Special Issue "Leaf Senescence"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Physiology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Zentgraf Website E-Mail
Universitat Tubingen, Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, Tubingen, Germany
Interests: senescence regulation; regulatory networks; transcription factors; oxidative stress and hydrogen peroxide as signaling molecule; leaf developmental memory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Senescence is the last step in leaf development and aims at remobilizing previously acquired nitrogen carbon and mineral resources out of the senescing tissue before the leaf eventually dies and is shed. Before anthesis, sequential leaf senescence leads to the repartitioning of nutrients from older leaves to newly developing non-reproductive organs. After anthesis, monocarpic leaf senescence governs nutrient reallocation to the now developing reproductive organs and, therefore, has a very critical impact on yield. In the last two decades, it has become obvious that no “master regulator” for senescence exists, but an extremely complex regulatory network controls all aspects of senescence. Leaf and plant age are the predominant parameters controlling the onset and progression of senescence; however, incoming environmental signals are constantly integrated and have the potential to induce senescence prematurely. Premature senescence serves as an exit strategy to produce offspring when biotic or abiotic stress generates long-term unfavorable conditions for the plant. However, premature senescence often correlates with diminished seed quantity and quality and has therefore high influence on productivity and yield in crop plants.

Multi-layer feedback regulatory cues are in place to control senescence, and transcriptional, post-transcriptional, post-translational regulatory mechanisms can act in concert for a single gene. Moreover, we are just beginning to understand the dynamic changes in chromatin structure and nuclear architecture during senescence. Alternative splicing and polyadenylation events have rarely been analyzed. Therefore, this Special Issue aims at collecting a wide range of different articles (original research papers, perspectives, hypotheses, opinions, reviews, modeling approaches, and methods) that focus on leaf senescence and its regulation at all levels, including biochemistry, physiology, genes, RNAs, proteins, metabolites, nutrition, and environment, in model or crop plants. In addition, comparisons of leaf senescence to senescnece processes in other plant organs or evolutionary aspects of senescence are most welcome.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Zentgraf
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 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.


  • kinetics of leaf senescence
  • sequential versus monocarpic senescence
  • ROS and phytohormone signaling
  • transcriptional networks
  • role of cellular compartments
  • nutrient repartitioning
  • alternative splicing and polyadenylation events

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Expression of Genes Related to Sugar and Amino Acid Transport and Cytokinin Metabolism during Leaf Development and Senescence in Pisum sativum L.
Plants 2019, 8(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8030076 - 25 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Gene editing is becoming the plant breeding tool of choice, but prior to targeting a gene for editing, a knowledge of the gene family members (GFMs) controlling yield is required in the specific crop plant. Critical to yield are components from senescing leaves. [...] Read more.
Gene editing is becoming the plant breeding tool of choice, but prior to targeting a gene for editing, a knowledge of the gene family members (GFMs) controlling yield is required in the specific crop plant. Critical to yield are components from senescing leaves. We targeted genes controlling senescence in Pisum sativum and the release and transport of carbohydrates and amino acids from the source leaves to the pods and seeds. The expression of GFMs for cytokinin biosynthesis (IPT) and destruction (CKX), sucrose transporters (SUT), Sugar Will Eventually be Exported Transporters (SWEET), amino acid permeases (AAP), and cell wall invertases, was determined using RT-qPCR. GFMs were differentially expressed in leaves of different ages. The expression of many gene family members was lower in the expanding sink leaves compared with the senescing leaves, with the exception of two PsAAP GFMs and PsCKX5, which were highly expressed. Expression of specific PsSWEETs, SUTs, and AAPs increased in the mature and/or senescing leaves. Expression of PsIPTs was least in the mature source leaves, but as strong in the senescing leaves as in the young source leaves. PsCKX7 was expressed in source and senescing leaves. We discuss the potential impact of the targeted reduction of specific PsCKX GFMs on source-sink relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leaf Senescence)
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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.

Type: Review

Title: New aspect of HECT-E3 ligases in cell senescence and cell death of plant

Authors: Wei Lan and Ying Miao*

Affiliation: Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Functional Biology, College of Life Sciences, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002, China,

* Corresponding author: [email protected]

Abstract: Plant cells undergo massive orderly changes in structure, biochemistry and gene expression during cell senescence. These changes cannot be distinguished from hydrolysis/degradation function controlled by ubiquitination pathway, autophagy and various hydrolases in cells. In this mini-review, we summarized some studies that the human HECT E3s family (one family of ubiquitin-protein ligases (E3s)) have non-redundant functions in regulating specific signaling pathways, involving in a number of human diseases, especially ageing-related diseases, through influence DNA repair, protein stability and removal efficiency of damaged protein or organelle. We further compare HECT E3 ligases’ structure and functions in plant and human being cell, and finally speculate new aspects including as degrading signal and regulating signal of HECT-E3 ligase in cell senescence and cell death of plant.


Title: Impact of Elevated Environmental Temperature in Leaf Senescence

Authors: Elisa Romero 1, Francisco Amil-Ruíz 2, Purificación de la Haba 1 and Eloísa Agüera 1,*

1  Departamento de Botánica, Ecología y Fisiología Vegetal, área Fisiología Vegetal., edificio Celestino Mutis 3ª planta, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus de Rabanales, Universidad de Córdoba. E-14071 Córdoba, Spain;

2  Unidad de Bioinformática. Servicio de Apoyo a la investigación (SCAI), edificio Ramón y Caja, Campus de Rabanales, Universidad de Córdoba. E-14071 Córdoba, Spain; [email protected]

*  Correspondence: [email protected]; Tel.: +34 957 218367

Abstract: High temperature stress is a major environmental stress that limits plant growth, metabolism, and productivity worldwide. The primary purpose of this work was to examine the effect of increasing temperatures from a day/night regime of 23/198C to 33/298C, on various biochemical and physiological traits, and the senescence primary-leaf protein profiles in sunflowers plants. Consequently, the increased temperatures to be expected from the ongoing climate change will probably lead to early senescence and increases oxidative state in sunflower primary leaves.

Type: Review

Title: Signal Transduction in Leaf Senescence: Progress and Perspective

Authors: Yongfeng Guo

Abstract: Leaf senescence is a genetically controlled degenerative process that involves the remobilization of nutrients prior to the death of leaf tissues. Age is a key developmental determinant of the process along with other senescence inducing factors. At the cellular level, different hormones, signaling molecules, and transcription factors contribute to the regulation of senescence. This review will summarize the recent progress in understanding the complexity of the senescence process with primary focuses on perception and transduction of senescence signals as well as downstream regulatory events. Future directions in this field and potential application of related techniques in crop improvement will be discussed.

Title: Asparagine Synthesis during Tobacco Leaf Curing

Authors:Lucien Bovet et al.

Title: Short-term stress affects profiles of volatile organic compounds and gene expression in rocket salad during postharvest senescence. 

Authors: Hilary J Rogers et al.

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