Special Issue "Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sofia Isabel Almeida Pereira
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Centre for Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry (CBQF), Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal
Interests: environmental biotechnology; phytoremediation; phytomanagement; microbial-assisted phytotechnological approaches; plant–microbe interactions; soil fertility; development of bioinoculant formulations; effects of climate change and related abiotic stresses on plant growth and development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Helena Moreira
Guest Editor
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Interests: Effects of bioinoculants (mycorrhizal fungi, rhizobacteria, and endophytic bacteria) on plant growth and resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses; development of new formulations and delivery systems of bioinoculants; plant–microbe interactions; microbial-assisted phytomanagement; soil reclamation and restoration; phytotechnology; effects of climate change and related abiotic stresses on plant growth and development;
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the Special Issue of Plants (MDPI) entitled “Role of Microorganisms in Plant Growth and Phytoremediation”. We welcome the submission of interdisciplinary work in the format of original research papers, case studies, and review articles.

Microorganisms play a crucial role in plants’ growth and survival by forming symbiotic relationships that can trigger a wide range of responses to edaphic–environmental constraints. As a consequence, the exploitation of microbial potentials for plant-based biotechnological applications has been critical, especially for the development of improved phytoremediation methodologies and their outputs in contaminated areas. Microbial communities inhabiting the plants’ surface (rhizosphere or rhizoplane; epiphytic) or inner tissues (endosphere; endophytic) assist their hosts’ development by improving their resilience to inorganic and organic pollutants and by changing their bioavailability in soil. These communities are highly complex and include different bacterial and fungal guilds, which establish a network of dynamic and cohesive interactions among them and with the plant hosts. Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) and mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi are among the most investigated microorganisms during recent decades. Despite the extensive data produced on the role of specific microorganisms on plant growth and in phytoremediation strategies, there are still several gaps to bridge. For instance, integrative approaches in the combined use of different relevant microbial groups (e.g., bacteria and fungi) to harness phytoremediation are still underexplored, as are their interactions with the host plants and their microbiomes. Insights regarding interactions between different functional groups could provide new perspectives and frameworks to support and enhance the success of phytoremediation. Additionally, field studies demonstrating the transferability of greenhouse results are clearly insufficient and, therefore, are required to support the use of microorganisms by stakeholders.

Submissions should cover the latest research related to the microbial effects in plants under phytoremediation approaches of organic and/or inorganic contaminated soil and sediments. The effect of distinct, functional microbial groups, namely bacteria and fungi, in the biometric, nutritional, physiologic, and genetic parameters of plants as well as in contaminant(s) bioavailability are most welcome. Microbiome and plant transcriptomic analysis are also under the scope of this Special Issue.

Dr. Sofia Isabel Almeida Pereira
Dr. Helena Moreira
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 1600 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.


  • inorganic/organic pollutants
  • phytoremediation
  • phytomanagement
  • plant-associated microorganisms
  • plant–microbe interactions
  • plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB)
  • arbuscular mycorrhizal and endophytic fungi
  • bioinocula
  • bioaugmentation
  • plant health
  • plant resilience
  • microbiome
  • microbial diversity

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

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: PGPR community development in phytoremediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals: a review
Authors: Stefan Shilev
Affiliation: Dept. Microbiology and environmental biotechnologies, Agricultural University – Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Abstract: PGPRs are known to play an important role in supporting plant development under conditions of biotic and abiotic stresses. In recent years, a number of new circumstances have emerged around the tools and approaches they use in their interactions with plants. Undoubtedly, the role of beneficial bacteria in relieving stress caused by heavy metals is one of the most interesting due to the nature of rhizobacteria-metal-plant interactions. Our study will focus on the role of beneficial rhizosphere bacteria in phytoremediation of contaminated soils mainly with Pb, Cd and Zn. The tools by which PGPR modifies the rhizosphere of plants and influences their development will be briefly considered. An overview of the recent studies (0-5 years) will be made, while special attention will be paid to those investigating PGPRs in communities and the approaches for that – molecular, community-level physiological profiling, etc.

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