Special Issue "Plant Tissue Culture for Studying the Environmental Cues and Signals"

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: 15 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Judit Dobránszki
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Biotechnology and Plant Breeding, Research Institute of Nyíregyháza, IAREF, University of Debrecen, 4400 Nyíregyháza, Hungary
Interests: plant tissue culture; in vitro culture; organogenesis; cytokinins; ultrasound; transcriptomics; epigenetics
Dr. Marcos Edel Martinez-Montero
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Breeding and Plant Conservation, Bioplantas Center, University of Ciego de Avila, 65200, Cuba
Interests: plant tissue culture; in vitro culture; plant cryopreservation; cryobionomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Beyond its use for large-scale micropropagation and other potent biotechnological techniques, plant tissue culture is an important tool for studying the biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and communication of plants under controlled environments and on artificial, well-defined media.

Plants are constantly exposed to the influence of their environment. Being sessile organisms, plants are not able to escape from their changing surroundings. Climate change and environmental stability are critical, largely because plant growth, development, and reproduction are regulated by seasonal cues. Therefore, their ability to sense and respond to different environmental stimuli—either chemical or physical—are of adaptive and even evolutionary importance. Recent findings support the importance of physical signals like visible light, UV light, temperature, acoustic waves etc. in the adaptation of plants to environments with mostly suboptimal conditions by changing their growth and development. Regarding the developmental aspect, some studies have suggested that ROS signaling as messengers or transmitters of environmental cues are involved in regulating seed germination.

The benefit of perceiving and responding to physical signals includes that they are able to spread more rapidly and with less energy costs than chemical triggers, allowing plants to alter their growth and development accordingly. The effects of environmental physical factors and signals can be well studied using plant tissue cultured cells, tissues, explants, organs, or plantlets. In plant tissue culture, the organ development and morphogenesis can be regulated and modified by changing the in vitro physical conditions, like light, temperature, sound or ultrasound waves, etc. Environmental cues and signals (physical or chemical) are also of importance in tissue-culture-related methods. As an example, cryopreservation involves the exposure of in vitro cells or tissues to physical, chemical, and physiological stresses causing cryoinjury, and a perspective of cryobionomics is that molecular changes may be indicative of a positive adaptive response to the stresses incurred which may be advantageous to post-storage survival.

This Special Issue aims to cover various aspects of plant tissue culture as a tool, where the plant plasticity to different environmental cues and signals—primarily but not exclusively physical ones—are studied, including molecular, biochemical, biophysical, morpho-physiological, growth, and developmental aspects of plant response. Studies on the effects of physical cues and signals modifying the plant physiology, development, and growth in various tissue culture and related methods will also be presented. Studies focusing on epigenetic and transcriptomic reprogramming are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Judit Dobránszki
Dr. Marcos Edel Martinez-Montero
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.


  • climate change
  • cryobionomics
  • cryopreservation
  • environmental cues
  • epigenetics
  • in vitro culture
  • light
  • morphogenesis
  • organogenesis
  • plant adaptive response
  • plant perception
  • plant plasticity
  • plant tissue culture
  • ROS
  • sound
  • stress
  • temperature
  • transcriptomics
  • ultrasound

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: Effects of perceiving the physical world in vitro, beyond the light
Authors: Judit Dobránszki 1; Marcos Edel Martinez-Montero 2
Affiliation: 1. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Plant Breeding, Research Institute of Nyíregyháza, IAREF, University of Debrecen, 4400 Nyíregyháza, Hungary 2. Department of Plant Breeding and Plant Conservation, Bioplantas Center, University of Ciego de Avila, 65200, Cuba
Abstract: All organisms on Earth are affected by its environment. Cues and signals of the environment in nature can be either beneficial and supportive or detrimental from the growth and developmental perspective. Plants, despite their immobility, have developed advanced strategies to overcome the various and changing environmental impacts, and stresses. In vitro plantlets, tissues and cells are constantly exposed to the influence of their environment as in nature. Under in vitro conditions the environmental factors are well-controlled therefore their effects can be well studied. Light has a widely known morphogenetic effect on plants, however, other physical cues are at least so important but often neglected. We summarize in this review our knowledge about the role of the main physical environmental factors beyond electromagnetic waves in in vitro culture of plants. We focus on the role of mechanical stimuli, like sound, ultrasound, touch, wounding etc., and temperature. We summarize the molecular, biochemical, physiological, growth and developmental changes they cause and we present how these processes are controlled in the plants. Moreover, we present how their regulating or stimulating roles are applied in plant biotechnological applications, like in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation or cryopreservation.

Title: Phytotoxicity in viruselimination treatments applied on the in vitro shoot cultures: reasons and solutions
Authors: Katalin Magyar-Tábori; Nóra Mendler-Drienyovszki; Alexandra Hanász; László Zsombik; Judit Dobránszki
Affiliation: Department of Plant Biotechnology and Plant Breeding, Research Institute of Nyíregyháza, IAREF, University of Debrecen, 4400 Nyíregyháza, Hungary
Abstract: Production of healthy planting material is based on the micropropagation of virus- and pathogen-free in vitro shoot cultures of vegetatively propagated species. Beside culture of isolated meristem the thermotherapy, chemotherapy, electrotherapy and cryotherapy are applied for virus elimination. Thermo- and chemotherapy are most frequently used, however, combined treatments are also very common (e. g. meristem isolation with chemotherapy, chemotherapy with thermotherapy and so on). During these processes plantlets are suffered by several stress, which can result in low rate of survival, or inhibited growth, incomplete development, abnormal morphology. Even though the in vitro shoot cultures survive the treatment, further development can be inhibited thus regeneration capacity of treated in vitro shoots play also important role in successful virus elimination. Sensitivity of genotypes to treatments is very different and the rate of phytotoxicity depends on the applied in vitro environmental condition, as well. When applying thermotherapy, the phytotoxicity or plant survival depends on the temperature, illumination, duration of thermotherapy. In the case of chemotherapy, the type and concentration of antiviral agent, duration and repetition of treatment are the main factors of phytotoxicity. This review summarize the phytotoxic effect of virus-elimination treatments applied on tissue cultures reported in the literature.

Title: Cell suspension cultures and in vitro selection for drought tolerance in soybean (Glycine max (L) Merr.) applying poly-ethylene glycol
Authors: Nishi Mishra 1; M.K. Tripathi 1,*; Sushma Tiwari 1; Niraj Tripathi 2; Ashok Ahuja 1; Shard Tiwari 3
Affiliation: 1. Department of Plant Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, College of Agriculture, Rajmata Vijyaraje Scindia Agricultural University, Gwalior, 474002 M.P. India 2. Directorate of Research Services, Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University, Jabalpur 482004, India 3. Biotechnology Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University, Jabalpur 482004, India
Abstract: Soybean (Glycine max (L) Merr.) is used in India mostly as a substantial source of protein and oil, which makes the crop significantly important. Somaclonal variation has been researched as a base of additional variability or changeability for drought in soybean. In the present experiment calli/cell clumps/embryoids from immature and mature embryonic axis and cotyledons explants have been exposed with different concentrations of polyethylene glycol PEG 6000. Discontinuous method proved to be superior as it permits the calli /cell clumps/embryoids to regain their regeneration competence. A total of 64 plants (12.21%) of genotype JS335 and 78 plants (13.13%) of genotype JS93-05 have been regenerated from tolerant calli/cell clumps/embryoids acquired from selection medium after transferring them on regeneration medium (Murashige and Skoog basal medium supplemented with 0.5 mgl-1 each of α-naphthaleneacetic acid, 6-benzyladenine and kinetin, 20.0 gl-1 sucrose and 7.5 gl-1 agar powder after following four successions of selection by using effective lethal concentration of PEG 6000 i e. @ 20% w/v. Putative tolerant plants against drought were acquired from genotype JS 93-05 (38 plants) in more numbers as compared to genotype JS335 (26 plants). Random decamer primers confirmed the variability between mother plants and selected plants of both genotypes.

Title: In vitro Osmotic Stress Induction and Physiological Response of Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) Microshoots
Authors: Lidiia Samarina1* , Alexandra Matskiv 1, Taisiya Simonyan1, Natalia Koninskaya1, Valentina Malyarovskaya1, Maya Gvasaliya1, Lyudmila Malyukova1, Alfiya Mytdyeva1, Alexey Ryndin1, Marcos Martinez-Montero2 , Ravish Choudhary3
1 Federal Research Centre the Subtropical Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sochi, Russia; L.S. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0500-1198
2 Department of Plant Breeding and Plant Conservation, Bioplantas Center, University of Ciego de Avila, 65200, Cuba; https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4095-5410
3 Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0502-8649
Abstract: In vitro stress induction is the tool that can help better understand the response of plant crops to each stress factor. In this study the osmotic stress was induced by addition of mannitol into the culture media to reveal physiological response of tea microplants. Increased electrolyte leakage, proline, threonine, catechins and caffeine contents were observed in leaves in the presence of mannitol. The 2-10 times increased expression of several genes under mannitol-induced osmotic stress was also observed: DHN2, LOX1, LOX6, BAM, SUS1, TPS11, RS2, SnRK1.3, HXK3. The expression of many stress-related genes was not significantly changed: DHN1, NAC30, DHN3, HXK1, SnRK1.1, SnRK1.2. Surprisingly, downregulation of the following genes was revealed: LOX7, bHLH12, bHLH7, bHLH21, bHLH43, CBF1, WRKY2, SWEET1, SWEET2, SWEET3, INV. This study demonstrates that tea plants develop several morphological and physicochemical adaptations to cope under osmotic stress in vitro; however, some important stress-related genes were downregulated in microplants.
Keywords: Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, in vitro, osmotic stress, gene expression, micro plants, culture media, tissue culture

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