Special Issue "Recovery and Memory of Plants during Recurrent Stresses"

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: 28 February 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Christine Granier
Guest Editor
Univ Montpellier, CIRAD, INRAE, Montpellier SupAgro, AGAP, 34398 Montpellier, France
Interests: abiotic stresses; phenotyping; developmental biology; recurrent stresses; stress memory; plant plasticity
Dr. Sophie Brunel-Muguet
Guest Editor
NORMANDIE UNIV, UNICAEN, INRAE, 950 EVA, 14000, Caen, France
Interests: stress memory; yield; seed quality; high temperature; plant ecophysiology; modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Changing climate strongly affects plant performance, which not only impacts the spatial distribution of natural species but also crop production in terms of quantity and quality. Ongoing and projected climate disruption highlight an increased frequency of extreme weather events, which also affect the spread of biotic stresses, thus leading to environmental instability that the plant must face to survive and reproduce. Although the stress responses to a wide range of environmental cues are well understood, they need to be deciphered from the perspective of the plant’s ability to respond to recurrent stressful conditions to capture responses to realistic climatic features. In contrast to long-lasting stressing events, recurrent stresses trigger different responses. The overall magnitude of the plant response to the succession of stress events separated by non-stress events may not match the additional individual responses to each event. Plant responses to stress events might be alleviated if they were previously challenged by a previous similar stress through both a recovery effect (partial, complete, compensatory, and even, in a few cases, over-compensatory recovery upon the return to favorable conditions) and/or a priming effect (i.e., the ability to develop an earlier, more rapid, intense, and sensitive response when the second stress occurs). Stress recovery and/or memory are not obligate processes, which creates the question of the environmental or plant characteristics cues that are triggered or prevented by the event.

This Special Issue tackles the challenge of disentangling the range of responses to recurrent stresses to shed some light on plant memory leading to stress acclimation. The Issue will accept reviews as well as full or short research papers from a broad scope of interdisciplinary research on plant responses to recurrent stresses ranging from molecular to growth, development and final performance, as well as physiological processes.

Particularly welcome are research papers on the following topics:

  • Evidence or absence of plant memory when plants are subjected to recurrent stresses;
  • Disentangling crop memory stress memory from further developmental adjustments and strategies;
  • Plant acclimation to biotic or abiotic stresses at the crop cycle level and/or across generations;
  • Plant recovery after a period of stress;
  • Benefits of stress priming not only at the plant cycle level (i.e., somatic memory) but also across generations (i.e., inter/transgenerational memory).

Dr. Christine Granier
Dr. Sophie Brunel-Muguet
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.


  • stress memory
  • recurrent stresses
  • stress recovery
  • multi-scale plasticity
  • crops
  • model plants

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Defense Priming in Nicotiana tabacum Accelerates and Amplifies ‘New’ C/N Fluxes in Key Amino Acid Biosynthetic Pathways
Plants 2020, 9(7), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070851 - 06 Jul 2020
In the struggle to survive herbivory by leaf-feeding insects, plants employ multiple strategies to defend themselves. One mechanism by which plants increase resistance is by intensifying their responsiveness in the production of certain defense agents to create a rapid response. Known as defense [...] Read more.
In the struggle to survive herbivory by leaf-feeding insects, plants employ multiple strategies to defend themselves. One mechanism by which plants increase resistance is by intensifying their responsiveness in the production of certain defense agents to create a rapid response. Known as defense priming, this action can accelerate and amplify responses of metabolic pathways, providing plants with long-lasting resistance, especially when faced with waves of attack. In the work presented, short-lived radiotracers of carbon administered as 11CO2 and nitrogen administered as 13NH3 were applied in Nicotiana tabacum, to examine the temporal changes in ‘new’ C/N utilization in the biosynthesis of key amino acids (AAs). Responses were induced by using topical application of the defense hormone jasmonic acid (JA). After a single treatment, metabolic partitioning of recently fixed carbon (designated ‘new’ carbon and reflected as 11C) increased through the shikimate pathway, giving rise to tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan. Amplification in ‘new’ carbon fluxes preceded changes in the endogenous (12C) pools of these AAs. Testing after serial JA treatments revealed that fluxes of ‘new’ carbon were accelerated, amplified and sustained over time at this higher rate, suggesting a priming effect. Similar results were observed with recently assimilated nitrogen (designated ‘new’ nitrogen reflected as 13N) with its partitioning into serine, glycine and glutamine, which play important roles supporting the shikimate pathway and downstream secondary metabolism. Finally, X-ray fluorescence imaging revealed that levels of the element Mn, an important co-factor for enzyme regulation in the shikimate pathway, increased within JA treated tissues, suggesting a link between plant metal ion regulation and C/N metabolic priming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Memory of Plants during Recurrent Stresses)
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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.

Title: Effects of maternal water stress on the plant growth, CNP stoichiometry and seed characteristics of desert annual Atriplex aucheri
Authors: Lei Wang
Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China

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