Special Issue "Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress"

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: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Marta Libik-Konieczny
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Polish Academy of Sciences, The Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Niezapominajek 21, 30-239 Kraków, Poland
Interests: abiotic stress; reactive oxygen species; signal transduction; morphogenesis in vitro; secondary metabolites

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Abiotic stress represents a key environmental element that may substantially limit plants growth and developent. It comprises all environmental perturbations in temperature, light, humidity, and nutrient availability that plants may encounter in nature. To ensure their survival, plants evolved a mechanism to anticipate changes in the environment and then to mount an effective acclimatory response. The processes underlying endurance and acclimatization to changing environments have long been the focus of intensive research. Consequently, the literature concerning plant responses to abiotic stress is vast. The impact of abiotic stress on plant performance has been explored at many different levels, in a great variety of model and crop species. These studies refer to physiological responses, molecular signaling pathways, ecophysiology and crop breeding studies.

Facing the problem of global climate warming and anthropogenic activities, it is of our duty to further investigate the mechanisms by which plants perceive environmental signals, transmit them to cellular machinery, and activate aclimatory responses. However, already published achievements, especially in molecular genetics, have contributed substantially to our understanding of the basis of abiotic stress defense, although there are still several questions yet to be answered. Progress has to be made towards understanding signalling processes, inducing stress acclimation in plants and the switch between growth and defense. The results of this research might help improve plant survival and crop yield enhancement under changing environments.

We encourage scientists from around the world to publish in this Special Issue on “Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress” in Plants; research papers, as well as the reviews of the most recent topics related to plants response to environmental conditions, are welcome. By attracting expertise on this topic, this Special Issues aims to add a new dimension to the field of plant acclimatization to global climatic changes.

Dr. Marta Libik-Konieczny
Guest 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 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.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Photosynthetic Capacity of Phragmites australis in Five Habitats in Saline‒Alkaline Wetlands
Plants 2020, 9(10), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9101317 - 06 Oct 2020
Abstract
Water shortages have an important impact on the photosynthetic capacity of Phragmites australis. However, this impact has not been adequately studied from the perspective of photosynthesis. An in-depth study of the photosynthetic process can help in better understanding the impact of water [...] Read more.
Water shortages have an important impact on the photosynthetic capacity of Phragmites australis. However, this impact has not been adequately studied from the perspective of photosynthesis. An in-depth study of the photosynthetic process can help in better understanding the impact of water shortages on the photosynthetic capacity of P. australis, especially on the microscale. The aim of this study is to explore the photosynthetic adaptation strategies to environmental changes in saline‒alkaline wetlands. The light response curves and CO2 response curves of P. australis in five habitats (hygrophilous, xerophytic, psammophytic, abandoned farmland, paddy field drainage) in saline‒alkaline wetlands were measured at different stages of their life history, and we used a nonrectangular hyperbolic model to fit the data. It was concluded that P. australis utilized coping strategies that differed between the growing and breeding seasons. P. australis in abandoned farmland during the growing season had the highest apparent quantum efficiency (AQE) and photosynthetic utilization efficiency for weak light because of the dark environment. The dark respiration rate of P. australis in the drainage area of paddy fields was the lowest, and it had the highest values for photorespiration rate, maximum photosynthetic rate (Pmax), photosynthetic capacity (Pa), biomass, maximum carboxylation rate (Vcmax), and maximum electron transfer rate (Jmax). The light insensitivity of P. australis increased with the transition from growing to breeding season, and the dark respiration rate also showed a downward trend. Moreover, Vcmax and Jmax would decline when Pmax and Pa showed a declining trend, and vice versa. In other words, Vcmax and Jmax could explain changes in the photosynthetic capacity to some extent. These findings contribute to providing insights that Vcmax and Jmax can directly reflect the variation in photosynthetic capacity of P. australis under water shortages in saline‒alkaline wetlands and in other parts of world where there are problems with similarly harmful environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
The Common Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.)–Phytoremediation Potential for Cadmium and Chromate-Contaminated Soils
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091230 - 18 Sep 2020
Abstract
The common ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.) is a widely studied model due to its tolerance to numerous biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, carried out in model pots, the plants were treated with variant doses of Cd(II) and Cr(VI) and [...] Read more.
The common ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.) is a widely studied model due to its tolerance to numerous biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, carried out in model pots, the plants were treated with variant doses of Cd(II) and Cr(VI) and proved resistant to extreme levels of these heavy metals. Initial toxicity symptoms were observed upon final concentrations of 818 mg Cd kg−1 soil d.w., and 1699 mg Cr kg−1 applied as potassium chromate. Biometric analyses revealed that none of the Cr(VI) doses affected dry weight of the plant organs thus maintaining the shoot-to-root ratio. The Cd and Cr hypertolerance strategies were divergent and resulted in different accumulation patterns. For the case of Cd(II), an excluder-like mechanism was developed to prevent the plant from toxicity. For chromate, high accumulation potential together with Cr(VI) root-to-shoot translocation at sublethal concentrations was revealed (up to 6152 mg Cr kg−1 shoot at 4248 mg Cr kg−1 soil). It is concluded that M. crystallinum reveals considerable phytoremediation capabilities due to unique growth potential in contaminated substrates and is suitable for bioreclamation of degraded soils. The plant is especially applicable for efficient phytoextraction of chromate-contamination, whereas for Cd-affected areas it may have a phytostabilizing effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Heterogeneous Light Conditions Reduce the Assimilate Translocation Towards Maize Ears
Plants 2020, 9(8), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9080987 - 04 Aug 2020
Abstract
The border row crop in strip intercropped maize is often exposed to heterogeneous light conditions, resulting in increased photosynthesis and yield decreased. Previous studies have focused on photosynthetic productivity, whereas carbon allocation could also be one of the major causes of decreased yield. [...] Read more.
The border row crop in strip intercropped maize is often exposed to heterogeneous light conditions, resulting in increased photosynthesis and yield decreased. Previous studies have focused on photosynthetic productivity, whereas carbon allocation could also be one of the major causes of decreased yield. However, carbon distribution remains unclear in partially shaded conditions. In the present study, we applied heterogeneous light conditions (T), and one side of plants was shaded (T-30%), keeping the other side fully exposed to light (T-100%), as compared to control plants that were exposed entirely to full-light (CK). Dry weight, carbon assimilation, 13C abundance, and transport tissue structure were analyzed to clarify the carbon distribution in partial shading of plants. T caused a marked decline in dry weight and harvest index (HI), whereas dry weight in unshaded and shaded leaves did not differ. Net photosynthesis rate (Pn), the activity of sucrose phosphate synthase enzymes (SPS), and sucrose concentration increased in unshaded leaves. Appropriately, 5.7% of the 13C from unshaded leaves was transferred to shaded leaves. Furthermore, plasmodesma density in the unshaded (T-100%) and shaded (T-30%) leaves in T was not significantly different but was lower than that of CK. Similarly, the vascular bundle total area of T was decreased. 13C transfer from unshaded leaves to ear in T was decreased by 18.0% compared with that in CK. Moreover, 13C and sucrose concentration of stem in T were higher than those in CK. Our results suggested that, under heterogeneous light, shaded leaves as a sink imported the carbohydrates from the unshaded leaves. Ear and shaded leaf competed for carbohydrates, and were not conducive to tissue structure of sucrose transport, resulting in a decrease in the carbon proportion in the ear, harvest index, and ear weight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Acid Rain Alter the Leaf Anatomy and Photosynthetic Pigments in Urban Trees?
Plants 2020, 9(7), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070862 - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Megapolis such as Mexico City, have atmospheric pollutants that interact with the humidity and solar radiation. The topography of this city promotes air stagnation, generating atmospheric pollutants and episodes of acid rain, a phenomenon well recorded since the end of the 1980s. However, [...] Read more.
Megapolis such as Mexico City, have atmospheric pollutants that interact with the humidity and solar radiation. The topography of this city promotes air stagnation, generating atmospheric pollutants and episodes of acid rain, a phenomenon well recorded since the end of the 1980s. However, little we know about how urban trees respond to acid rain in the city. Here we present how simulated acid rain causes anatomical and changes in photosynthetic pigments in two of the most abundant urban trees in Mexico City: Liquidambar styraciflua L. and Fraxinus uhdei (Wenz.) Lingelsh. We first described the leaf anatomy of both species. Then, we used one-year-old trees sprayed with sulfuric acid solutions at pH 2.5 and 3.8, and evaluated visible leaf damage, anatomical alterations, and chlorophyll contents. In both species, the pH 2.5 caused cuticle alterations and areas of total tissue destruction. L. styraciflua showed greater sensitivity, but we discuss some of the tolerance mechanisms. Finally, acid rain also reduced the chlorophyll contents. These results contribute toward a catalogue of urban tree species to describe pollution-induced damages, and the identification of tolerant species useful for short- and mid-term detection of environmental crisis, in cities with similar environmental conditions and urban tree composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Cadmium Tolerance and Pea Plant Health through Enterobacter sp. MN17 Inoculation Together with Biochar and Gravel Sand
Plants 2020, 9(4), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040530 - 20 Apr 2020
Abstract
Contamination of soils with heavy metals, particularly cadmium (Cd), is an increasingly alarming environmental issue around the world. Application of organic and inorganic immobilizing amendments such as biochar and gravel sand in combination with metal-tolerant microbes has the potential to minimize the bioavailability [...] Read more.
Contamination of soils with heavy metals, particularly cadmium (Cd), is an increasingly alarming environmental issue around the world. Application of organic and inorganic immobilizing amendments such as biochar and gravel sand in combination with metal-tolerant microbes has the potential to minimize the bioavailability of Cd to plants. The present study was designed to identify the possible additive effects of the application of Enterobacter sp. MN17 as well as biochar and gravel sand on the reduction of Cd stress in plants and improvement of growth and nutritional quality of pea (Pisum sativum) plants through the reduction of Cd uptake. Pea seeds were surface sterilized then non-inoculated seeds and seeds inoculated with Enterobacter sp. MN17 were planted in artificially Cd-polluted soil, amended with the immobilizing agents biochar and gravel sand. Application of biochar and gravel sand alone and in combination not only improved the growth and nutritional quality of pea plants by in situ immobilization but also reduced the uptake of Cd by plant roots and its transport to shoots. However, microbial inoculation further enhanced the overall plant health as well as alleviated the toxic effects of Cd on the pea plants. These soil treatments also improved rates of photosynthesis and transpiration. The combined use of biochar and gravel sand with bacterial inoculation resulted in an increase in plant height (47%), shoot dry weight (42%), root dry weight (57%), and 100 seeds weight (49%) as compared to control plants in Cd contaminated soil. Likewise, biochemical constituents of pea seeds (protein, fat, fiber, and ash) were significantly increased up to 41%, 74%, 32%, and 72%, respectively, with the combined use of these immobilizing agents and bacterium. Overall, this study demonstrated that the combined application of biochar and gravel sand, particularly in combination with Enterobacter sp. MN17, could be an efficient strategy for the remediation of Cd contaminated soil. It could support better growth and nutritional quality of pea plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Expression of Genes Involved in Heavy Metal Trafficking in Plants Exposed to Salinity Stress and Elevated Cd Concentrations
Plants 2020, 9(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040475 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Many areas intended for crop production suffer from the concomitant occurrence of heavy metal pollution and elevated salinity; therefore, halophytes seem to represent a promising perspective for the bioremediation of contaminated soils. In this study, the influence of Cd treatment (0.01–10.0 mM) and [...] Read more.
Many areas intended for crop production suffer from the concomitant occurrence of heavy metal pollution and elevated salinity; therefore, halophytes seem to represent a promising perspective for the bioremediation of contaminated soils. In this study, the influence of Cd treatment (0.01–10.0 mM) and salinity stress (0.4 M NaCl) on the expression of genes involved in heavy metal uptake (irt2–iron-regulated protein 2, zip4–zinc-induced protein 4), vacuolar sequestration (abcc2–ATP-binding cassette 2, cax4–cation exchanger 2 pcs1–phytochelatin synthase 1) and translocation into aerial organs (hma4–heavy metal ATPase 4) were analyzed in a soil-grown semi-halophyte Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. The upregulation of irt2 expression induced by salinity was additionally enhanced by Cd treatment. Such changes were not observed for zip4. Stressor-induced alterations in abcc2, cax4, hma4 and pcs1 expression were most pronounced in the root tissue, and the expression of cax4, hma4 and pcs1 was upregulated in response to salinity and Cd. However, the cumulative effect of both stressors, similar to the one described for irt2, was observed only in the case of pcs1. The importance of salt stress in the irt2 expression regulation mechanism is proposed. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report the combined effect of salinity and heavy metal stress on genes involved in heavy metal trafficking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Physiological and Molecular Mechanism Involved in Cold Stress Tolerance in Plants
Plants 2020, 9(5), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050560 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Previous studies have reported that low temperature (LT) constrains plant growth and restricts productivity in temperate regions. However, the underlying mechanisms are complex and not well understood. Over the past ten years, research on the process of adaptation and tolerance of plants during [...] Read more.
Previous studies have reported that low temperature (LT) constrains plant growth and restricts productivity in temperate regions. However, the underlying mechanisms are complex and not well understood. Over the past ten years, research on the process of adaptation and tolerance of plants during cold stress has been carried out. In molecular terms, researchers prioritize research into the field of the ICE-CBF-COR signaling pathway which is believed to be the important key to the cold acclimation process. Inducer of CBF Expression (ICE) is a pioneer of cold acclimation and plays a central role in C-repeat binding (CBF) cold induction. CBFs activate the expression of COR genes via binding to cis-elements in the promoter of COR genes. An ICE-CBF-COR signaling pathway activates the appropriate expression of downstream genes, which encodes osmoregulation substances. In this review, we summarize the recent progress of cold stress tolerance in plants from molecular and physiological perspectives and other factors, such as hormones, light, and circadian clock. Understanding the process of cold stress tolerance and the genes involved in the signaling network for cold stress is essential for improving plants, especially crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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