Topical Collection "Feature Papers in Plant‒Soil Interactions"

Editor

Dr. Adriano Sofo
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures: Architecture, Environment and Cultural Heritage (DiCEM), University of Basilicata, Via Lanera, 20, 75100 Matera, Italy
Interests: agricultural and environmental chemistry; environmental botany; soil ecology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Topical Collection, entitled “Feature Papers in Plant–Soil Interactions”, aims to present a collection of high-quality original research articles, short communications, and review articles on the phenotypic, anatomical, morphological, physiological, cytological, histological, genetic, biochemical, molecular, and chemical aspects of and processes occurring at the interfaces between plants, roots, soil organisms (micro-organisms, fungi, and fauna), and organic and inorganic soil components.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • plant mineral nutrition and hydrology;
  • absorption and accumulation of chemical species in plants;
  • anatomy, morphology, and architecture of root systems;
  • growth, development, and functioning of root systems;
  • interactions between roots and physicochemical soil properties;
  • root–soil organism crosstalk and symbiotic associations;
  • root–rhizosphere processes and communication;
  • plant/root–water relations;
  • root endophytes and soil microbiota;
  • ecological aspects of the soil–water–plant–atmosphere system;
  • genetic control of root system properties;
  • roots as a management tool in natural and cultivated soils;
  • improvement and restoration of soil fertility aimed at sustainable development;
  • soil bio-remediation;
  • global climate change mitigation and adaptation

Prof. Dr. Adriano Sofo
Collection Editor

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 collection 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 1800 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–microbe interactions
  • plant and soil ecology
  • plant and soil microbiota
  • plant nutrition
  • rhizosphere processes
  • root growth and development
  • soil bioremediation
  • water relations

Published Papers (9 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Article
Growth and Element Uptake by Salt-Sensitive Crops under Combined NaCl and Cd Stresses
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061202 - 12 Jun 2021
Viewed by 422
Abstract
To test an assumption that organic soil can ameliorate nutritional disorders associated with metal and salinity stresses, we exposed salt-sensitive strawberry and lettuce to four salinity (0–60 mM NaCl) and three contamination (0.3–5 mg Cd/kg) rates in peat (pHH2O = 5.5). The [...] Read more.
To test an assumption that organic soil can ameliorate nutritional disorders associated with metal and salinity stresses, we exposed salt-sensitive strawberry and lettuce to four salinity (0–60 mM NaCl) and three contamination (0.3–5 mg Cd/kg) rates in peat (pHH2O = 5.5). The results showed that, even at 20 mM NaCl, salinity stress exerted a dominant effect on rhizosphere biogeochemistry and physiological processes, inducing leaf-edge burns, chlorosis/necrosis, reducing vegetative growth in crops; at ≥40 mM, NaCl mortality was induced in strawberry. Signifiacntly decreased K/Na, Ca/Na and Mg/Na concentration ratios with raising salinity were confirmed in all tissues. The combined CdxNaCl stresses (vs. control) increased leaf Cd accumulation (up to 42-fold in lettuce and 23-fold in strawberry), whereas NaCl salinity increased the accumulation of Zn (>1.5-fold) and Cu (up to 1.2-fold) in leaves. Lettuce accumulated the toxic Cd concentration (up to 12.6 mg/kg) in leaves, suggesting the strong root-to-shoot transport of Cd. In strawberry Cd, concentration was similar (and sub-toxic) in fruits and leaves, 2.28 and 1.86 mg/kg, respectively, suggesting lower Cd root-to-shoot translocation, and similar Cd mobility in the xylem and phloem. Additionally, the accumulation of Cd in strawberry fruits was exacerbated at high NaCl exposure (60 mM) compared with lower NaCl concentrations. Thus, in salinized, slightly acidic and organically rich rhizosphere, pronounced organo- and/or chloro-complexation likely shifted metal biogeochemistry toward increased mobility and phytoavailability (with metal adsorption restricted due to Na+ oversaturation of the caton exchange complex in the substrate), confirming the importance of quality water and soils in avoiding abiotic stresses and producing non-contaminated food. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bis-Bibenzyls from the Liverwort Pellia endiviifolia and Their Biological Activity
Plants 2021, 10(6), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10061063 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 640
Abstract
Based on previous investigations where bis-bibenzyls isolated from liverworts showed various biological activities (cytotoxic, antimicrobial, and antiviral), we investigated their cytotoxic activity in several human cancer cell lines. From the methylene-chloride/methanol extract of the liverwort Pellia endiviifolia, three bis-bibenzyls of the perrottetin [...] Read more.
Based on previous investigations where bis-bibenzyls isolated from liverworts showed various biological activities (cytotoxic, antimicrobial, and antiviral), we investigated their cytotoxic activity in several human cancer cell lines. From the methylene-chloride/methanol extract of the liverwort Pellia endiviifolia, three bis-bibenzyls of the perrottetin type were isolated, namely perrottetin E, 10′-hydroxyperrottetin E, and 10,10′-dihydroxyperrottetin E. The last two were found for the first time in this species. Their structures were resolved using 1D and 2D NMR, as well as by comparison with data in the literature. Cytotoxic activity of the isolated compounds was tested on three human leukemia cell lines, HL-60 (acute promyelocytic leukemia cells), U-937 (acute monocytic leukemia cells), and K-562 (human chronic myelogenous leukemia cells), as well as on human embryonal teratocarcinoma cell line (NT2/D1) and human glioblastoma cell lines A-172 and U-251, and compared to the previously isolated bis-bibenzyls (perrottetins) of similar structure. The isolated compounds exhibited modest activity against leukemia cells and significant activity against NT2/D1 and A-172. Overall, the most active cytotoxic compounds in this investigation were perrottetin E (1), isolated in this work from Pellia endiviifolia, and perrottetin F phenanthrene derivative (7), previously isolated from Lunularia cruciata and added for a comparison of their cytotoxic activity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Interplay between Light Quality and Biostimulant Application Affects the Antioxidant Capacity and Photosynthetic Traits of Soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill)
Plants 2021, 10(5), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10050861 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 397
Abstract
This paper evaluates the combined effect of biostimulant and light quality on bioactive compound production and seedling growth of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) plants. Germinated seeds pre-treated with different concentrations (0.01%, 0.05%, 0.5%) of an amino acid-based biostimulant were grown for [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates the combined effect of biostimulant and light quality on bioactive compound production and seedling growth of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) plants. Germinated seeds pre-treated with different concentrations (0.01%, 0.05%, 0.5%) of an amino acid-based biostimulant were grown for 4 days at the dark (D), white fluorescent light (FL), full-spectrum LED (FS), and red-blue (RB) light. Potential changes in the antioxidant content of sprouts were evaluated. Part of the sprouts was left to grow at FL, FS, and RB light regimes for 24 days to assess modifications in plants’ anatomical and physiological traits during the early developmental plant stage. The seed pre-treatment with all biostimulant concentrations significantly increased sprout antioxidant compounds, sugar, and protein content compared to the control (seeds treated with H2O). The positive effect on bioactive compounds was improved under FS and RB compared to D and FL light regimes. At the seedling stage, 0.05% was the only concentration of biostimulant effective in increasing the specific leaf area (SLA) and photosynthetic efficiency. Compared to FL, the growth under FS and RB light regimes significantly enhanced the beneficial effect of 0.05% on SLA and photosynthesis. This concentration led to leaf thickness increase and shoot/root ratio reduction. Our findings demonstrated that seed pre-treatment with proper biostimulant concentration in combination with specific light regimes during plant development may represent a useful means to modify the bioactive compound amount and leaf structural and photosynthetic traits. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Ethylene and Sulfur Coordinately Modulate the Antioxidant System and ABA Accumulation in Mustard Plants under Salt Stress
Plants 2021, 10(1), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010180 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 762
Abstract
This study explored the interactive effect of ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid; an ethylene source) and sulfur (S) in regulating the antioxidant system and ABA content and in maintaining stomatal responses, chloroplast structure, and photosynthetic performance of mustard plants (Brassica juncea L. Czern.) [...] Read more.
This study explored the interactive effect of ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid; an ethylene source) and sulfur (S) in regulating the antioxidant system and ABA content and in maintaining stomatal responses, chloroplast structure, and photosynthetic performance of mustard plants (Brassica juncea L. Czern.) grown under 100 mM NaCl stress. The treatment of ethephon (200 µL L−1) and S (200 mg S kg−1 soil) together markedly improved the activity of enzymatic and non-enzymatic components of the ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle, resulting in declined oxidative stress through lesser content of sodium (Na+) ion and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in salt-stressed plants. These changes promoted the development of chloroplast thylakoids and photosynthetic performance under salt stress. Ethephon + S also reduced abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in guard cell, leading to maximal stomatal conductance under salt stress. The inhibition of ethylene action by norbornadiene (NBD) in salt- plus non-stressed treated plants increased ABA and H2O2 contents, and reduced stomatal opening, suggesting the involvement of ethephon and S in regulating stomatal conductance. These findings suggest that ethephon and S modulate antioxidant system and ABA accumulation in guard cells, controlling stomatal conductance, and the structure and efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus in plants under salt stress. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

2020

Jump to: 2021

Article
Element Accumulation Patterns of Native Plant Species under the Natural Geochemical Stress
Plants 2021, 10(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010033 - 25 Dec 2020
Viewed by 738
Abstract
A biogeochemical study of more than 20,000 soil and plant samples from the North Caucasus, Dzungarian Alatau, Kazakh Uplands, and Karatau Mountains revealed features of the chemical element uptake by the local flora. Adaptation of ore prospecting techniques alongside environmental approaches allowed the [...] Read more.
A biogeochemical study of more than 20,000 soil and plant samples from the North Caucasus, Dzungarian Alatau, Kazakh Uplands, and Karatau Mountains revealed features of the chemical element uptake by the local flora. Adaptation of ore prospecting techniques alongside environmental approaches allowed the detection of geochemical changes in ecosystems, and the lessons learned can be embraced for soil phytoremediation. The data on the influence of phytogeochemical stress on the accumulation of more than 20 chemical elements by plants are considered in geochemical provinces, secondary fields of deposits, halos surrounding ore and nonmetallic deposits, zones of regional faults and schist formation, and over lithological contact lines of chemically contrasting rocks overlain by 5–20 m thick soils and unconsolidated cover. We have corroborated the postulate that the element accumulation patterns of native plants under the natural geochemical stress depend not only on the element content in soils and the characteristics of a particular species but also on the values of ionic radii and valences; with an increase in the energy coefficients of a chemical element, its plant accumulation decreases sharply. The contribution of internal factors to element uptake from solutions gives the way to soil phytoremediation over vast contaminated areas. The use of hyperaccumulating species for mining site soil treatment depends on several external factors that can strengthen or weaken the stressful situation, viz., the amount of bedrock exposure and thickness of unconsolidated rocks over ores, the chemical composition of ores and primary halos in ore-containing strata, the landscape and geochemical features of sites, and chemical element migration patterns in the supergene zone. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Single and Combined Abiotic Stress in Maize Root Morphology
Plants 2021, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10010005 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 767
Abstract
Plants are continually exposed to multiple stresses, which co-occur in nature, and the net effects are frequently more nonadditive (i.e., synergistic or antagonistic), suggesting “unique” responses with respect to that of the individual stress. Further, plant stress responses are not uniform, showing a [...] Read more.
Plants are continually exposed to multiple stresses, which co-occur in nature, and the net effects are frequently more nonadditive (i.e., synergistic or antagonistic), suggesting “unique” responses with respect to that of the individual stress. Further, plant stress responses are not uniform, showing a high spatial and temporal variability among and along the different organs. In this respect, the present work investigated the morphological responses of different root types (seminal, seminal lateral, primary and primary lateral) of maize plants exposed to single (drought and heat) and combined stress (drought + heat). Data were evaluated by a specific root image analysis system (WinRHIZO) and analyzed by uni- and multivariate statistical analyses. The results indicated that primary roots and their laterals were the types more sensitive to the single and combined stresses, while the seminal laterals specifically responded to the combined only. Further, antagonistic and synergistic effects were observed for the specific traits in the primary and their laterals and in the seminal lateral roots in response to the combined stress. These results suggested that the maize root system modified specific root types and traits to deal with different stressful environmental conditions, highlighting that the adaptation strategy to the combined stress may be different from that of the individual ones. The knowledge of “unique or shared” responses of plants to multiple stress can be utilized to develop varieties with broad-spectrum stress tolerance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bioeffectors as Biotechnological Tools to Boost Plant Innate Immunity: Signal Transduction Pathways Involved
Plants 2020, 9(12), 1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9121731 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
The use of beneficial rhizobacteria (bioeffectors) and their derived metabolic elicitors are efficient biotechnological alternatives in plant immune system elicitation. This work aimed to check the ability of 25 bacterial strains isolated from the rhizosphere of Nicotiana glauca, and selected for their [...] Read more.
The use of beneficial rhizobacteria (bioeffectors) and their derived metabolic elicitors are efficient biotechnological alternatives in plant immune system elicitation. This work aimed to check the ability of 25 bacterial strains isolated from the rhizosphere of Nicotiana glauca, and selected for their biochemical traits from a group of 175, to trigger the innate immune system of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings against the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. The five strains more effective in preventing pathogen infection were used to elucidate signal transduction pathways involved in the plant immune response by studying the differential expression of Salicylic acid and Jasmonic acid/Ethylene pathway marker genes. Some strains stimulated both pathways, while others stimulated either one or the other. The metabolic elicitors of two strains, chosen for the differential expression results of the genes studied, were extracted using n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol, and their capacity to mimic bacterial effect to trigger the plant immune system was studied. N-hexane and ethyl acetate were the most effective fractions against the pathogen in both strains, achieving similar protection rates although gene expression responses were different from that obtained by the bacteria. These results open an amount of biotechnological possibilities to develop biological products for agriculture. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Various Irrigation Rates on Growth and Root Development of Young Citrus Trees in High-Density Planting
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111462 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 650
Abstract
Citrus yields have declined by almost 56% since Huanglongbing (HLB) was first found in Florida (2005). That reduction forced citrus growers to replant trees at much higher densities to counter-balance tree loss. The current project aims to determine how much water is required [...] Read more.
Citrus yields have declined by almost 56% since Huanglongbing (HLB) was first found in Florida (2005). That reduction forced citrus growers to replant trees at much higher densities to counter-balance tree loss. The current project aims to determine how much water is required to grow citrus trees at higher planting densities without reducing their productivity. The study was initiated in November 2017 on eight-month-old sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) trees grafted on the ‘US-897′ (Cleopatra mandarin × Flying Dragon trifoliate orange) citrus rootstock planted in the University of Florida, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) demonstration grove, in Immokalee, FL (lat. 26.42° N, long. 81.42° W). The soil in the grove is Immokalee fine sand (Sandy, siliceous, hyperthermic Arenic Alaquods). The demonstration grove included three densities on two rows of beds (447, 598, and 745 trees per ha) replicated four times each and three densities of three rows of beds (512, 717, 897 trees per ha) replicated six times. Each density treatment was irrigated at one of two irrigation rates (62% or 100%) during the first 15 months (2017–2019) then adjusted (2019–2020) to represent 26.5, 40.5, 53, and 81% based on recommended young citrus trees evapotranspiration (ETc). Tree growth measurements including trunk diameter, height, canopy volume, leaf area, and root development were evaluated. During the first year, reducing the irrigation rate from 100% to 62% ETc did not significantly reduce the young citrus tree growth. Conversely, the lower irrigation rate (62% ETc) had increased citrus tree’s leaf area, canopy volume and tree heights, root lifespan, and root length by 4, 9, 1, 2, and 24% compared with the higher irrigation rate (100%), respectively. Furthermore, the root lifespan was promoted by increasing planting density. For instance, the average root lifespan increased by 12% when planting density increased from 447 to 897 trees per ha, indicating that planting young trees much closer to each other enhanced the root’s longevity. However, when treatments were adjusted from April 2019 through June 2020, results changed. Increasing the irrigation rate from 26.5% to 81% ETc significantly enhanced the young citrus tree growth by increasing citrus tree’s canopy volume (four fold), tree heights (29%), root lifespan (86%), and root length (two fold), respectively. Thus, the application of 81% ETc irrigation rate in commercial citrus groves is more efficient for trees from two to four years of age. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Structural and Functional Organization of the Root System: A Comparative Study on Five Plant Species
Plants 2020, 9(10), 1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9101338 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 664
Abstract
Plants are affected by soil environments to the same extent that they affect soil functioning through interactions between environmental and genetic factors. Here, five plant species (broad bean, pea, cabbage, fennel, and olive) grown under controlled pot conditions were tested for their ability [...] Read more.
Plants are affected by soil environments to the same extent that they affect soil functioning through interactions between environmental and genetic factors. Here, five plant species (broad bean, pea, cabbage, fennel, and olive) grown under controlled pot conditions were tested for their ability to differently stimulate the degradation of standard litter. Litter, soil C and N contents were measured for evaluating chemical changes due to plant presence, while soil microbial abundance was evaluated to assess if it had a positive or negative catalyzing influence on litter decomposition. The architecture and morphological traits of roots systems were also evaluated by using specific open-source software (SmartRoot). Soil chemical and microbiological characteristics were significantly influenced by the plant species. Variations in soil C/N dynamics were correlated with the diversity of root traits among species. Early stage decomposition of the standard litter changed on the basis of the plant species. The results indicated that key soil processes are governed by interactions between plant roots, soil C and N, and the microbial metabolism that stimulate decomposition reactions. This, in turn, can have marked effects on soil chemical and microbiological fertility, both fundamental for sustaining crops, and can promote the development of new approaches for optimizing soil C and N cycling, managing nutrient transport, and sustaining and improving net primary production. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

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.

1. Title: Phytostimulatory influence of Comamonas testosteroni and Silver nanoparticles on Linum usitatissimum L. under salinity stress
Author: Hussein Migdadi
Back to TopTop