In Vivo and In Vitro Production for Plant Secondary Metabolites: Recent Advances and Biological Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 883

Special Issue Editors

Department of Biology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Rome, Italy
Interests: abiotic stress response in plants; the production of secondary metabolites in vivo and in vitro; plant-growth-promoting bacteria; phytoremediation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Loretta Bacchetta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Division of Biotechnologies and Agroindustry, ENEA-Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, 00196 Rome, Italy
Interests: genetic resources; chemical characterization; byproducts; crop management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The importance of food quality for human health is well understood. There are several challenges that the world population must face in the imminent future, including climate change, which hinders crop production. Plants synthesize several compounds, named secondary metabolites, which play important roles in the plant’s life, e.g., in the reproduction and establishment of symbiosis, as well as in the response to abiotic and biotic stresses. Besides plants, these molecules also exert a wide range of effects in other living organisms, acting as antimicrobials, antioxidants, and antitumor compounds. The vast and versatile pharmacological effects of medicinal plants are basically dependent on their phytochemical constituents.

We are calling for articles in a new Special Issue of Plants entitled "In Vivo and In Vitro Production for Plant Secondary Metabolites: recent advances and biological applications”. In this Special Issue, we aim to publish research articles and reviews on the different classes of secondary metabolites, as well as their role in plants and in the treatment of human diseases. 

This Special Issue will cover wide research topics, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. In vitro mass production and secondary metabolites synthesis;
  2. Factors affecting the synthesis of secondary metabolites in vivo and in vitro;
  3. The production and utilization of functional biomolecules for industrial applications;
  4. The recovery and utilization of useful metabolites from byproduct processing;
  5. Abiotic and biotic stresses and secondary metabolism in plants.

Prof. Dr. Cinzia Forni
Dr. Loretta Bacchetta
Guest Editors

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
  • in vivo and in vitro plant growth
  • edaphic factors
  • abiotic and biotic stress
  • industrial applications
  • bioproducts

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


18 pages, 4223 KiB  
Exogenous Melatonin Promotes Glucoraphanin Biosynthesis by Mediating Glutathione in Hairy Roots of Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica Planch)
Plants 2024, 13(1), 106; - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 503
To investigate the mechanism of melatonin (MT)-mediated glutathione (GSH) in promoting glucoraphanin (GRA) and sulforaphane (SF) synthesis, the gene expression pattern and protein content of hairy broccoli roots under MT treatment were analyzed by a combination of RNA-seq and tandem mass spectrometry tagging [...] Read more.
To investigate the mechanism of melatonin (MT)-mediated glutathione (GSH) in promoting glucoraphanin (GRA) and sulforaphane (SF) synthesis, the gene expression pattern and protein content of hairy broccoli roots under MT treatment were analyzed by a combination of RNA-seq and tandem mass spectrometry tagging (TMT) techniques in this study. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that both proteins and mRNAs with the same expression trend were enriched in the “Glutathione metabolism (ko00480)” and “Proteasome (ko03050)” pathways, and most of the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and differentially abundant proteins (DAPs) regulating the two pathways were downregulated. The results showed that endogenous GSH concentration and GR activity were increased in hairy roots after MT treatment. Exogenous GSH could promote the biosynthesis of GRA and SF, and both exogenous MT and GSH could upregulate the expression of the GSTF11 gene related to the sulfur transport gene, thus promoting the biosynthesis of GRA. Taken together, this study provides a new perspective to explore the complex molecular mechanisms of improving GRA and SF synthesis levels by MT and GSH regulation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

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.

Title: In vitro cultures of fruit species as important tool for production of bioactive compounds
Authors: Caboni Emilia; Simona Lucioli
Affiliation: CREA, Rome, Italy

Title: Bioactive compounds and valorization of coffee by-products from the origin. A circular economy model from local practices
Authors: Bojórquez-Quintal Emanuel
Affiliation: CONAHCYT, El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico
Abstract: The by-products of green coffee processing (husk, pulp, mucilage, parchment) are rich in compounds with recovery potential that are used in the production of beverages, fertilizers, and weed control in production areas. The objective of this work was to identify the organic and inorganic bioactive compounds of the coffee by-products of the production of origin (pulp and parchment), silverskin and green coffee; and the role they have in reuse through practices and local knowledge not yet valued. The metabolomic profile by HPLC chromatography of the aqueous extract of the dried pulp identified 92 non-volatile molecules belonging to groups of organic acids (12), alkaloids (5), sugars (5), fatty acids (3), amino acids (17), phospholipids (7), vitamins (5), phenolic acids (11), flavonoids (8), chlorogenic acids (17), flavones (1) and terpenes (1). Using direct analysis mass spectrometry in real time (MS-DART), in negative and positive mode, metabolites were identified in aqueous extracts of coffee husk, parchment, silveskin and green coffee. The DART analysis mainly showed the presence of caffeine and chlorogenic acids in all the extracts; additionally, sugar adducts and antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols were observed. The mineral content (K, Ca, P, S, Mg and Cl) by EDS spectrometry varied between the by-products and green coffee, the relative content of K was higher in the dry husk and green coffee, and Ca was double in the silverskin. These metabolomic and mineral profile data allow linking the quality of green coffee and by-products to the traditional production area, and the integration of community knowledge in the reuse of by-products, minimizing the impact on the environment, generating additional income in production areas of coffee in accordance with the principles of the circular economy.

Title: Plant carotenoid and apocarotenoid biosynthesis: a colorful story
Authors: Giovanni Giuliano
Affiliation: Biotechnology and Agro-Industry Division, ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Casaccia Research Center, 00123 Rome, Italy

Back to TopTop