Special Issue "Plant Cell Signalling under Stress"

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 November 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Conceição Santos
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua Campo Alegre, 4169-007, Porto, Portugal
Interests: cell response to emerging stress; phytocompounds bioactivity; toxicology of emerging contaminants; pathogen-host interactions; biotechnology and breeding; metabolomics and transcriptomics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In plants, as in others eukaryotic species, cell signalling is an important network communication, from the reception of signals to delivering the message cell-to-cell to the cell response to these stimuli. Plants are sessile organisms that are continuously exposed to hostile abiotic and biotic environmental factors. The comprehension of routes involved in specific cell signalling under stress is a hot topic in plant science.

Considering the worst case predictions of climate change, world food sustainability, and the fast spread of plant diseases and pests, understanding and decoding how plants perceive and respond for any stress factor are essential. This knowledge constitutes the key for many strategies to protect plant production and for applications in plant breeding.

The new technologies and omics analysis approaches have clarified several mechanisms in plant signalling. However, the functioning of most of these cell signalling networks under stress remains unclear. Plant stress, such as light quality/intensity, drought, salinity, heavy metals, pathogens, pests, etc., are well known to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS were initially known only as dangerous molecules in the cells, but are now acknowledged as important endogenous signalling molecules. Other molecules, like carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), and hydrogen sulphide (HS), are associated with cell signalling mechanisms related to plant resilience to stress (e.g., proline biosynthesis under drought stress). The reactivity of HS with reactive sulphur species (RSS) is essential for cell signalling and plays an essential role in stress tolerance. Signalling in the cell wall is a crucial step triggering signalling cascades, such as oligosaccharide fragments that perceive released damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which are crucial for plant development and immunity. Post-transcriptional modification (PTMs) are essential to coordinate signalling networks under stress. Plant peptides are being considered in plant research due to their properties as signalling molecules, triggering cell-to-cell signalling, which is indispensable for plant defence processes (e.g., antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in response to pathogen attack). Under stress, plant protein kinases (MAPKs) are involved in many processes through by protein phosphorylation cascades, transducing extracellular signals to plant defence responses.

This Special Issue will focus on leading edge topics on plant cell signalling under stress, targeting the understanding of complex signalling networks under different biotic and abiotic stressors. The Issue will highlight the cell perception process of different kinds of stress agents, molecules, and processes involved in cell-to-cell signalling, pathways, hormone signalling, response cascades, and cellular functions under stress. Metabolism and physiological responses (e.g., photosynthesis, polyphenol synthesis, etc.) associated with cell signalling responses are encouraged for this Issue.               

We welcome all scientific works (original research papers, perspectives, hypotheses, opinions, reviews, modelling approaches, and methods) focused in this area.

Prof. Dr. Conceição Santos
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 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
  • biotic stress
  • hormone crosstalk
  • omics
  • plant peptides
  • programmed cell death
  • reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • signalling pathways
  • signalling perception
  • systemic resistance

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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