Germplasm Resources of Horticultural Crops and Their Use to Improve Abiotic Stress Tolerance

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2022) | Viewed by 6304

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Technologies, Life Sciences University "King Michael" from Timisoara, 119 Calea Aradului, 300645 Timisoara, Romania
Interests: plant physiology; abiotic stress in plants; biodiversity; metabolomics; biomass production; chlorophyll and proline content; active compounds; horticultural crops
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Faculty of Horticulture, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Interests: biodiversity; biostatistics; ecology; fruit quality; genetics and plant breeding; horticulture; trees
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Guest Editor
Mediterranean Agroforestry Institute, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: plant ecology; abiotic stress responses; ecology of seed germination; halophytes; stress-tolerant crops
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human society requires ever-increasing and diversified food resources, and climate change and unadapted technologies are creating huge pressures on horticultural ecosystems for food production. The germplasm of a horticultural species is an essential genetic resource for identifying and selecting valuable attributes of tolerance to abiotic stressors. In recent decades, the investigation techniques of the physiological processes involved in increasing the tolerance of plants to stressors have reached levels of performance that are difficult to imagine, and their association with methods of molecular biology, breeding or applied biochemistry, have led to the achievement of remarkable findings in horticultural species. Additionally, huge advances have been made in the use of artificial intelligence, integrated sensor systems, information, analysis and communication technologies for the induction, detection and monitoring of abiotic parameters that can act as stressors of plants, with a determination of the impact on metabolic processes of productivity and the quality of crops.

However, there are still many unknowns regarding the complex functioning mechanisms of plants in a huge variety of ecosystems, either cultivated or spontaneous, each with specific characteristics. There are also many unsolved questions related to the multitude of structural and/or functional mechanisms for the adaptation of plants to their environments.

The germplasm sources of horticultural crops (vegetables, fruit or floricultural species, ornamental trees and shrubs, fungi, etc.) are real "gene banks", suppliers of valuable attributes of adaptations to stress, productivity, and quality, which must be further discovered, characterized, evaluated, protected and preserved to be used for improving the performance of cultivated species.

This Special Issue will highlight the importance of horticultural germplasm sources in improving tolerance characteristics to the multitude of environmental stressors (water, soil, air, climate, etc.) in cultivated species by analyzing biochemical, morphological, physiological and genetic parameters involved in reactions to stress and their influence on the bio-productivity, growth and development of plants.

Prof. Dr. Radu Sumalan
Prof. Dr. Adriana F. Sestras
Prof. Dr. Monica Boscaiu
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • plant physiology
  • metabolic pathways
  • salinity
  • drought
  • cold
  • overheating
  • enzymatic activity
  • oxidative stress

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1895 KiB  
Article
Increasing the Salt Stress Tolerance of Some Tomato Cultivars under the Influence of Growth Regulators
by Mihaela Covașă, Cristina Slabu, Alina Elena Marta and Carmenica Doina Jităreanu
Plants 2023, 12(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020363 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2022
Abstract
Areas with saline soils are in continuous expansion, and in this context, it is very important to find solutions that help plants adapt more easily to these stress conditions, and to identify the main physiological and biochemical mechanisms involved in determining a good [...] Read more.
Areas with saline soils are in continuous expansion, and in this context, it is very important to find solutions that help plants adapt more easily to these stress conditions, and to identify the main physiological and biochemical mechanisms involved in determining a good adaptability of plants. Biostimulants could be a plausible solution. This study was conducted in 2021 at the IULS (Iasi University of Life Sciences) in Romania, under greenhouse conditions and the biological material consisted of four tomato varieties: Buzau, Elisabeta, Bacovia, and Lillagro. For the treatments, we used natrium chloride (NaCl) 120 mM and an Atonik biostimulant. Three treatments were applied at intervals of 14 days. The Atonik biostimulant was applied by foliar spray, and the saline solution was applied to the root system. We have gathered some observations on the growth and fruiting character of the tomato plants studied: the height of the stems, the number of flowers in the inflorescence, the number of fruits, and the weight of fruits. Chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments as well as proline amino acid from leaves were also measured. Observations were made 14 days after the application of each treatment. Quantitative determinations were made 14 days after the application of the third treatment. The findings of this study made it clear that the Atonik biostimulant presented a positive effect on the physiological processes observed in tomato plants grown under salt stress conditions. Full article
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12 pages, 1867 KiB  
Article
Effect of VaMyb40 and VaMyb60 Overexpression on Stilbene Biosynthesis in Cell Cultures of Grapevine Vitis amurensis Rupr.
by Alexey A. Ananev, Andrey R. Suprun, Olga A. Aleynova, Nikolay N. Nityagovsky, Zlata V. Ogneva, Alexandra S. Dubrovina and Konstantin V. Kiselev
Plants 2022, 11(15), 1916; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11151916 - 24 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Stilbenes are plant defense compounds known to rapidly accumulate in grapevine and some other plant species in response to microbial infection and several abiotic stresses. Stilbenes have attracted considerable attention due to valuable biological effects with multi-spectrum therapeutic application. However, there is a [...] Read more.
Stilbenes are plant defense compounds known to rapidly accumulate in grapevine and some other plant species in response to microbial infection and several abiotic stresses. Stilbenes have attracted considerable attention due to valuable biological effects with multi-spectrum therapeutic application. However, there is a lack of information on natural signaling pathways and transcription factors regulating stilbene biosynthesis. It has been previously shown that MYB R2R3 transcription factor genes VaMyb40 and VaMyb60 were up-regulated in cell cultures of wild-growing grapevine Vitis amurensis Rupr. in response to UV irradiation. In this study, the effects of VaMyb40 or VaMyb60 overexpression in cell cultures of V. amurensis on their capability to produce stilbenes were investigated. Overexpression of the VaMyb60 gene led to a considerable increase in the content of stilbenes in three independently transformed transgenic lines in 5.9–13.9 times, while overexpression of the VaMyb40 gene also increased the content of stilbenes, although to a lesser extent (in 3.4–4.0 times) in comparison with stilbene levels in the empty vector-transformed calli. Stilbene content and stilbene production in the VaMyb60-transgenic calli reached 18.8 mg/g of dry weight (DW) and 150.8 mg/L, respectively. Using HPLC analysis, we detected eight individual stilbenes: t-resveratrol diglucoside, t-piceid, t-resveratrol, ε-viniferin, δ-viniferin, cis-resveratrol, cis-piceid, t-piceatannol. T-resveratrol prevailed over other stilbenoid compounds (53.1–89.5% of all stilbenes) in the VaMyb-overexpressing cell cultures. Moreover, the VaMyb40- and VaMyb60-transformed calli were capable of producing anthocyanins up to 0.035 mg/g DW, while the control calli did not produce anthocyanins. These findings show that the VaMyb40 and VaMyb60 genes positively regulate the stilbene biosynthesis as strong positive transcription regulators and can be used in biotechnological applications for stilbene production or high-quality viticulture and winemaking. Full article
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19 pages, 5576 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the Calmodulin/Calmodulin-like Protein (CAM/CML) Family in Ginkgo biloba, and the Influence of an Ectopically Expressed GbCML Gene (Gb_30819) on Seedling and Fruit Development of Transgenic Arabidopsis
by Xinxin Zhang, Juan Tian, Sai Li, Yuying Liu, Ting Feng, Yunyun Wang, Yuanjin Li, Xinxin Huang and Dahui Li
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111506 - 04 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1872
Abstract
Calmodulins (CAMs) and calmodulin-like proteins (CMLs) can participate in the regulation of various physiological processes via sensing and decoding Ca2+ signals. To reveal the characteristics of the CAM/CML family in Ginkgo biloba, a comprehensive analysis was performed at the genome-wide level. [...] Read more.
Calmodulins (CAMs) and calmodulin-like proteins (CMLs) can participate in the regulation of various physiological processes via sensing and decoding Ca2+ signals. To reveal the characteristics of the CAM/CML family in Ginkgo biloba, a comprehensive analysis was performed at the genome-wide level. A total of 26 CAMs/CMLs, consisting of 5 GbCAMs and 21 GbCMLs, was identified on 11 out of 12 chromosomes in G. biloba. They displayed a certain degree of multiplicity in their sequences, albeit with conserved EF hands. Collinearity analysis suggested that tandem rather than segmental or whole-genome duplications were likely to play roles in the evolution of the Ginkgo CAM/CML family. Furthermore, GbCAMs/GbCMLs were grouped into higher, lower, and moderate expression in magnitude. The cis-acting regulatory elements involved in phytohormone-responsiveness within GbCAM/GbCML promotors may explain their varied expression profiles. The ectopic expression of a GbCML gene (Gb_30819) in transgenic Arabidopsis led to phenotypes with significantly shortened root length and seedling height, and decreased yields of both pods and seeds. Moreover, an electrophoresis mobility shift assay demonstrated the Ca2+-binding activity of Gb_30819 in vitro. Altogether, these results contribute to insights into the characteristics of the evolution and expression of GbCAMs/GbCMLs, as well as evidence for Ca2+-CAM/CML pathways functioning within the ancient gymnosperm G. biloba. Full article
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