Special Issue "Plant Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses: Crosstalk between Biochemistry and Ecophysiology"

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: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. M. Iftikhar Hussain
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Biology & Soil Science, Universidad de Vigo, Vigo-36310 (Pontevedra), Spain
Interests: plant abiotic stress (allelochemicals, salinity, heavy metals) study; plant ecophysiology—photosynthesis (photosystem II photochemistry, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency, carbon isotope discrimination) and leaf water relations; screening, selection, and genotypic evaluation in the plant–soil–environment nexus through agronomic tools and physiological perspective; study of mode of action of plant natural compounds with strong bio-herbicide potential
Prof. Dr. Adele Muscolo
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Mediterranea University, Feo di Vito 89122, Reggio Calabria, Italy
Interests: salinity, drought, and heat impact on seed germination, seedling growth and metabolism; forest soil management; adaptive response of plants to different environmental constraints; halophytes for the restoration and rehabilitation of salinized or contaminated soils
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umea, Sweden.
Interests: agroecosystems modeling; cropping Systems; whole farm modeling; crop physiology; nutrients cycling; climate change impact assessments; adaptation and mitigation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biotic and abiotic stress adversely affect crops’, fruit trees’, legumes’, and halophytes’ growth, development, and productivity. Biotic stress in plants is caused by living organisms that directly deprive their host of its nutrients, leading to reduced plant vigor and in many cases to the death of the host plant. In agriculture, biotic stress is a major cause of pre- and postharvest losses. In contrast, abiotic stress (drought, salinity, cold, heat, and heavy metals) is the principal cause of crop yield loss worldwide, reducing normal yields of the major food, oil-seed, and cash crops by more than 50 percent. In general, biotic and abiotic stresses often cause a series of morphological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular changes that unfavorably affect plant growth and productivity and cause interference in stress tolerance and adaptation. Biotic and abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, extreme temperatures (cold and heat), and oxidative stress are often interrelated; these conditions, singularly or in combination, induce cellular damage. These stress stimuli are complex in nature and may induce responses that are equally, if not more, complex in nature. For example, severe stresses during critical growth phases may directly result in mechanical damage and changes in the synthesis of macromolecules in cellular settings. In addition, all of these stresses lead to oxidative damage and involve the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant cells. Usually, plants have mechanisms to reduce their oxidative damage by the activation of antioxidant enzymes and the accumulation of compatible solutes that effectively scavenge ROS. However, if the production of activated oxygen exceeds the plant’s capacity to detoxify it, deleterious degenerative reactions do occur, typical symptoms being loss of osmotic responsiveness, wilting, and necrosis. Facing stressful conditions, imposed by the changing environmental conditions that affect their growth and development during their whole life cycle, plants have to be able to perceive, process, and translate different stimuli into adaptive responses.

Plant responses to different stresses are highly complex and involve changes at the physiological, biochemical, transcriptome, and cellular levels. Understanding the organism-coordinated responses involves a fine description of the mechanisms occurring at the cellular and molecular level. The current Special Issue of Plants aims to analyze, from a multi-perspective approach (ranging from gas exchange, metabolomics, proteomics, isotopic and genomics, etc.), drivers (e.g., trait selection, phenotypic plasticity) and specific strategies used by the plants at physiological and molecular levels for their better adaptations to stressful growth conditions.

Dr. M. Iftikhar Hussain
Prof. Dr. Adele Muscolo
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Abiotic stress
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant development
  • Plant growth
  • Plant metabolism
  • Signal transduction
  • Stress combinations
  • Agricultural sustainable development
  • Physiological mechanisms
  • Adaptations

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Allelopathic Potential of Aqueous Extract from Acacia melanoxylon R. Br. on Lactuca sativa
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091228 - 18 Sep 2020
We studied the polyphenol (phenolic compounds and flavonoids) composition and allelopathic effects of Acacia melanoxylon R. Br. aerial foliage aqueous extract (0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) on the seedling growth and plant biomass of the general biotest species, lettuce (Lactuca sativa). [...] Read more.
We studied the polyphenol (phenolic compounds and flavonoids) composition and allelopathic effects of Acacia melanoxylon R. Br. aerial foliage aqueous extract (0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) on the seedling growth and plant biomass of the general biotest species, lettuce (Lactuca sativa). Mean leaf fresh weight, leaf dry weight, root fresh weight and root dry weight were decreased following exposure to Acacia aerial foliage, flowers aqueous extract (AFE) and phyllodes aqueous extract (APE) after 6 days. The reduction in plant dry biomass was more than 50% following treatment with AFE. The decrease in mean root length was approximately 37.7% and 29.20% following treatment with Acacia flowers extract (AFE) at 75% and 100% concentration, respectively. Root dry weight of L. sativa was reduced by both flowers and phyllodes extract. The reduction of protein contents in lettuce leaves following Acacia foliage extract proved that both AFE and APE exhibit polyphenols that causes the toxicity which led to decrease in leaf protein contents. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was employed to analyze the A. melanoxylon flowers and phyllodes. A total of 13 compounds (accounting for most abundant compounds in flowers and phyllodes) include different flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The phytochemical compounds detected were: Gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, vanillic acid, syringic acid, p-coumaric acid, and ferulic acid. The major flavonoid compounds identified include rutin, luteolin, apigenin, and catechin. Allelopathic effects of flower and phyllodes extracts from A. melanoxylon may be due to the presence of above compounds identified by HPLC analysis. Full article
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