Mechanical Stimulation, Signaling, Regulation and Stress Acclimation in Plants

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: closed (10 November 2022) | Viewed by 2108

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Richmond, NSW 2753, Australia
Interests: carotenoid biology; mechanical stress; epigenetics; plant physiology; molecular biology; crop nutrition; postharvest; horticulture; protected cropping; tree genomics; climate change; stress acclimation
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Guest Editor
Department of Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, 37909-TN, USA
Interests: mechanical stress; epigenetics; ethylene signaling; plant-pathogen interaction; biotic and abiotic stress response; phytohormone; molecular biology; plant physiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change poses a serious threat to animals and crops by causing unfavourable environmental conditions that affect plant growth and yield, adversely impacting the nutritional value of food products. The prevailing environmental conditions is a key determinant of plant fitness constantly challenged by biotic and/or abiotic stress. Mechanical stimulation by touch, bending, compression, gravity, wind, wounding, herbivory, chewing vibrations, rubbing, heavy rain, and acoustic vibrations are stressful stimuli sensed by plants. Response to mechanical stimuli is intrinsic to most if not all organisms and form an essential part of their survival. Plant plasticity to mechanical stimulation manifests in cellular, physiological, metabolic, genetic, and structural changes leading to an intergenerational morphological acclimation process known as thigmomorphogenesis. The frequency, duration, and intensity of mechanical stimuli alter plant development, as well as trigger transient resistance or prime persistent immunity against pathogen infection and insect herbivory. The application of mechanical stress in modern horticulture and agriculture practices has been demonstrated to enhance stress tolerance in crops, increase inflorescences in the cut-flower industry, harden seedlings for field transplanting, and increased yield in grain crops. Nevertheless, more research is required to understand how to circumvent the negative effects of prolonged mechanical stimulation on plants leading to retarded growth and reduced crop yield. Furthermore, deciphering the mechanisms by which different events of mechanical stimulation (long- and short-term) program somatic stress memory will enable us to elucidate how mechanical stress alters stress acclimation responses, such as priming of immunity against fungi, bacteria, and insect attack. The use of mechanical stimulation especially in mechanize farming can provide positive benefits to sustainable agriculture without damage to the ecosystem by reducing the adverse effect of chemical pesticides usage on water, soil, and biodiversity to ensure resilience of plants within a changing climate.

The primary purpose of this Special Issue of Plants is to elucidate new mechanisms and processes by which plants sense, respond, acclimate, and adapt to single or multiple mechanical stimulation events. We invite articles that address how different events of mechanical stimulation promote transient resistance or primed immunity to pathogen infection and insect herbivory. Articles addressing epigenetics, molecular, physiological, electrophysiological, biochemical, ecological, modelling, and plant–insect interactions are welcome. New technologies that address ecosystem biomechanical studies, state-of-the-art bioimaging, mechano-sensing technologies, secondary messenger electrophysiology signalling, phytohormone regulation, and/or epigenetic memory formation of mechanical stimulation in plants are welcome. This Special Issue will highlight new roles for ions, metabolites, genes, proteins, and entire systems to transduce mechanical stimulation into signalling pathways, phytohormone cascades, physiological processes, epigenetic regulation, and ecosystem community awareness.

Dr. Christopher Cazzonelli
Dr. Eric Brenya
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2700 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.


  • mechanical stimulation
  • mechanical stress
  • mechanical force
  • mechanical signaling
  • calcium signaling
  • mechanosensitive channel
  • stretch-activated channel
  • ion channel
  • mechanosensors
  • mechanosensing
  • mechanotransduction
  • biomechanics
  • transporter
  • touch
  • stretch
  • compression
  • bending
  • wounding
  • gravity
  • electrophysiology
  • bioimaging
  • osmotic pressure
  • cell wall
  • thigmomorphogenesis
  • dwarf
  • morphogenesis
  • growth and development
  • carnivorous plants
  • sensitive plants
  • insect feeding
  • herbivory
  • plant insect interaction
  • pathogen resistance
  • innate immunity
  • epigenetic processes
  • disease resistance

Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 3450 KiB  
The Effect of Leaf Wounding on Basil Plants of Different Developmental Stages
by Nikolaos Konstantis, Konstantinos Koskorellos, Areti Balou, Athina Paravolidaki, George Garantziotis, Christina Eleni Koulopoulou, Athanasios Koulopoulos and George Zervoudakis
Plants 2022, 11(20), 2678; - 11 Oct 2022
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Leaf wounding is a common stress that triggers a great number of plant mechanisms, while the overall plant status and age could also be critical for these mechanisms. However, there are not sufficient data about plants’ physiological responses after leaf wounding that has [...] Read more.
Leaf wounding is a common stress that triggers a great number of plant mechanisms, while the overall plant status and age could also be critical for these mechanisms. However, there are not sufficient data about plants’ physiological responses after leaf wounding that has been imposed at different developmental stages. In this study, physiological parameters, such as photosynthesis, transpiration, and stomatal conductance, as well as the chlorophyll and anthocyanin leaf contents, of Ocimum basilicum var. minimum L. plants were measured for seven days on wounded plants during three different developmental stages (vegetative, budding, and flowering). All of the measurements were conducted on control and wounded plants, while on the latter they were conducted on both wounded and intact leaves. The physiological parameters mentioned above revealed a remarkable decrease in wounded leaves of the budding and flowering plants, while they seemed to be only partially affected on the leaves of vegetative plants. The physiological parameters’ decrease was not only an immediate plant response that was observed 1–2 h after wounding, but, in general, it was constant (during the seven days of treatments) and diurnal (from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.). The wounded leaves revealed an immediate and constant anthocyanin content decrease during all of the developmental stages, while the corresponding chlorophyll decrease was mainly evident in the flowering plants. Regarding the intact leaves, they exhibited, in general, a similar profile to that of the control ones. The results above reveal that at the vegetative stage, basil plants are more tolerant to leaf wounding than those at the budding and flowering stages, implying that the plant’s response to wounding is a phenomenon that depends on the plant’s developmental stage. Full article
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