The Role of Fertilizers in Boosting Plant Adaptation to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 83522

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Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, South Valley University, Qena 83523, Egypt
Interests: plant physiology; abiotic and biotic stressors: plant stimulants; plant-microbe interactions; phytoremediation; allelopathy; plant hormones; osmolytes; secondary metabolites; antioxidants; oxidative stress; molecular biology; nanotechnology and plant science
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In general, any substance that contributes to the growth of plants and fertility of the planting bed is called a fertilizer. Fertilizers are divided into several general categories including biological, organic, and chemical fertilizers. Biological fertilizers (biofertilizers) are referred to as fertilizing agents that contain a plurality of one or more of the most useful soil organisms located in the storage medium. Additionally, biological fertilizers refer to living microorganisms that can be used in different forms, such as seed inoculation, foliar application, and soil treatment, which eventually stimulate plant growth by increasing the availability of nutrients. Organic fertilizers are another type, which are the waste products of plants and animals, and their incorporation to the soil contributes to soil conservation and nutrient uptake. Chemical fertilizers are defined as inorganic material of synthetic origin containing a rich amount of nutrients required for plant growth and development. There are also numerous plant biostimulants, such as hydrolyzed proteins and amino acids containing products, humic substances, microorganisms (bacteria, micro-algae, yeast, filamentous fungi), and seaweed extracts, which enhance nutrient use efficiency as well as biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in plants.

Biotic and abiotic stresses commonly induce changes in plant performance. On a short time scale, the major responses occur at the physiological level (e.g., gas exchange, water uptake, stomatal movement, hormonal homeostasis, and so on), while on a long time scale, stresses may induce changes in plant development (plant architecture, flowering time, senescence, etc.). Biotic stress is triggered by living organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses, insects, and weeds. The major abiotic stresses include unfavorable environmental conditions, such as high salinity, drought, temperature extremes, water logging, wind, high light intensity, UV radiation, heavy metals, and mineral deficiencies or toxicity. In recent years, the number of reports implicating fertilizers in mitigating the effect of stresses on plant growth and development has constantly been rising.

In this Special Issue, we aim to incorporate contributions from leading agronomists, plant scientists and environmental biologists focusing on the possible effective techniques to alleviate the destructive effects of biotic and abiotic stressors on plant growth and development. Authors are invited to submit original research, reviews/mini-reviews, methods, and opinion articles related to, but not exclusively limited to, the following topics:

  • Physiological, biochemical, and molecular functions of fertilizers in plants to alleviate the detrimental effects of stresses;
  • Impact of fertilizers on plant development;
  • Impact of fertilizers on plant–microbe interaction;
  • Impact of fertilizer application on plant susceptibility to pathogen infection;
  • Impact of fertilizers on nutrient transformations in soil toward mitigation of stress in plants;
  • Genetic and epigenetic modifications in plants due to continuous use of fertilizers.

Prof. Dr. Arafat Abdel Hamed Abdel Latef
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • fertilizers
  • biological fertilizers
  • organic fertilizers
  • chemical fertilizers
  • biostimulants
  • biotic stress
  • abiotic stress
  • stress tolerance
  • plant adaptation
  • plant–microbe interaction
  • genetic modifications
  • epigenetic modifications
  • plant developmental biology
  • nutrient sensing

Published Papers (29 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1226 KiB  
Article
Controlled-Release Nitrogen Mixed with Common Nitrogen Fertilizer Can Maintain High Yield of Rapeseed and Improve Nitrogen Utilization Efficiency
by Yue Hu, Fangfang Zhang, Hafiz Hassan Javed, Xiao Peng, Honglin Chen, Weiqun Tang, Ying Lai and Yongcheng Wu
Plants 2023, 12(24), 4105; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12244105 - 8 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Field experiments were conducted to study the effects of different proportions of controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer mixed with quick-acting nitrogen fertilizer on the yield and nitrogen utilization efficiency of direct-seeding rapeseed. Using a conventional nitrogen application rate of 180 kg ha−1 as a [...] Read more.
Field experiments were conducted to study the effects of different proportions of controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer mixed with quick-acting nitrogen fertilizer on the yield and nitrogen utilization efficiency of direct-seeding rapeseed. Using a conventional nitrogen application rate of 180 kg ha−1 as a control, a total of 5 types of available nitrogen fertilizers and different proportions of controlled-release nitrogen fertilizers were mixed for fertilizer treatment. The proportion of available nitrogen fertilizer used was 135 kg ha−1, and the addition ratios of the five types of controlled-release nitrogen fertilizers were 0%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%, respectively (i.e., the proportion of controlled-release nitrogen to the total nitrogen application amount). These ratios were represented as N135R0, N135R1, N135R2, N135R3, and N135R4, respectively. The results showed that there was no significant difference in the number of pods per plant, the number of seeds per pod, or the grain yield under the treatment of controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer mixed with quick-acting nitrogen fertilizer for proportions of 30–50% (N135R1~R3) when compared with the control, and a stable yield was achieved. Mixing controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer under reduced nitrogen application can significantly improve the apparent utilization rate of rapeseed nitrogen fertilizer, but it first increases and then decreases with the increase of the controlled-release nitrogen mixing ratio, reaching its highest under the N135R2 treatment. The agronomic utilization efficiency and partial productivity of nitrogen fertilizer first increased and then decreased with the increased proportion of controlled-release nitrogen, and both reached their highest utilization with the N135R2 treatment. The mixed treatment of controlled-release nitrogen did not affect soil urease activity, but significantly increased soil sucrase activity. The mixed treatment of controlled-release nitrogen also increased soil microbial biomass nitrogen and carbon content. Especially in the flowering stage, the soil microbial biomass nitrogen and carbon content was significantly higher under a controlled-release nitrogen mixing ratio of 30–50%. At the same time, it had a similar effect on soil inorganic nitrogen content. Therefore, a controlled-release nitrogen mixing treatment provided sufficient nitrogen for the key growth period of rapeseed. Under the condition of reducing the amount of nitrogen fertilizer by 25% based on the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied to conventional rapeseed, the application of controlled-release urea mixed with common nitrogen fertilizer mixed at a ratio of 30–50% can be an effective way to maintain grain yield levels and improve nitrogen utilization efficiency. Full article
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14 pages, 2635 KiB  
Article
Influence of Fertilization on Growth and Lead Content of Pepper under Lead Stress
by Bingkun Yu, Dongying Xu, Yang Li and Wenquan Wang
Plants 2023, 12(16), 2960; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12162960 - 16 Aug 2023
Viewed by 963
Abstract
To investigate the effect of fertilization on Pb content in vegetables, pepper was planted in L1645 (the 5 influencing factors are fertilizers (N, P, K), organic fertilizers (sheep manure) and Pb2+; the 4 levels are blank, low, medium [...] Read more.
To investigate the effect of fertilization on Pb content in vegetables, pepper was planted in L1645 (the 5 influencing factors are fertilizers (N, P, K), organic fertilizers (sheep manure) and Pb2+; the 4 levels are blank, low, medium and high; a total of 16 treatments) pot orthogonal experiment. The effects of fertilizers on the growth and Pb content in various parts of pepper under Pb stress were analyzed. The results showed that: (1) The Pb content in pepper fruit ranged from 0.011 mg·kg−1 to 0.085 mg·kg−1, which did not exceed the limit value (0.1 mg·kg−1) in the National Standard for Food Safety-Limit of Contaminants in Food (GB2762-2017); (2) The effect order of fertilization on pepper fruit weight was P2O5 > sheep manure > N > K2O; The horizontal combination of factors that promoted the maximum fruit weight of pepper was N (0.15 g·kg−1), P2O5 (0.225 g·kg−1), K2O (0.15 g·kg−1) and sheep manure (9 g·kg−1); (3) The order of fertilizer effects on Pb content in pepper fruit was Pb2+ > K2O > N = sheep manure > P2O5; the factor level combination that resulted in the maximum Pb content in pepper fruits was N (0.15 g·kg−1), P2O5 (0 g·kg−1), K2O (0.45 g·kg−1), sheep manure (6 g·kg−1) and Pb2+ (350 mg·kg−1); (4) Based on the soil fertility characteristics of Urumqi, the recommended optimal fertilizer application rate was: high phosphorus fertilizer P2O5 (495 kg·hm−2), low-level potassium fertilizer K2O (330 kg·hm−2), medium-level nitrogen fertilizer N (660 kg·hm−2) (or low-level nitrogen fertilizer N (330 kg·hm−2) + high-level organic manure sheep manure (19,800 kg·hm−2), which can achieve high yield while ensuring that the Pb content in the fruits does not exceed the standard. Strengthening control of effective and reasonable fertilization methods in Urumqi agricultural land is helpful to reduce the Pb content in vegetables. Full article
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17 pages, 2105 KiB  
Article
Nanobiochar and Copper Oxide Nanoparticles Mixture Synergistically Increases Soil Nutrient Availability and Improves Wheat Production
by Muhammad Imtiaz Rashid, Ghulam Abbas Shah, Maqsood Sadiq, Noor ul Amin, Arshid Mahmood Ali, Gabrijel Ondrasek and Khurram Shahzad
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061312 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2856
Abstract
Recently, nanomaterials have received considerable attention in the agricultural sector, due to their distinctive characteristics such as small size, high surface area to volume ratio, and charged surface. These properties allow nanomaterials to be utilized as nanofertilizers, that can improve crop nutrient management [...] Read more.
Recently, nanomaterials have received considerable attention in the agricultural sector, due to their distinctive characteristics such as small size, high surface area to volume ratio, and charged surface. These properties allow nanomaterials to be utilized as nanofertilizers, that can improve crop nutrient management and reduce environmental nutrient losses. However, after soil application, metallic nanoparticles have been shown to be toxic to soil biota and their associated ecosystem services. The organic nature of nanobiochar (nanoB) may help to overcome this toxicity while maintaining all the beneficial effects of nanomaterials. We aimed to synthesize nanoB from goat manure and utilize it with CuO nanoparticles (nanoCu) to influence soil microbes, nutrient content, and wheat productivity. An X-ray diffractogram (XRD) confirmed nanoB synthesis (crystal size = 20 nm). The XRD spectrum showed a distinct carbon peak at 2θ = 42.9°. Fourier-transform spectroscopy of nanoB’s surface indicated the presence of C=O, C≡N–R, and C=C bonds, and other functional groups. The electron microscopic micrographs of nanoB showed cubical, pentagonal, needle, and spherical shapes. NanoB and nanoCu were applied alone and as a mixture at the rate of 1000 mg kg−1 soil, to pots where wheat crop was grown. NanoCu did not influence any soil or plant parameters except soil Cu content and plant Cu uptake. The soil and wheat Cu content in the nanoCu treatment were 146 and 91% higher, respectively, than in the control. NanoB increased microbial biomass N, mineral N, and plant available P by 57, 28, and 64%, respectively, compared to the control. The mixture of nanoB and nanoCu further increased these parameters, by 61, 18, and 38%, compared to nanoB or nanoCu alone. Consequently, wheat biological, grain yields, and N uptake were 35, 62 and 80% higher in the nanoB+nanoCu treatment compared to the control. NanoB further increased wheat Cu uptake by 37% in the nanoB+nanoCu treatment compared to the nanoCu alone. Hence, nanoB alone, or in a mixture with nanoCu, enhanced soil microbial activity, nutrient content, and wheat production. NanoB also increased wheat Cu uptake when mixed with nanoCu, a micronutrient essential for seed and chlorophyll production. Therefore, a mixture of nanobiochar and nanoCu would be recommended to farmers for improving their clayey loam soil quality and increasing Cu uptake and crop productivity in such agroecosystems. Full article
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19 pages, 3282 KiB  
Article
Nitric Oxide and Proline Modulate Redox Homeostasis and Photosynthetic Metabolism in Wheat Plants under High Temperature Stress Acclimation
by Zebus Sehar, Iqbal R. Mir, Sheen Khan, Asim Masood and Nafees A. Khan
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061256 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1723
Abstract
The effects of exogenously-sourced NO (nitric oxide, as 100 µM SNP) and proline (50 mM) in the protection of the photosynthetic performance of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants against heat stress were investigated. The study focused on the mechanisms of proline accumulation, [...] Read more.
The effects of exogenously-sourced NO (nitric oxide, as 100 µM SNP) and proline (50 mM) in the protection of the photosynthetic performance of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants against heat stress were investigated. The study focused on the mechanisms of proline accumulation, activity, gene expression of antioxidant enzymes, and NO generation. Plants were exposed to a temperature of 40 °C for 6 h per day over 15 days, then allowed to recover at 28 °C. Heat-stressed plants showed increased oxidative stress, with higher levels of H2O2 and TBARS (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) and increased proline accumulation, ACS activity, ethylene evolution, and NO generation, which in turn leads to increased accumulation of antioxidant enzymes and reduced photosynthetic attributes. In the tested wheat cultivar, the exogenous application of SNP and proline under heat stress improved the photosynthesis and reduced oxidative stress by enhancing the enzymatic antioxidant defense system. Potentially, the promoter AOX (alternative oxidase) played a role in maintaining redox homeostasis by lowering H2O2 and TBARS levels. The genes for GR antioxidant and photosystem II core protein encoding psbA and psbB were highly up-regulated in nitric oxide and proline treated heat-stressed plants, indicating that ethylene positively impacted photosynthesis under high temperature stress. Moreover, nitric oxide supplementation under high temperature stress optimized ethylene levels to regulate the assimilation and metabolism of proline and the antioxidant system, lowering the adverse effects. The study showed that nitric oxide and proline increased high temperature stress tolerance in wheat by increasing the osmolytes accumulation and the antioxidant system, resulting in enhanced photosynthesis. Full article
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28 pages, 4583 KiB  
Article
Combined Impact of Irrigation, Potassium Fertilizer, and Thinning Treatments on Yield, Skin Separation, and Physicochemical Properties of Date Palm Fruits
by Hesham S. Ghazzawy, Nashi Alqahtani, Muhammad Munir, Naser S. Alghanim and Maged Mohammed
Plants 2023, 12(5), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12051003 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2834
Abstract
Orchard cultural practices, i.e., irrigation, fertilizer, and fruit thinning, are crucially encompassed to enhance fruit yield and quality. Appropriate irrigation and fertilizer inputs improve plant growth and fruit quality, but their overuse leads to the degradation of the ecosystem and water quality, and [...] Read more.
Orchard cultural practices, i.e., irrigation, fertilizer, and fruit thinning, are crucially encompassed to enhance fruit yield and quality. Appropriate irrigation and fertilizer inputs improve plant growth and fruit quality, but their overuse leads to the degradation of the ecosystem and water quality, and other biological concerns. Potassium fertilizer improves fruit sugar and flavor and accelerates fruit ripening. Bunch thinning also significantly reduces the crop burden and improves the physicochemical characteristics of the fruit. Therefore, the present study aims to appraise the combined impact of irrigation, sulfate of potash (SOP) fertilizer, and fruit bunch thinning practices on fruit yield and quality of date palm cv. Sukary under the agro-climatic condition of the Al-Qassim (Buraydah) region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To achieve these objectives, four irrigation levels (80, 100, 120, and 140% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), three SOP fertilizer doses (2.5, 5, and 7.5 kg palm−1), and three fruit bunch thinning levels (8, 10, and 12 bunches palm−1) were applied. The effects of these factors were determined on fruit bunch traits, physicochemical fruit characteristics, fruit texture profile, fruit color parameters, fruit skin separation disorder, fruit grading, and yield attributes. The findings of the present study showed that the lowest (80% ETc) and highest (140% ETc) irrigation water levels, lowest SOP fertilizer dose (2.5 kg palm−1), and retaining the highest number of fruit bunch per tree (12 bunches) had a negative effect on most yield and quality attributes of date palm cv. Sukary. However, maintaining the date palm water requirement at 100 and 120% ETc, applying SOP fertilizer doses at 5 and 7.5 kg palm−1, and retaining 8–10 fruit bunches per palm had significantly positive effects on the fruit yield and quality characteristics. Therefore, it is concluded that applying 100% ETc irrigation water combined with a 5 kg palm−1 SOP fertilizer dose and maintaining 8–10 fruit bunches per palm is more equitable than other treatment combinations. Full article
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19 pages, 3203 KiB  
Article
Co-Inoculation of Endophytes Bacillus siamensis TUR07-02b and Priestia megaterium SMBH14-02 Promotes Growth in Rice with Low Doses of Nitrogen Fertilizer
by Winston Franz Rios-Ruiz, Ciceron Tuanama-Reátegui, Gamaniel Huamán-Córdova and Renzo Alfredo Valdez-Nuñez
Plants 2023, 12(3), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12030524 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2448
Abstract
Multiple biotic and abiotic factors influence rice cultivation. These factors limit productivity and yield, as well as an irrational use of agrochemicals in rice cultivation. A sustainable alternative is using selected growth-promoting microorganisms to increase nutritional efficiency. In the present study, the direct [...] Read more.
Multiple biotic and abiotic factors influence rice cultivation. These factors limit productivity and yield, as well as an irrational use of agrochemicals in rice cultivation. A sustainable alternative is using selected growth-promoting microorganisms to increase nutritional efficiency. In the present study, the direct mechanisms of growth promotion in two strains of Bacillus, three strains of Priestia, and two strains of Burkholderia endophytes of rice were characterized. Bacillus siamensis TUR07-02b and Priestia megaterium SMBH14-02 were selected to promote Oryza sativa var’s growth. “Bellavista” was used at different doses (50, 75, and 100%) of mineral nitrogen (N) using a randomized block design by quintuplicate. Both strains, SMBH14-02 and TUR07-02b, presented outstanding promoter characteristics, including auxin production (123.17 and 335.65 μg mL−1, respectively) and biological nitrogen fixation capacity. Similarly, B. siamensis TUR07-02b could solubilize phosphate-Ca (20.94 μg mL−1), cellulases, and pectinases. Under greenhouse conditions, co-inoculated plants receiving 75% of the total dose of mineral nitrogen showed increased agronomic parameters in relation to panicle length, grains per panicle, grain yield, and harvest index by 25.0, 30.7, 39.5, and 12.5%, respectively, compared to the 75% fertilized treatment without inoculation. The strains of B. siamensis TUR07-02b and P. megaterium SMBH14-02 are potential microbial resources in the formulation of new inoculants to reduce the use of nitrogenous fertilizers. Thus, agronomic validation of the inoculant consortium at the field level will be an essential step in providing an alternative for the sustainable management of rice cultivation and increased productivity of rice farmers in the San Martín region. Full article
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13 pages, 1825 KiB  
Article
Kin and Non-Kin Connected Plants Benefit More Than Disconnected Kin and Non-Kin Plants under Nutrient-Competitive Environments
by Jan Sher, Farkhanda Bibi, Gul Jan, Kyle W. Tomlinson, Asma Ayaz and Wajid Zaman
Plants 2023, 12(3), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12030487 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
In the natural environment, plants grow and interact with both conspecific and heterospecific neighbours under different environmental conditions. In this study, we tested whether Chenopodium quinoa Willd genotypes differ in growth performance when grown with kin and non-kin under nutrient limitation in pot [...] Read more.
In the natural environment, plants grow and interact with both conspecific and heterospecific neighbours under different environmental conditions. In this study, we tested whether Chenopodium quinoa Willd genotypes differ in growth performance when grown with kin and non-kin under nutrient limitation in pot partitioning treatments. Biomass accumulation, allocation, organ efficiency, and specific leaf area were measured at the end of the experiment. Response variables were differentially impacted by kinship, fertility, and barrier. Total dry mass, shoot dry mass, and root and stem allocation were greater for plants grown with kin in connected pots than with non-kin in connected pots across the nutrient treatments. Kin connected and disconnected plants had a greater specific root length, specific stem length, and average leaf mass than non-kin connected and disconnected plants. Non-kin connected and disconnected plants had greater LAR and SLA than kin connected and disconnected plants under low- and high-nutrient treatments. Plants always grew better in the presence of their kin than non-kin. These results conclude that quinoa plant production benefits from planting closely related individuals under both high- and low-nutrient conditions. Full article
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21 pages, 590 KiB  
Article
Biochar Stimulated Actual Evapotranspiration and Wheat Productivity under Water Deficit Conditions in Sandy Soil Based on Non-Weighing Lysimeter
by Kholoud Z. Ghanem, Mostafa M. A. Hasham, Abdel-Nasser A. El-Sheshtawy, Rasha S. El-Serafy and Mohamed H. Sheta
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3346; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233346 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1558
Abstract
The major climate-related hazard to worldwide agricultural productivity is drought, which is becoming more common because of ongoing climate change, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions. Herein, we investigated the influence of biochar soil application at 0, (B1), 7.5 ha−1 (B2), [...] Read more.
The major climate-related hazard to worldwide agricultural productivity is drought, which is becoming more common because of ongoing climate change, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions. Herein, we investigated the influence of biochar soil application at 0, (B1), 7.5 ha−1 (B2), and 15 t ha−1 (B3) on the productivity and drought-tolerance indices of wheat (Triticum aestivum L., cv. Sakha 93) grown in sandy soil under irrigation levels of 100 (I1), 80 (I2), and 60% (I3) of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), as well as soil properties based on non-weighing lysimeter units. Increasing water deficiency significantly decreased the actual evapotranspiration (ETa) values. A growing biochar rate caused a significant increase in ETa values, water use efficiency, and wheat productivity compared to the untreated control. Additionally, biochar supplementation revealed an improvement in soil quality as measured by the reduction in the bulk density and hydraulic conductivity with an increase in the total porosity and void ratio of the experimental soil. The correlation analysis exhibited a highly significant and positive correlation (0.98 **) between biological yield and grain yield traits. Therefore, it may be stated that these traits are the most significant components of the evaluated grain yield in wheat plants. The productivity of I1 plants was not significantly different and slightly higher than that of I2 plants. Therefore, it can be recommended that exposed wheat plants cultivated in sandy soil with I2 × B3 treatment significantly provide the highest yield while saving 20% of the irrigation water. Full article
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24 pages, 4346 KiB  
Article
Soil Treatment with Nitric Oxide-Releasing Chitosan Nanoparticles Protects the Root System and Promotes the Growth of Soybean Plants under Copper Stress
by Diego G. Gomes, Tatiane V. Debiasi, Milena T. Pelegrino, Rodrigo M. Pereira, Gabrijel Ondrasek, Bruno L. Batista, Amedea B. Seabra and Halley C. Oliveira
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3245; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233245 - 26 Nov 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1750
Abstract
The nanoencapsulation of nitric oxide (NO) donors is an attractive technique to protect these molecules from rapid degradation, expanding, and enabling their use in agriculture. Here, we evaluated the effect of the soil application of chitosan nanoparticles containing S-nitroso-MSA (a S-nitrosothiol) on the [...] Read more.
The nanoencapsulation of nitric oxide (NO) donors is an attractive technique to protect these molecules from rapid degradation, expanding, and enabling their use in agriculture. Here, we evaluated the effect of the soil application of chitosan nanoparticles containing S-nitroso-MSA (a S-nitrosothiol) on the protection of soybeans (Glycine max cv. BRS 257) against copper (Cu) stress. Soybeans were grown in a greenhouse in soil supplemented with 164 and 244 mg kg−1 Cu and treated with a free or nanoencapsulated NO donor at 1 mM, as well as with nanoparticles without NO. There were also soybean plants treated with distilled water and maintained in soil without Cu addition (control), and with Cu addition (water). The exogenous application of the nanoencapsulated and free S-nitroso-MSA improved the growth and promoted the maintenance of the photosynthetic activity in Cu-stressed plants. However, only the nanoencapsulated S-nitroso-MSA increased the bioavailability of NO in the roots, providing a more significant induction of the antioxidant activity, the attenuation of oxidative damage, and a greater capacity to mitigate the root nutritional imbalance triggered by Cu stress. The results suggest that the nanoencapsulation of the NO donors enables a more efficient delivery of NO for the protection of soybean plants under Cu stress. Full article
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15 pages, 1761 KiB  
Article
Trehalose-Induced Regulations in Nutrient Status and Secondary Metabolites of Drought-Stressed Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Plants
by Firdos Kosar, Khalid S. Alshallash, Nudrat Aisha Akram, Muhammad Sadiq, Muhammad Ashraf, Dalal Hussien M. Alkhalifah, Arafat Abdel Hamed Abdel Latef and Amr Elkelish
Plants 2022, 11(20), 2780; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11202780 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Trehalose regulates key physio-biochemical parameters, antioxidants, and the yield of plants exposed to a dry environment. A study was conducted to assess the regulatory roles of exogenously applied trehalose in drought-stressed sunflower plants. Two cultivars of sunflowers (Hysun 33 and FH 598) were [...] Read more.
Trehalose regulates key physio-biochemical parameters, antioxidants, and the yield of plants exposed to a dry environment. A study was conducted to assess the regulatory roles of exogenously applied trehalose in drought-stressed sunflower plants. Two cultivars of sunflowers (Hysun 33 and FH 598) were subjected to drought stress (60% field capacity) and varying (0, 10, 20, and 30 mM) concentrations of trehalose. The data indicated that water stress significantly reduced the shoot length, root length, total soluble proteins, shoot Ca2+, root P, relative water content (RWC), and achene yield per plant. The foliar spray of trehalose was effective at improving plant growth, RWC, total soluble proteins, total soluble sugars, the activities of enzymatic antioxidants, Ca2+ (shoot and root), root K+, and the yield attributes. Exogenously supplemented trehalose considerably suppressed relative membrane permeability (RMP), but did not alter ascorbic acid, malondialdehyde, the total phenolics, shoot K+, or P (shoot and root) in both sunflower cultivars. The cv. Hysun 33 had better ascorbic acid, total soluble sugars, non-reducing sugars, shoot P, and root P than the other cultivar, whereas cv. FH 598 was relatively better at regulating RMP, malondialdehyde, peroxidase, and root Ca2+ concentration. Overall, exogenously supplemented trehalose, particularly at 10 mM, was effective at improving the physiochemical parameters and yield of sunflower plants under stress conditions. Therefore, a better performance of sunflower cv. Hysun 33 under drought stress can be suggested as a trehalose-induced enhancement of yield and oxidative defense potential. Full article
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16 pages, 2409 KiB  
Article
Role of Signaling Molecules Sodium Nitroprusside and Arginine in Alleviating Salt-Induced Oxidative Stress in Wheat
by Marwa M. Ragaey, Mervat Shamoon Sadak, Mona F. A. Dawood, Nermin H. S. Mousa, Rania Samy Hanafy and Arafat Abdel Hamed Abdel Latef
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1786; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141786 - 6 Jul 2022
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 2665
Abstract
Nitric oxide (NO) is a well-accepted signaling molecule that has regulatory effects on plants under various stresses. Salinity is a major issue that adversely affects plant growth and productivity. The current study was carried out to investigate changes in the growth, biochemical parameters, [...] Read more.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a well-accepted signaling molecule that has regulatory effects on plants under various stresses. Salinity is a major issue that adversely affects plant growth and productivity. The current study was carried out to investigate changes in the growth, biochemical parameters, and yield of wheat plants in response to NO donors, namely sodium nitroprusside (SNP) (2.5 and 5.0 mM) and arginine (10 and 20 mM), under two salinity levels (1.2 mM and 85.5 mM NaCl). Salinity stress significantly decreased the lengths and weights of plant parts (shoot, tiller, and root) and reduced the flag leaf area, photosynthetic pigments, indole acetic acid (IAA), and yield and its components. Moreover, salt stress induced a significant accumulation of some osmoprotectants (total soluble sugars (TSS) and amino acids, especially proline) and triggered the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and lipid peroxidation in wheat leaves. In contrast, arginine and SNP treatments significantly mitigated the negative impacts of salinity on growth and productivity via enhancing photosynthetic pigments, nitrate reductase, phenolic compounds, IAA, TSS, free amino acids, and proline. In addition, SNP and arginine potentially reduced oxidative damage by decreasing H2O2 and lipid peroxidation through the induction of antioxidant enzymes. The individual amino acid composition of wheat grains under the interactive effect of salinity and NO sources has been scarcely documented until now. In this study, the NO sources restrained the reduction in essential amino acids (isoleucine and lysine) of wheat grains under salinity stress and further stimulated the contents of non-essential and total aromatic amino acids. Interestingly, the applied protectants recovered the decrease in arginine and serine induced by salinity stress. Thus, SNP or arginine at the levels of 5.0 and 20 mM, respectively, had a profound effect on modulating the salt stress of wheat throughout the life cycle. Full article
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21 pages, 4205 KiB  
Article
Biochemical Characterization of Halotolerant Bacillus safensis PM22 and Its Potential to Enhance Growth of Maize under Salinity Stress
by Muhammad Atif Azeem, Fahim Hussain Shah, Abid Ullah, Kishwar Ali, David Aaron Jones, Muhammad Ezaz Hasan Khan and Azad Ashraf
Plants 2022, 11(13), 1721; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11131721 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2863
Abstract
Salinity stress is one of the primary abiotic stresses limiting crop growth and yield. Plants respond to salinity stress with several morphophysiological, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms, however, these mechanisms need to be improved further to cope with salt stress effectively. In this regard, [...] Read more.
Salinity stress is one of the primary abiotic stresses limiting crop growth and yield. Plants respond to salinity stress with several morphophysiological, molecular, and biochemical mechanisms, however, these mechanisms need to be improved further to cope with salt stress effectively. In this regard, the use of plant growth-promoting (PGP) and halotolerant bacteria is thought to be very efficient for enhancing growth and salinity tolerance in plants. The current study aims to assess Bacillus safensis PM22 for its ability to promote plant growth and resistance to salt. The PM22 produced substantial amounts of exopolysaccharides, indole-3-acetic acid, siderophore, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase (ACC-deaminase) under saline conditions. Additionally, inoculation of the halotolerant bacteria PM22 reduced the severity of salinity stress in plants and increased root and shoot length at various salt concentrations (0, 180, 240, and 300 mM). Furthermore, PM22-inoculated plants showed markedly enhanced photosynthetic pigment, carotenoid, leaf relative water content, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity, salt tolerance index, total soluble sugar, total protein, and ascorbic acid contents compared to non-inoculated control maize plants. PM22 substantially increased antioxidant (enzymatic and non-enzymatic) activities in maize plants, including ascorbate peroxidase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, total flavonoid, and phenol levels. Maize plants inoculated with PM22 also exhibited a significant reduction in electrolyte leakage, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, glycine betaine, and proline contents compared to non-inoculated control plants. These physiological appearances were further validated by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), which revealed the upregulation of expression in genes responsible for stress tolerance. In the current investigation, Bacillus safensis PM22 showed plant growth-promoting and salt tolerance attributes and can be utilized as a bio-inoculant to improve yield in salt stress affected areas. Full article
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11 pages, 11167 KiB  
Article
Calcium-Rich Biochar Stimulates Salt Resistance in Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) Plants by Improving Soil Quality and Enhancing the Antioxidant Defense
by Kamal A. M. Abo-Elyousr, Magdi A. A. Mousa, Omer H. M. Ibrahim, Nouf Owdah Alshareef and Mamdouh A. Eissa
Plants 2022, 11(10), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11101301 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
Shrimp waste is rich in organic compounds and essential plant nutrients, e.g., calcium (Ca), and converting these wastes to organic fertilizer is important for environmental preservation and to achieve sustainable agricultural management. In the current study, Ca-rich biochar was prepared from shrimp wastes [...] Read more.
Shrimp waste is rich in organic compounds and essential plant nutrients, e.g., calcium (Ca), and converting these wastes to organic fertilizer is important for environmental preservation and to achieve sustainable agricultural management. In the current study, Ca-rich biochar was prepared from shrimp wastes (SWB) by pyrolysis at 300 °C. We hypothesized that the Ca-rich biochar will help in solving the problem of plant growth in saline soil by reducing sodium (Na) uptake and mitigating oxidative stress. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of SWB on the quality of saline sandy soil and the mechanism of salt resistance in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.). Pearl millet plants were planted in saline sandy soil (10 dS m−1) in wooden boxes (1.3 × 0.8 m size and 0.4 m height), and 5 doses (0, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5% (w/w)) of SWB were added. SWB application increased the soil quality and nutrient uptake by pearl millet plants. The highest rate of SWB increased the soil microbial biomass carbon and the activity of dehydrogenase enzyme by 43 and 47% compared to the control soil. SWB application reduced the uptake of sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl) and increased the K/Na ratio in the leaf tissues. SWB addition significantly increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes, e.g., ascorbate peroxidase (APX), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), and pyrogallol peroxidases (PPX). The application of 2.5% SWB to the saline soil increased the soluble carbohydrates and proline in plant leaves by 75 and 60%, respectively, and reduced the malondialdehyde (MDA) by 32% compared to the control. SWB enhanced the antioxidant defense and mitigated oxidative stress by improving the synthesis of osmoprotectants, e.g., soluble carbohydrates and proline. Sandy saline soils in arid and semiarid areas suffer greatly from low organic matter contents, which reduces the soil quality and increases the risk of salt during plant growth. The high organic matter and calcium content (30%) in the shrimp waste-derived biochar improved the quality of the saline sandy soil, reduced the uptake of toxic salts, and increased the quality of the forage material. The addition of recycled shrimp waste to saline low-fertility soils improves soil productivity and is safe for soil health. Full article
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18 pages, 1658 KiB  
Article
Nutrients Uptake and Accumulation in Plant Parts of Fragrant Rosa Species Irrigated with Treated and Untreated Wastewater
by Muhammad Ahsan, Muhammad Nafees, Muhammad Amin, Fahim Nawaz, Aasma Tufail, Hasan Sardar, Shadi Shokralla, Eman A. Mahmoud, Ahmed M. El-Sabrout and Hosam O. Elansary
Plants 2022, 11(9), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11091260 - 6 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2099
Abstract
Water scarcity has critically augmented the need for the exploration of alternative irrigation sources mainly in water-scarce regions. This water scarcity has put tremendous pressure on the agri-based economy of countries such as Pakistan. The reuse of sewage wastewater has been appearing as [...] Read more.
Water scarcity has critically augmented the need for the exploration of alternative irrigation sources mainly in water-scarce regions. This water scarcity has put tremendous pressure on the agri-based economy of countries such as Pakistan. The reuse of sewage wastewater has been appearing as the only alternative water source, which can lessen our dependence upon freshwater (FW). The current study aimed to scrutinize the influence of treated wastewater (TWW) and untreated wastewater (UTWW) irrigation on the nutrient (N, P, K, Ca, and Na) concentration in different plant parts, i.e., roots, stems, leaves, and flowers, of four scented Rosa species (R. bourboniana, R. centifolia, R. Gruss-an-telpitz, and R. damascena) during the first week of 2018 to the last week of 2019. The experiment was arranged according to the two-factor factorial arrangement i.e., factor I was the irrigation source, while factor II was the Rosa species. The experimental water analysis showed that mineral and chemical concentrations in FW and TWW were within permissible limits of national environmental quality standards (NEQSs) for wastewater. The UTWW of this study possessed a higher electrical conductivity (EC), chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), total nitrogen (TN), and metals (Cd, Co, and Pb) than recommended levels. The results revealed that P, K, Ca, and Na contents significantly increased in all studied plant parts of Rosa species as the duration of irrigation with TWW and UTWW increased and vice versa in the case of N contents, while the ratio of N content elevation by applying TWW and UTWW were also not increased compared to other studied nutrients. The nutrients (except Ca) were found as maximum in all plant parts with UTWW compared to FW and TWW irrigation in roses. These stimulations were accredited to the presence of higher essential nutrients and some metals in UTWW. This experiment confirmed the disparities in nutrient contents of scented Rosa species due to the different absorbability of each element in every plant part. Regarding the nutrient accumulation in rose plant tissues, the results of the present study confirm that untreated wastewater must be treated to some extent to grow scented roses where water is scarce. Full article
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16 pages, 3413 KiB  
Article
Nutrient Concentrations Induced Abiotic Stresses to Sweet Pepper Seedlings in Hydroponic Culture
by Xiaotao Ding, Hongmei Zhang, Tingting Qian, Lizhong He, Haijun Jin, Qiang Zhou and Jizhu Yu
Plants 2022, 11(8), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11081098 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2776
Abstract
The primary goal of this experiment was to investigate the effects of nutrient electrical conductivity (EC) on the growth and physiological responses of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in hydroponic culture in a greenhouse. The plant growth parameters, leaf photosynthesis, root activity, [...] Read more.
The primary goal of this experiment was to investigate the effects of nutrient electrical conductivity (EC) on the growth and physiological responses of sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in hydroponic culture in a greenhouse. The plant growth parameters, leaf photosynthesis, root activity, soluble protein, malondialdehyde (MDA), proline, activities of antioxidant enzymes (AE), and the contents of plant mineral elements (PME) were measured in six different EC treatments. The results showed that very high or low EC treatments clearly decreased the plant height, stem diameter, shoot dry weight, and leaf net photosynthetic rate, while increasing the content of MDA and the activities of ascorbate peroxidase and guaiacol peroxidase. The contents of proline and soluble protein increased gradually from the low to high EC treatments. The root activities decreased significantly, and the main PME clearly did not increase or even decreased at high EC levels. Very high EC treatments suppressed growth even more than those of very low EC. Treatments that were too low or high EC suppressed plant growth, owing to abiotic stress (either nutrient deficiency or salinity), since the plants had to regulate the activities of AE and increase the accumulation of osmolytes to adjust to the abiotic stresses. Full article
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17 pages, 21128 KiB  
Article
Metabolite Profiles Provide Insights into Underlying Mechanism in Bupleurum (Apiaceae) in Response to Three Levels of Phosphorus Fertilization
by Jialin Sun, Zejia Duan, Ye Zhang, Sisi Cao, Zhonghua Tang and Ann Abozeid
Plants 2022, 11(6), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060752 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2365
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) deficiency affects plant yield and quality, yet at the same time, excessive phosphorus application does not necessarily promote the growth of plants. How to maintain a balance between biomass accumulation and phosphorus application is a problem. Therefore, the purpose of this [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) deficiency affects plant yield and quality, yet at the same time, excessive phosphorus application does not necessarily promote the growth of plants. How to maintain a balance between biomass accumulation and phosphorus application is a problem. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to explore the relationship between yield and quality of Bupleurum and phosphorus fertilization, based on three phosphorus fertilization levels (20 kg∙ha−1; 10 kg∙ha−1; and 0 kg∙ha−1). We adopted gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to assess the response of primary metabolites of different plant tissues (flowers, main shoots, lateral shoots and roots) to phosphorus fertilization. At the same time, high-performance liquid chromatography was used to quantify saikosaponin A and saikosaponin D, the main active ingredients of Bupleurum. Our research showed that low phosphorus level application has a positive impact on the yield and quality of Bupleurum, especially the above-ground parts increasing the fresh weight of flowers and lateral shoots and the length of main shoots, and moreover, increasing the saikosaponins content in all above-ground parts while decreasing the content in roots which show no significance increase in fresh weight and length. However, high phosphorus level showed a negative impact as it decreases the saikosaponins content significantly in flowers and roots. Furthermore, phosphorus application changed the proportion of saikosaponins, promoting the content of saikosaponin A and inhibiting the content of saikosaponin D in most organs of Bupleurum. Therefore, we can say that high phosphorus application is not preferable to the yield and quality of Bupleurum. To identify the metabolic pathways and special key metabolites, a total of 73 metabolites were discovered, and four differential metabolites—ether, glycerol, chlorogenic and L-rhamnose—were considered to be the key metabolites of Bupleurum’s response to phosphorus fertilization. Furthermore, Bupleurum’s response to phosphorus fertilization was mainly related to metabolic pathways, such as starch and sucrose metabolism and galactose metabolism. Under the phosphorus level, the content of sugars, organic acids and their derivatives, polyols and their derivatives and alkyl were upregulated in flowers. Furthermore, the contents of compounds in the main shoot and lateral shoots showed the same upward trend, except glycosides and polyols and their derivatives. Full article
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18 pages, 1826 KiB  
Article
Bioactive Compounds and Antifungal Activity of Leaves and Fruits Methanolic Extracts of Ziziphus spina-christi L.
by Amany A. El-Shahir, Deiaa A. El-Wakil, Arafat Abdel Hamed Abdel Latef and Nora H. Youssef
Plants 2022, 11(6), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060746 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4818
Abstract
Zizyphus spina-christi L. has antimicrobial properties because of the presence of biologically active compounds. Alternaria is an opportunistic pathogen that causes leaf spots, rots, and blights on a variety of plant parts. This study aimed to reduce the usage of synthetically derived fungicides. [...] Read more.
Zizyphus spina-christi L. has antimicrobial properties because of the presence of biologically active compounds. Alternaria is an opportunistic pathogen that causes leaf spots, rots, and blights on a variety of plant parts. This study aimed to reduce the usage of synthetically derived fungicides. Identification of the bioactive components present in leaves and fruits methanolic extracts of Z. spina-christi was performed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The efficacy of the two methanol extracts was tested against (a) in vitro fungal growth and (b) pathogenicity control on non-wounded and wounded tomato fruits. The results revealed that gallic acid and ellagic acid were the major components in leaves extract while quercetin was the major component in fruits extract. In addition, Phenol, 2,5-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl) (40.24%) and Decane, 2-methyl-(18.53%) were the most abundant components in the leaf extract, and the presence of D-mannonic acid, 2,3,5,6-tetrakis-o-(trimethylsilyl), and γ-lactone (22.72%) were major components in fruits extract. The methanolic extracts of Z. spina-christi leaves and fruits demonstrated significant antifungal activity against the growth of Alternaria alternata, A. citri, and A. radicina with variable inhibition percentages at different concentrations. Pathogenicity was increased when the skin was injured, as expected. Both extracts reduced the percentage of infected fruits. Full article
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22 pages, 3569 KiB  
Article
The Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizosphere Microbiome as Alternative Biofertilizer in Boosting Solanum melongena L. Adaptation to Salinity Stress
by Souhair Mokabel, Zakia Olama, Safaa Ali and Rehab El-Dakak
Plants 2022, 11(5), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050659 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3115
Abstract
Recent ecological perturbations are presumed to be minimized by the application of biofertilizers as a safe alternative to chemical fertilizers. The current study aims to use bioinoculum (I) as an alternative biofertilizer and to alleviate salinity stress in the cultivar Solanum melongena L. [...] Read more.
Recent ecological perturbations are presumed to be minimized by the application of biofertilizers as a safe alternative to chemical fertilizers. The current study aims to use bioinoculum (I) as an alternative biofertilizer and to alleviate salinity stress in the cultivar Solanum melongena L. Baldi. The salinity drench was 200 mM NaCl (S), which was used with different treatments (0; I; S; S + I) in pots prefilled with clay and sand (1:2). Results showed that salinity stress inhibited both plant fresh and dry weights, water content, and photosynthetic pigments. The content of root spermine (Spm), spermidine (Spd), and puterscine (Put) decreased. However, addition of the bioinoculum to salt-treated plants increased pigment content (80.35, 39.25, and 82.44% for chl a, chl b, and carotenoids, respectively). Similarly, K+, K+/Na+, Ca2+, P, and N contents were significantly enhanced. Increases were recorded for Spm + Spd and Put in root and shoot (8.4-F, 1.6-F and 2.04-F, 2.13-F, respectively). RAPD PCR showed gene expression upregulation of photosystem II D2 protein, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase, protease I, and protease II. The current work recommends application of the selected bioinoculum as a green biofertilizer and biopesticide. Additionally, the studied eggplant cultivar can be regarded as a source of salt tolerance genes in agricultural fields. Full article
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11 pages, 1227 KiB  
Article
Boron, Manganese, and Zinc Sorption and Leaf Uptake on Citrus Cultivated on a Sandy Soil
by Qudus O. Uthman, Davie M. Kadyampakeni, Peter Nkedi-Kizza, Samuel Kwakye and Neriman Tuba Barlas
Plants 2022, 11(5), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050638 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Solute fate in soil-plant continuum could either be soil or leaf uptake or leaching beyond the rooting zone. An adsorption coefficient (KD) is an important chemical property to describe the interaction between the solute and soil, affecting the solute movement in [...] Read more.
Solute fate in soil-plant continuum could either be soil or leaf uptake or leaching beyond the rooting zone. An adsorption coefficient (KD) is an important chemical property to describe the interaction between the solute and soil, affecting the solute movement in soils from one point to another. Boron (B), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) uptake are evident in the leaves as a constituent of photosynthesis and other plant body-building mechanisms for growth and development. This study investigates the availability of micronutrients (B, Mn, and Zn) to citrus trees through modified application methods and rates. Leaf samples were collected from experimental plots arranged in a randomized complete block design, with 4 micronutrient treatments: control, foliar ×1, foliar ×2, and soil ×1. Boron, Mn, and Zn rates were 1.12, 10.08, and 5.60 kg ha−1, respectively. Composite soil samples were randomly collected at 5 points, and a 1-point adsorption study was conducted in 4 soil depths at an increment of 15 cm from the soil surface. Adsorption coefficient (KD) for Mn and B was 22 and 3 times higher at 0–15 cm than at soil depth of 15–60 cm. The adsorption coefficient (KD) for Zn was 2.5 times greater at 0–15 cm than 15–30 cm soil depth, while there was little or no sorption at 30–60 cm. Leaf Mn and Zn concentrations showed that foliar spray was 2 times higher than the soil application method, while B showed that the soil application method was 2 times higher than foliar application method for 2 seasons sampling events. Thus, the behavior of B, Mn, and Zn in the soil via adsorption coefficient (KD) reflects the availability of B, Mn, and Zn in the citrus leaves. Full article
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15 pages, 1759 KiB  
Article
Impact of Safe Rock® Minerals, Mineral Fertilizers, and Manure on the Quantity and Quality of the Wheat Yield in the Rice–Wheat Cropping System
by Santosh Ranva, Yudh Vir Singh, Neelam Jain, Ram Swaroop Bana, Ramesh Chand Bana, Gajender K. Aseri, Raghavendra Madar, Shadi Shokralla, Eman A. Mahmoud, Ahmed M. El-Sabrout and Hosam O. Elansary
Plants 2022, 11(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020183 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
Rice–wheat (RW) rotation is the largest agriculture production system in South Asia with a multifaceted role in maintaining the livelihood of people. The customary practices and indiscriminate use of synthetic fertilizers have culminated in the decline of its productivity and profitability during the [...] Read more.
Rice–wheat (RW) rotation is the largest agriculture production system in South Asia with a multifaceted role in maintaining the livelihood of people. The customary practices and indiscriminate use of synthetic fertilizers have culminated in the decline of its productivity and profitability during the past two decades, thus affecting the sustainability of wheat. Safe Rock® Minerals (SRM) is a multi-nutrient rich natural rock mineral with great potential to manage soil degradation, reducing the input of fertilizers, improving soil fertility, and plant health. Thus, a field trial was conducted at the research farm of ICAR—Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi from 2016 to 2018 to evaluate the impact of Safe Rock® Minerals (SRM) on biometric parameters, productivity, quality, and nutrient uptake by conventional wheat and System of Wheat Intensification (SWI) in the wheat–rice cropping system. The results indicate that SWI performed better in terms of growth, yield, and quality parameters than conventional wheat. Among nutrient management practices; the highest growth, yield, and yield attributes of wheat were achieved with the use of SRM application 250 kg ha−1 + 100% Recommended Dose of Fertilizer (RDF). SRM application also increased grain protein content significantly. In conclusion, the integrated use of SRM with organic manures can serve as an eco-friendly approach for sustainable wheat production. Full article
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13 pages, 1412 KiB  
Article
Diversity and Plant Growth-Promoting Ability of Endophytic, Halotolerant Bacteria Associated with Tetragonia tetragonioides (Pall.) Kuntze
by Dilfuza Egamberdieva, Jakhongir Alimov, Vyacheslav Shurigin, Burak Alaylar, Stephan Wirth and Sonoko Dorothea Bellingrath-Kimura
Plants 2022, 11(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010049 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4211
Abstract
The diversity of salt-tolerant cultivable endophytic bacteria associated with the halophyte New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides (Pall.) Kuntze) was studied, and their plant beneficial properties were evaluated. The bacteria isolated from leaves and roots belonged to Agrobacterium, Stenotrophomonas, Bacillus, [...] Read more.
The diversity of salt-tolerant cultivable endophytic bacteria associated with the halophyte New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides (Pall.) Kuntze) was studied, and their plant beneficial properties were evaluated. The bacteria isolated from leaves and roots belonged to Agrobacterium, Stenotrophomonas, Bacillus, Brevibacterium, Pseudomonas, Streptomyces, Pseudarthrobacter, Raoultella, Curtobacterium, and Pantoea. Isolates exhibited plant growth-promoting traits, including the production of a phytohormone (indole 3-acetic-acid), cell wall degrading enzymes, and hydrogen cyanide production. Furthermore, antifungal activity against the plant pathogenic fungi Fusarium solani, F. oxysporum, and Verticillium dahliae was detected. Ten out of twenty bacterial isolates were able to synthesize ACC deaminase, which plays a vital role in decreasing ethylene levels in plants. Regardless of the origin of isolated bacteria, root or leaf tissue, they stimulated plant root and shoot growth under 200 mM NaCl conditions. Our study suggests that halophytes such as New Zealand spinach are a promising source for isolating halotolerant plant-beneficial bacteria, which can be considered as potentially efficient biofertilizers in the bioremediation of salt-affected soils. Full article
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14 pages, 657 KiB  
Article
Influence of Nitrogen Sources Applied by Fertigation to an Enriched Soil with Organic Compost on Growth, Mineral Nutrition, and Phytochemicals Content of Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) in Two Successive Harvests
by Rui M. A. Machado, Isabel Alves-Pereira, Yasmin Faty, Sara Perdigão and Rui Ferreira
Plants 2022, 11(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010022 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3208
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of nitrogen source applied by fertigation to an enriched soil with organic compost on plant growth, mineral nutrition, and phytochemical contents in two successive harvests in coriander. The treatments were as follows: [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of nitrogen source applied by fertigation to an enriched soil with organic compost on plant growth, mineral nutrition, and phytochemical contents in two successive harvests in coriander. The treatments were as follows: unfertilized soil, soil enriched with organic compost, and soil enriched with organic compost to which 60 kg N ha−1 as ammonium nitrate and as ammonium sulfate applied by fertigation were added. Ammonium nitrate addition allowed to obtain a high total fresh yield (3.6 kg m−2) with a low inorganic nitrogen input. Ammonium nitrate increased plant shoot dry weight; fresh yield; and shoot N, K, and Ca uptake in the first harvest. Ammonium nitrate relative to organic compost and to ammonium sulfate increased fresh yield by approximately 57 and 25%, respectively. However, ammonium sulfate in the first harvest greatly increased shoot total phenols, from 137 mgGAE/100 g FW in ammonium nitrate to 280.4 mgGAE/100 g FW. Coriander’s fresh yield, in the second harvest, was unaffected by nitrogen addition. However, ammonium nitrate increased shoot total phenols and FRAP activity. Overall, the shoot phytochemical accumulation in the second harvest was lower than in the first. The combined application of ammonium nitrate and organic compost is a strategy to reduce inorganic nitrogen application. Full article
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20 pages, 3444 KiB  
Article
Biosafe Management of Botrytis Grey Mold of Strawberry Fruit by Novel Bioagents
by Elhagag A. Hassan, Yasser S. Mostafa, Saad Alamri, Mohamed Hashem and Nivien A. Nafady
Plants 2021, 10(12), 2737; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10122737 - 12 Dec 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 6666
Abstract
Recently, there have been urgent economic and scientific demands to decrease the use of chemical fungicides during the treatment of phytopathogens, due to their human health and environmental impacts. This study explored the biocontrol efficacy of novel and eco-friendly preen (uropygial) oil and [...] Read more.
Recently, there have been urgent economic and scientific demands to decrease the use of chemical fungicides during the treatment of phytopathogens, due to their human health and environmental impacts. This study explored the biocontrol efficacy of novel and eco-friendly preen (uropygial) oil and endophytic Bacillus safensis in managing postharvest Botrytis grey mold in strawberry fruit. The preen oil (25 μL/mL) showed high antifungal activity against B. cinerea Str5 in terms of the reduction in the fungal radial growth (41.3%) and the fungal colony-forming units (28.6%) compared to the control. A new strain of Bacillus safensis B3 had a good potential to produce chitinase enzymes (3.69 ± 0.31 U/mL), hydrolytic lipase (10.65 ± 0.51 U/mL), and protease enzymes (13.28 ± 0.65 U/mL), which are responsible for the hydrolysis of the B. cinerea Str5 cell wall and, consequently, restrict fungal growth. The in vivo experiment on strawberry fruit showed that preen (uropygial) oil reduced the disease severity by 87.25%, while the endophytic bacteria B. safensis B3 reduced it by 86.52%. This study reports the efficiency of individually applied bioagents in the control of phytopathogenic fungi for the first time and, consequently, encourages their application as a new and innovative strategy for prospective agricultural technology and food safety. Full article
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23 pages, 2823 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Endophytic Talaromyces pinophilus on Growth, Absorption and Accumulation of Heavy Metals of Triticum aestivum Grown on Sandy Soil Amended by Sewage Sludge
by Amany A. El-Shahir, Noha A. El-Tayeh, Omar M. Ali, Arafat Abdel Hamed Abdel Latef and Naglaa Loutfy
Plants 2021, 10(12), 2659; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10122659 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2781
Abstract
Sewage sludge improves agricultural soil and plant growth, but there are risks associated with its use, including high heavy metal content. In this study, experiments were carried out to investigate the role of endophytic Talaromyces pinophilus MW695526 on the growth of Triticum aestivum [...] Read more.
Sewage sludge improves agricultural soil and plant growth, but there are risks associated with its use, including high heavy metal content. In this study, experiments were carried out to investigate the role of endophytic Talaromyces pinophilus MW695526 on the growth of Triticum aestivum cultivated in soil amended with sewage sludge and its phytoremediation ability. T. pinophilus could produce gibberellic acid (GA) and stimulate T. aestivum to accumulate GA. The results showed that inoculation with T. pinophilus boosted plant growth criteria, photosynthetic pigments, osmolytes (soluble proteins, soluble sugars and total amino acids), enzymatic antioxidants (catalase, superoxide dismutase and peroxidase), K, Ca and Mg. On the other hand, it reduced Na, Na/K ratio, Cd, Ni, Cu and Zn in the growth media as well as in the shoot and root of T. aestivum. The results suggest that endophytic T. pinophilus can work as a barrier to reduce the absorption of heavy metals in T. aestivum cultivated in soil amended with sewage sludge. Full article
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18 pages, 2055 KiB  
Article
Influence of Glycine Betaine (Natural and Synthetic) on Growth, Metabolism and Yield Production of Drought-Stressed Maize (Zea mays L.) Plants
by Sidra Shafiq, Nudrat Aisha Akram, Muhammad Ashraf, Pedro García-Caparrós, Omar M. Ali and Arafat Abdel Hamed Abdel Latef
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2540; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112540 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 3787
Abstract
A study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of sugar beet extract (SBE) and glycine betaine (GB) in mitigating the adverse effects of drought stress on two maize cultivars. Seeds (caryopses) of two maize cultivars, Sadaf (drought-tolerant) and Sultan (drought-sensitive) were sown [...] Read more.
A study was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of sugar beet extract (SBE) and glycine betaine (GB) in mitigating the adverse effects of drought stress on two maize cultivars. Seeds (caryopses) of two maize cultivars, Sadaf (drought-tolerant) and Sultan (drought-sensitive) were sown in plastic pots. Plants were subjected to different (100%, 75% and 60% field capacity (FC)) water regimes. Then, different levels of SBE (3% and 4%) and GB (3.65 and 3.84 g/L) were applied as a foliar spray after 30 days of water deficit stress. Drought stress significantly decreased plant growth and yield attributes, chlorophyll pigments, while it increased relative membrane permeability (RMP), levels of osmolytes (GB and proline), malondialdehyde (MDA), total phenolics and ascorbic acid as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) enzymes in both maize cultivars. Exogenous application via foliar spray with SBR or GB improved plant growth and yield attributes, chlorophyll pigments, osmolyte concentration, total phenolics, ascorbic acid and the activities of reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging enzymes (SOD, POD and catalase; CAT), but reduced leaf RMP and MDA concentration. The results obtained in this study exhibit the role of foliar-applied biostimulants (natural and synthetic compounds) in enhancing the growth and yield of maize cultivars by upregulating the oxidative defense system and osmoprotectant accumulation under water deficit conditions. Full article
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21 pages, 4060 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Myo-Inositol Alleviates Salt Stress by Enhancing Antioxidants and Membrane Stability via the Upregulation of Stress Responsive Genes in Chenopodium quinoa L.
by Amina A. M. Al-Mushhin, Sameer H. Qari, Marwa A. Fakhr, Ghalia S. H. Alnusairi, Taghreed S. Alnusaire, Ayshah Aysh ALrashidi, Arafat Abdel Hamed Abdel Latef, Omar M. Ali, Amir Abdullah Khan and Mona H. Soliman
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112416 - 9 Nov 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3450
Abstract
Myo-inositol has gained a central position in plants due to its vital role in physiology and biochemistry. This experimental work assessed the effects of salinity stress and foliar application of myo-inositol (MYO) on growth, chlorophyll content, photosynthesis, antioxidant system, osmolyte accumulation, and gene [...] Read more.
Myo-inositol has gained a central position in plants due to its vital role in physiology and biochemistry. This experimental work assessed the effects of salinity stress and foliar application of myo-inositol (MYO) on growth, chlorophyll content, photosynthesis, antioxidant system, osmolyte accumulation, and gene expression in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa L. var. Giza1). Our results show that salinity stress significantly decreased growth parameters such as plant height, fresh and dry weights of shoot and root, leaf area, number of leaves, chlorophyll content, net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration, and Fv/Fm, with a more pronounced effect at higher NaCl concentrations. However, the exogenous application of MYO increased the growth and photosynthesis traits and alleviated the stress to a considerable extent. Salinity also significantly reduced the water potential and water use efficiency in plants under saline regime; however, exogenous application of myo-inositol coped with this issue. MYO significantly reduced the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide, superoxide, reduced lipid peroxidation, and electrolyte leakage concomitant with an increase in the membrane stability index. Exogenous application of MYO up-regulated the antioxidant enzymes’ activities and the contents of ascorbate and glutathione, contributing to membrane stability and reduced oxidative damage. The damaging effects of salinity stress on quinoa were further mitigated by increased accumulation of osmolytes such as proline, glycine betaine, free amino acids, and soluble sugars in MYO-treated seedlings. The expression pattern of OSM34, NHX1, SOS1A, SOS1B, BADH, TIP2, NSY, and SDR genes increased significantly due to the application of MYO under both stressed and non-stressed conditions. Our results support the conclusion that exogenous MYO alleviates salt stress by involving antioxidants, enhancing plant growth attributes and membrane stability, and reducing oxidative damage to plants. Full article
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24 pages, 3576 KiB  
Article
Effect of Two Kinds of Fertilizers on Growth and Rhizosphere Soil Properties of Bayberry with Decline Disease
by Haiying Ren, Hongyan Wang, Zheping Yu, Shuwen Zhang, Xingjiang Qi, Li Sun, Zhenshuo Wang, Muchen Zhang, Temoor Ahmed and Bin Li
Plants 2021, 10(11), 2386; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10112386 - 5 Nov 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2553
Abstract
Decline disease causes severe damage to bayberry. However, the cause of this disease remains unclear. Interestingly, our previous studies found that the disease severity is related with the level of soil fertilizer. This study aims to explore the effect and mechanism of compound [...] Read more.
Decline disease causes severe damage to bayberry. However, the cause of this disease remains unclear. Interestingly, our previous studies found that the disease severity is related with the level of soil fertilizer. This study aims to explore the effect and mechanism of compound fertilizer (CF) and bio-organic fertilizer (OF) in this disease by investigating the vegetative growth, fruit characters, soil property, rhizosphere microflora and metabolites. Results indicated that compared with the disease control, CF and OF exhibited differential effect in plant healthy and soil quality, together with the increase in relative abundance of Burkholderia and Mortierella, and the reduction in that of Rhizomicrobium and Acidibacter, Trichoderma, and Cladophialophora reduced. The relative abundance of Geminibasidium were increased by CF (251.79%) but reduced by OF (13.99%). In general, the composition of bacterial and fungal communities in rhizosphere soil was affected significantly at genus level by exchangeable calcium, available phosphorus, and exchangeable magnesium, while the former two variables had a greater influence in bacterial communities than fungal communities. Analysis of GC-MS metabonomics indicated that compared to the disease control, CF and OF significantly changed the contents of 31 and 45 metabolites, respectively, while both fertilizers changed C5-branched dibasic acid, galactose, and pyrimidine metabolic pathway. Furthermore, a significant correlation was observed at the phylum, order and genus levels between microbial groups and secondary metabolites of bayberry rhizosphere soil. In summary, the results provide a new way for rejuvenation of this diseased bayberry trees. Full article
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16 pages, 1019 KiB  
Article
Growth, Yield, and Bunch Quality of “Superior Seedless” Vines Grown on Different Rootstocks Change in Response to Salt Stress
by Lo’ay A. A., Dina A. Ghazi, Nadi Awad Al-Harbi, Salem Mesfir Al-Qahtani, Sabry Hassan and Mohamed A. Abdein
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2215; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102215 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2602
Abstract
The growth and quality of vines are negatively affected by soil salinity if enough salts accumulate in the root zone. As part of the current study, we estimated the remediating effects of rootstocks under salinity. For this reason, “superior seedless” vines were grafted [...] Read more.
The growth and quality of vines are negatively affected by soil salinity if enough salts accumulate in the root zone. As part of the current study, we estimated the remediating effects of rootstocks under salinity. For this reason, “superior seedless” vines were grafted onto three different rootstocks, such as SO4, 1103 Paulson, and own-root (“superior seedless” with their own-root). The experiment was conducted in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. This study examines the effects of different rootstocks on vine growth, yield, and quality using “superior seedless” vines grown in sandy soil with salinity. Four stages of berry development were examined (flowering, fruit set, veraison, and harvest time). At harvest, yield characteristics (clusters per vine and cluster weight) were also assessed. Each parameter of the growth season was influenced separately. The K+ and Na+ ratios were also significantly increased, as were the salinity symptoms index and bunch yield per vine and quality. Rootstock 1103 Paulson improved photosynthetic pigments, K+ accumulation, Na+ uptake, and cell membrane damage in “superior seedless” vines compared to other rootstocks, according to the study results. As determined in the arid regions of northwestern Egypt, the 1103 Paulson can mitigate salinity issues when planting “superior seedless” vines on sandy soil. Full article
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13 pages, 1534 KiB  
Article
Effect of Manure and Compost on the Phytostabilization Potential of Heavy Metals by the Halophytic Plant Wavy-Leaved Saltbush
by Jianjian Li, Yajun Chang, Arwa Abdulkreem AL-Huqail, Zheli Ding, Mohammad S. Al-Harbi, Esmat F. Ali, Amany H. A. Abeed, Saudi A. Rekaby, Mamdouh A. Eissa, Adel M. Ghoneim and Suzan A. Tammam
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2176; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102176 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2464
Abstract
This study aimed to use organic fertilizers, e.g., compost and manures, and a halophytic plant [wavy-leaved saltbush (Atriplex undulata)] to remediate an agricultural soil polluted with toxic elements. Compost or manure (1% w/w) was added to a polluted [...] Read more.
This study aimed to use organic fertilizers, e.g., compost and manures, and a halophytic plant [wavy-leaved saltbush (Atriplex undulata)] to remediate an agricultural soil polluted with toxic elements. Compost or manure (1% w/w) was added to a polluted soil in a pot trial. The application of the organic fertilizer, whether compost or manure, led to a significant improvement in the growth of the tested plant. From the physiological point of view, the application of organic fertilizers to polluted soil significantly increased the content of chlorophyll, carotenoid, and proline and, furthermore, led to a clear decrease in malondialdehyde (MDA) in the plant leaves. The highest significant values of organic carbon in the polluted soil (SOC) and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were found for the soil amended by compost and planted with wavy-leaved saltbush. Manure significantly reduced the soil pH to 7.52. Compost significantly decreased Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb availability by 19, 8, 12, and 13%, respectively, compared to the control. On the other hand, manure increased Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb availability by 8, 15, 18, and 14%, respectively. Compost and manure reduced the bioconcentration factor (BCF) and translocation factor (TF) of Cd and Pb. Compost was more effective in increasing the phytostabilization of toxic metals by wavy-leaved saltbush plants compared to manure. The results of the current study confirm that the application of non-decomposed organic fertilizers to polluted soils increases the risk of pollution of the ecosystem with toxic elements. The cultivation of contaminated soils with halophytic plants with the addition of aged organic materials, e. g., compost, is an effective strategy to reduce the spreading of toxic metals in the ecosystem, thus mitigating their introduction into the food chain. Full article
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