Special Issue "Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Iker Aranjuelo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agrobiotechnology Institute (IdAB-CSIC)-Gobierno de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadia, E-31192-Mutilva Baja, Spain
Interests: climate change; cereals; N2 fixers; resource use efficiency; photosynthesis; stable isotopes; sustainable agriculture; yield and quality traits
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Fermin Morales
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agrobiotechnology Institute (IdAB-CSIC)-Gobierno de Navarra, Avda. de Pamplona 123, 31192 Mutilva, Navarra, Spain
Interests: agronomy; elevated CO2; elevated temperature; grapevine biology; photosynthesis; plant adaptation to climate change; plant nutrition; plant physiology; plant stress physiology; water stress
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Increased periods of water shortage and higher temperatures, together with a reduction in nutrient availability, have been proposed as major factors that negatively impact plant development. Indeed, photosynthesis has been selected as a target for crop phenotyping/breeding studies. Photosynthetic CO2 assimilation is the basis of crop production for animal and human food. Within this context, the knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the response and acclimation of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation to multiple changing environmental conditions (including nutrients, water availability, and rising temperature) is a matter of great concern for the understanding of plant behavior under stress conditions, and for the development of new strategies and tools for enhancing plant growth in the future. The current Special Issue of Plants aims to analyze, from a multi-perspective approach (ranging from gas exchange, metabolomics, proteomics, genomics, etc.), the performance of photosynthetic apparatus (and consequently plant growth) within stressful growth conditions.

Dr. Iker Aranjuelo
Dr. Fermin Morales
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • abiotic stress
  • photosynthesis
  • plant development
  • plant growth
  • plant metabolism

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Photosynthetic Metabolism and Nitrogen Reshuffling Are Regulated by Reversible Cysteine Thiol Oxidation Following Nitrogen Deprivation in Chlamydomonas
Plants 2020, 9(6), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060784 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
As global temperatures climb to historic highs, the far-reaching effects of climate change have impacted agricultural nutrient availability. This has extended to low latitude oceans, where a deficit in both nitrogen and phosphorus stores has led to dramatic decreases in carbon sequestration in [...] Read more.
As global temperatures climb to historic highs, the far-reaching effects of climate change have impacted agricultural nutrient availability. This has extended to low latitude oceans, where a deficit in both nitrogen and phosphorus stores has led to dramatic decreases in carbon sequestration in oceanic phytoplankton. Although Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a freshwater model green alga, has shown drastic systems-level alterations following nitrogen deprivation, the mechanisms through which these alterations are triggered and regulated are not fully understood. This study examined the role of reversible oxidative signaling in the nitrogen stress response of C. reinhardtii. Using oxidized cysteine resin-assisted capture enrichment coupled with label-free quantitative proteomics, 7889 unique oxidized cysteine thiol identifiers were quantified, with 231 significantly changing peptides from 184 proteins following 2 h of nitrogen deprivation. These results demonstrate that the cellular response to nitrogen assimilation, photosynthesis, pigment biosynthesis, and lipid metabolism are regulated by reversible oxidation. An enhanced role of non-damaging oxidative pathways is observed throughout the photosynthetic apparatus that provides a framework for further analysis in phototrophs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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Article
Light Interception and the Growth of Pastures under Ideal and Stressful Growing Conditions on the Allegheny Plateau
Plants 2020, 9(6), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060734 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 652
Abstract
Pasture-based livestock production is impacted by management and weather. In pastures, there is conflict between leaf retention for plant growth and leaf harvest for animal nutrition. Defoliated pastures with low light interception (LI) may have a low forage growth rate (FGR), while excessive [...] Read more.
Pasture-based livestock production is impacted by management and weather. In pastures, there is conflict between leaf retention for plant growth and leaf harvest for animal nutrition. Defoliated pastures with low light interception (LI) may have a low forage growth rate (FGR), while excessive growth shades leaves, reducing FGR and resulting in an S-shaped regrowth curve. To optimize production, it is best to keep FGR linear. Three studies were conducted to evaluate the impact of management and weather on FGR. Replicated pastures were used to measure FGR when grazed from 25 to 10 cm and allowed to regrow. The impact of alternative defoliation timings and intensities on FGR were studied using clipped treatments at three recovery intervals and two stubble heights. Variability in FGR was studied using a field validated plant growth model. Of the 24 growth periods studied, two displayed exponential, 12 linear and 10 linear-plateau growth. There was no effect of FM on growth curve form. In May and June, LI increased with canopy height, up to 0.93. Stubble height and days of growth impacted FGR with an interaction. There was no treatment impact on root density. Weather caused variation in FGR. A low FGR risk occurs at high elevations; greater risk occurs east of the plateau. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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Article
Photosynthetic Response Mechanism of Soil Salinity-Induced Cross-Tolerance to Subsequent Drought Stress in Tomato Plants
Plants 2020, 9(3), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9030363 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
Soil salinization and water shortage cause ion imbalance and hyperosmoticity in plant cells, adversely impairing photosynthesis efficiency. How soil salinity-induced photosynthetic acclimation influences the cross-tolerance to drought conditions represents a promising research topic. This study was to reveal the photosynthetic mechanism of soil [...] Read more.
Soil salinization and water shortage cause ion imbalance and hyperosmoticity in plant cells, adversely impairing photosynthesis efficiency. How soil salinity-induced photosynthetic acclimation influences the cross-tolerance to drought conditions represents a promising research topic. This study was to reveal the photosynthetic mechanism of soil salinity-induced resistance to the subsequent drought stress in tomato leaves through comprehensive photosynthesis-related spectroscopy analysis. We conducted soil salinity pretreatment and subsequent drought stress experiments, including irrigation with 100 mL water, 100 mL 100 mM NaCl solution (NaCl100), 50 mL water, and 50 mL 100 mM NaCl solution (NaCl50) for five days, followed by five-day drought stress. The results showed that soil salinity treatment by NaCl decreased the rate of photosynthetic gas exchange but enhanced CO2 assimilation, along with photosystem II [PS(II)] and photosystem I [PS(I)] activity and photochemical efficiency in tomato plants compared with water pretreatment after subsequent drought stress. NaCl100 and NaCl50 had the capacity to maintain non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence and the cyclic electron (CEF) flow around PSI in tomato leaves after being subjected to subsequent drought stress, thus avoiding the decrease of photosynthetic efficiency under drought conditions. NaCl100 and NaCl50 pretreatment induced a higher proton motive force (pmf) and also alleviated the damage to the thylakoid membrane and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase of tomato leaves caused by subsequent drought stress. Overall, soil salinity treatment could enhance drought resistance in tomato plants by inducing NPQ, maintaining CEF and pmf that tradeoff between photoprotection and photochemistry reactions. This study also provides a photosynthetic perspective for salt and drought cross-tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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Article
Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Mediate Drought Tolerance and Recovery in Two Contrasting Carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) Ecotypes by Regulating Stomatal, Water Relations, and (In)Organic Adjustments
Plants 2020, 9(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010080 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Irregular precipitation and drought caused an increase in tree mortality rates in multiple forest biomes with alterations in both ecosystem services and carbon balance. Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) growth and production in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are likely affected by climate change-induced [...] Read more.
Irregular precipitation and drought caused an increase in tree mortality rates in multiple forest biomes with alterations in both ecosystem services and carbon balance. Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) growth and production in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are likely affected by climate change-induced droughts. Understanding the physiological responses of drought-induced early-stage tree death and strategies to enhance drought tolerance and optimize growth will help tree improvement programs. Mycorrhizal inoculation has a pronounced impact on plant growth, water absorption, mineral nutrition, and protection from abiotic stresses. However, a better understanding of these complex interconnected cellular processes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)-mediated mechanisms regulating drought tolerance in plants will enhance its potential application as an efficient approach for bio-amelioration of stresses. The objectives of this work were to elucidate the different effects of autochthone AMF on inorganic solute and water content uptakes, organic adjustments (sugar and proteins content), leaf gas exchange (stomatal conductance and efficiency of photosystems I and II), and oxidative damage of two contrasting ecotypes of carob seedlings: coastal (southern ecotype (SE)) and in-land (northern ecotype (NE)) under control (C), drought (by cessation of irrigation for 15 days (15D)), and recovery (R) conditions. Our findings showed that AMF promoted growth, nutrient content, and physiological and biochemical parameters in plants of both ecotypes during C, 15D, and R conditions. After four days of recovery, stomatal conductance (gs), the maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm), water content, and plant uptake of mineral nutrients (P, K, Na, and Ca) were significantly higher in shoots of mycorrhizal (AM) than non-mycorrhizal (NM) control plants. Consequently, AMF reduced to a greater degree the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and oxidative damage to lipid (malondialdehyde (MDA)) content in AM than NM plants in NE and SE, after recovery. Altogether, our findings suggest that AMF can play a role in drought resistance of carob trees at an early stage by increasing the inorganic solutes (P, K, Na, and Ca), water content uptake, organic solutes (soluble sugars and protein content), stomatal conductance, and defense response against oxidative damage during re-watering after drought stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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Article
Effect of Water Stress during Grain Filling on Yield, Quality and Physiological Traits of Illpa and Rainbow Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Cultivars
Plants 2019, 8(6), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8060173 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1486
Abstract
The total area under quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) cultivation and the consumption of its grain have increased in recent years because of its nutritional properties and ability to grow under adverse conditions, such as drought. Climate change scenarios predict extended periods of [...] Read more.
The total area under quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) cultivation and the consumption of its grain have increased in recent years because of its nutritional properties and ability to grow under adverse conditions, such as drought. Climate change scenarios predict extended periods of drought and this has emphasized the need for new crops that are tolerant to these conditions. The main goal of this work was to evaluate crop yield and quality parameters and to characterize the physiology of two varieties of quinoa grown under water deficit in greenhouse conditions. Two varieties of quinoa from the Chilean coast (Rainbow) and altiplano (Illpa) were used, grown under full irrigation or two different levels of water deficit applied during the grain filling period. There were no marked differences in yield and quality parameters between treatments, but the root biomass was higher in plants grown under severe water deficit conditions compared to control. Photosynthesis, transpiration and stomatal conductance decreased with increased water stress in both cultivars, but the coastal variety showed higher water use efficiency and less discrimination of 13C under water deficit. This response was associated with greater root development and a better stomatal opening adjustment, especially in the case of Rainbow. The capacity of Rainbow to increase its osmoregulant content (compounds such as proline, glutamine, glutamate, K and Na) could enable a potential osmotic adjustment in this variety. Moreover, the lower stomatal opening and transpiration rates were also associated with higher leaf ABA concentration values detected in Rainbow. We found negative logarithmic relationships between stomatal conductance and leaf ABA concentration in both varieties, with significant R2 values of 0.50 and 0.22 in Rainbow and Illpa, respectively. These moderate-to-medium values suggest that, in addition to ABA signaling, other causes for stomatal closure in quinoa under drought such as hydraulic regulation may play a role. In conclusion, this work showed that two quinoa cultivars use different strategies in the face of water deficit stress, and these prevent decreases in grain yield and quality under drought conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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Article
Responses of Aspen Leaves to Heatflecks: Both Damaging and Non-Damaging Rapid Temperature Excursions Reduce Photosynthesis
Plants 2019, 8(6), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8060145 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1270
Abstract
During exposure to direct sunlight, leaf temperature increases rapidly and can reach values well above air temperature in temperate forest understories, especially when transpiration is limited due to drought stress, but the physiological effects of such high-temperature events are imperfectly understood. To gain [...] Read more.
During exposure to direct sunlight, leaf temperature increases rapidly and can reach values well above air temperature in temperate forest understories, especially when transpiration is limited due to drought stress, but the physiological effects of such high-temperature events are imperfectly understood. To gain insight into leaf temperature changes in the field and the effects of temperature variation on plant photosynthetic processes, we studied leaf temperature dynamics under field conditions in European aspen (Populus tremula L.) and under nursery conditions in hybrid aspen (P. tremula × P. tremuloides Michaux), and further investigated the heat response of photosynthetic activity in hybrid aspen leaves under laboratory conditions. To simulate the complex fluctuating temperature environment in the field, intact, attached leaves were subjected to short temperature increases (“heat pulses”) of varying duration over the temperature range of 30 °C–53 °C either under constant light intensity or by simultaneously raising the light intensity from 600 μmol m−2 s−1 to 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 during the heat pulse. On a warm summer day, leaf temperatures of up to 44 °C were measured in aspen leaves growing in the hemiboreal climate of Estonia. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that a moderate heat pulse of 2 min and up to 44 °C resulted in a reversible decrease of photosynthesis. The decrease in photosynthesis resulted from a combination of suppression of photosynthesis directly caused by the heat pulse and a further decrease, for a time period of 10–40 min after the heat pulse, caused by subsequent transient stomatal closure and delayed recovery of photosystem II (PSII) quantum yield. Longer and hotter heat pulses resulted in sustained inhibition of photosynthesis, primarily due to reduced PSII activity. However, cellular damage as indicated by increased membrane conductivity was not found below 50 °C. These data demonstrate that aspen is remarkably resistant to short-term heat pulses that are frequent under strongly fluctuating light regimes. Although the heat pulses did not result in cellular damage, heatflecks can significantly reduce the whole plant carbon gain in the field due to the delayed photosynthetic recovery after the heat pulse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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Review

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Review
Plant Cell Walls Tackling Climate Change: Biotechnological Strategies to Improve Crop Adaptations and Photosynthesis in Response to Global Warming
Plants 2020, 9(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020212 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2630
Abstract
Plant cell wall (CW) is a complex and intricate structure that performs several functions throughout the plant life cycle. The CW of plants is critical to the maintenance of cells’ structural integrity by resisting internal hydrostatic pressures, providing flexibility to support cell division [...] Read more.
Plant cell wall (CW) is a complex and intricate structure that performs several functions throughout the plant life cycle. The CW of plants is critical to the maintenance of cells’ structural integrity by resisting internal hydrostatic pressures, providing flexibility to support cell division and expansion during tissue differentiation, and acting as an environmental barrier that protects the cells in response to abiotic stress. Plant CW, comprised primarily of polysaccharides, represents the largest sink for photosynthetically fixed carbon, both in plants and in the biosphere. The CW structure is highly varied, not only between plant species but also among different organs, tissues, and cell types in the same organism. During the developmental processes, the main CW components, i.e., cellulose, pectins, hemicelluloses, and different types of CW-glycoproteins, interact constantly with each other and with the environment to maintain cell homeostasis. Differentiation processes are altered by positional effect and are also tightly linked to environmental changes, affecting CW both at the molecular and biochemical levels. The negative effect of climate change on the environment is multifaceted, from high temperatures, altered concentrations of greenhouse gases such as increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, soil salinity, and drought, to increasing frequency of extreme weather events taking place concomitantly, therefore, climate change affects crop productivity in multiple ways. Rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is expected to increase photosynthetic rates, especially at high temperatures and under water-limited conditions. This review aims to synthesize current knowledge regarding the effects of climate change on CW biogenesis and modification. We discuss specific cases in crops of interest carrying cell wall modifications that enhance tolerance to climate change-related stresses; from cereals such as rice, wheat, barley, or maize to dicots of interest such as brassica oilseed, cotton, soybean, tomato, or potato. This information could be used for the rational design of genetic engineering traits that aim to increase the stress tolerance in key crops. Future growing conditions expose plants to variable and extreme climate change factors, which negatively impact global agriculture, and therefore further research in this area is critical. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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Review
Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions as a Bases for Crop Breeding and Yield Improvement
Plants 2020, 9(1), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010088 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1814
Abstract
Increased periods of water shortage and higher temperatures, together with a reduction in nutrient availability, have been proposed as major factors that negatively impact plant development. Photosynthetic CO2 assimilation is the basis of crop production for animal and human food, and for [...] Read more.
Increased periods of water shortage and higher temperatures, together with a reduction in nutrient availability, have been proposed as major factors that negatively impact plant development. Photosynthetic CO2 assimilation is the basis of crop production for animal and human food, and for this reason, it has been selected as a primary target for crop phenotyping/breeding studies. Within this context, knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the response and acclimation of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation to multiple changing environmental conditions (including nutrients, water availability, and rising temperature) is a matter of great concern for the understanding of plant behavior under stress conditions, and for the development of new strategies and tools for enhancing plant growth in the future. The current review aims to analyze, from a multi-perspective approach (ranging across breeding, gas exchange, genomics, etc.) the impact of changing environmental conditions on the performance of the photosynthetic apparatus and, consequently, plant growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
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