Strategies for Enhancing the Production of Secondary Metabolites in Plants

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2025 | Viewed by 128

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Foggia, Italy
Interests: plant physiology and biochemistry; functional analysis of genes; abiotic stress; oxidative stress; secondary metabolites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant secondary metabolites are small molecules produced by plants and are crucial in processes associated with plant fitness, such as adaptation to changing environments and abiotic stresses, and the defense against pathogens, herbivores, and neighboring plants. These molecules are typically classified into three types depending on their structure and metabolic biosynthetic pathway: phenolic compounds, terpenoids, and nitrogen-containing compounds, such as alkaloids and glucosinolates. In recent decades, interest in secondary metabolites has been increasing due to their applications in different industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, food additives, drugs, fragrances, and biopesticides. The market demand for such bioactive compounds is growing rapidly. This has generated a significant increase in the understanding of the regulation of plant secondary metabolism and, particularly, in the development of effective strategies for improving the production of these bioactive compounds by plants. These include, but are not limited to, traditional and molecular breeding technologies, and the most recent metabolic engineering approaches, including synthetic biology. Elicitation is another important strategy based on the application to plants of physical factors or certain chemical compounds that induce physiological changes and stimulate defense or stress-induced responses in plants, including the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites.

In this context, the purpose of this Special Issue is to collect the most advanced research regarding the manipulation of the biosynthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites in plants. The information provided here will be useful for the development of effective tools that will help in better meeting the market needs for bioactive-based products and in increasing the role of these metabolites in plant growth and defense. 

Dr. Daniela Trono
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 2700 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.


  • secondary metabolites
  • elicitation
  • stress response
  • plant-growth-promoting bacteria
  • arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • molecular breeding
  • metabolic engineering

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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