the main axis, and first-order lateral roots and leaf injury scores, indicating that these traits are associated with osmotic stress tolerance. Principal component 2 separated high-yielding and tolerant wheat genotypes from low-yielding and susceptible genotypes, with a high coefficient for root dry weight, density of root hairs and second-order lateral roots, length of the main axis, and first-order lateral roots. An increase in root dry weight in PEG-stress-tolerant wheat genotypes was achieved through an increase in length and diameter of the main axis and lateral roots. The information derived from this research could be exploited for identifying osmotic stress-tolerant QTL and for developing abiotic-tolerant cultivars of wheat. Full article
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Article
A Novel Protein Hydrolysate-Based Biostimulant Improves Tomato Performances under Drought Stress
Plants 2021, 10(4), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040783 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1329
Abstract
Abiotic stresses adversely affect crop production causing yield reductions in important crops, including tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Among the different abiotic stresses, drought is considered to be the most critical one, since limited water availability negatively impacts plant growth and development, especially [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses adversely affect crop production causing yield reductions in important crops, including tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Among the different abiotic stresses, drought is considered to be the most critical one, since limited water availability negatively impacts plant growth and development, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. The aim of this study was to understand how biostimulants may interact with critical physiological response mechanisms in tomato under limited water availability and to define strategies to improve tomato performances under drought stress. We investigated the physiological responses of the tomato genotype ‘E42’ grown in open fields under optimal conditions (100% irrigation) and limited water availability (50% irrigation) treated or not with a novel protein hydrolysate-based biostimulant (CycoFlow, Agriges, BN, Italy). Plants treated with the protein hydrolysate showed a better water status and pollen viability, which also resulted in higher yield under drought stress compared to untreated plants. The treatment with the biostimulant had also an effect on antioxidant contents and activity in leaves and fruits depending on the level of irrigation provided. Altogether, these results indicate that the application of protein hydrolysates on tomato improved plant performances under limited water availability and in different experimental fields. Full article
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Article
Taxonomic Revisiting and Phylogenetic Placement of Two Endangered Plant Species: Silene leucophylla Boiss. and Silene schimperiana Boiss. (Caryophyllaceae)
Plants 2021, 10(4), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040740 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
The genus Silene L. is one of the largest genera in Caryophyllaceae, and is distributed in the Northern Hemisphere and South America. The endemic species Silene leucophylla and the near-endemic S. schimperiana are native to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. They have reduced population [...] Read more.
The genus Silene L. is one of the largest genera in Caryophyllaceae, and is distributed in the Northern Hemisphere and South America. The endemic species Silene leucophylla and the near-endemic S. schimperiana are native to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. They have reduced population size and are endangered on national and international scales. These two species have typically been disregarded in most studies of the genus Silene. This research integrates the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), species micromorphology, and the phylogenetic analysis of four DNA markers: ITS, matK, rbcL and psb-A/trn-H. Trichomes were observed on the stem of Silene leucophylla, while the S. schimperiana has a glabrous stem. Irregular epicuticle platelets with sinuate margin were found in S. schimperiana. Oblong, bone-shaped, and irregularly arranged epidermal cells were present on the leaf of S. leucophylla, while Silene schimperiana leaf has “tetra-, penta-, hexa-, and polygonal” epidermal cells. Silene leucophylla and S. schimperiana have amphistomatic stomata. The Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of each marker individually or in combination represented the first phylogenetic study to reveal the generic and sectional classification of S. leucophylla and S. schimperiana. Two Silene complexes are proposed based on morphological and phylogenetic data. The Leucophylla complex was allied to section Siphonomorpha and the Schimperiana complex was related to section Sclerocalycinae. However, these two complexes need further investigation and more exhaustive sampling to infer their complex phylogenetic relationships. Full article
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Article
An F2 Barley Population as a Tool for Teaching Mendelian Genetics
Plants 2021, 10(4), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040694 - 03 Apr 2021
Viewed by 843
Abstract
In the context of a general genetics course, mathematical descriptions of Mendelian inheritance and population genetics are sometimes discouraging and students often have serious misconceptions. Innovative strategies in expositive classes can clearly encourage student’s motivation and participation, but laboratories and practical classes are [...] Read more.
In the context of a general genetics course, mathematical descriptions of Mendelian inheritance and population genetics are sometimes discouraging and students often have serious misconceptions. Innovative strategies in expositive classes can clearly encourage student’s motivation and participation, but laboratories and practical classes are generally the students’ favourite academic activities. The design of lab practices focused on learning abstract concepts such as genetic interaction, genetic linkage, genetic recombination, gene mapping, or molecular markers is a complex task that requires suitable segregant materials. The optimal population for pedagogical purposes is an F2 population, which is extremely useful not only in explaining different key concepts of genetics (as dominance, epistasis, and linkage) but also in introducing additional curricular tools, particularly concerning statistical analysis. Among various model organisms available, barley possesses several unique features for demonstrating genetic principles. Therefore, we generated a barley F2 population from the parental lines of the Oregon Wolfe Barley collection. The objective of this work is to present this F2 population as a model to teach Mendelian genetics in a medium–high-level genetics course. We provide an exhaustive phenotypic and genotypic description of this plant material that, together with a description of the specific methodologies and practical exercises, can be helpful for transferring our fruitful experience to anyone interested in implementing this educational resource in his/her teaching. Full article
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Article
Photosynthetic Nutrient and Water Use Efficiency of Cucumis sativus under Contrasting Soil Nutrient and Lignosulfonate Levels
Plants 2021, 10(2), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020340 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
To reduce the use of commercial conventional inorganic fertilizers, the possibility of using pulp and paper industry wastes in agriculture as an alternative source of nutrients is recently under study and discussion. This work aimed to evaluate the effect of sodium lignosulfonate application [...] Read more.
To reduce the use of commercial conventional inorganic fertilizers, the possibility of using pulp and paper industry wastes in agriculture as an alternative source of nutrients is recently under study and discussion. This work aimed to evaluate the effect of sodium lignosulfonate application to soil on photosynthetic leaf nutrient (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, and Na) and water use efficiency. A pot culture experiment was conducted with cucumber seedlings, using five lignosulfonate concentrations (0, 1, 2.5, 5, and 10 vol. %) in sandy soil under sufficient or low nutrient availability for plants. The impact of nutrient availability on the plants’ physiological traits was stronger than the lignosulfonate impact. Under sufficient nutrient availability, the lignosulfonate application resulted in decreased photosynthetic N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Na use efficiency. Cucumber growth and development, and photosynthetic nutrient, water, and light use efficiency were significantly reduced with a nutrient deficiency. The sodium lignosulfonate application was not successful in eliminating the negative effects of nutrient deficit on cucumber seedlings. Full article
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