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Special Issue "Plant Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance: Physiological and Molecular Approaches for Sustainable Agricultural Production"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 31281

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mohamed A. El-Esawi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, 31527 Tanta, Egypt
Interests: plant molecular biology and biotechnology; plant biostimulants; plant-microbe interactions; mycorrhizal fungi and plants; biological control of diseases; abiotic and biotic stresses; heavy metals and phytoremediation; antimicrobials; secondary metabolites and antioxidants; natural products; genetics and molecular phylogeny; plant and microbial omics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants face various harmful stress factors which limit their growth and productivity. To enhance plant growth and yield, it is important to understand how plants respond to such numerous stresses and to exploit the gained information in stress tolerance breeding programs. Various plant biostimulants play essential roles in defense responses against biotic and abiotic stresses such as phytohormones, natural extracts, substances, …etc.

This Special Issue, therefore, seeks contributions addressing how plant species respond to various biotic and abiotic stresses, such as microbial diseases, salinity, drought, cold, heat, flooding, nutrient deficiency, and heavy metals. It welcomes reviews, perspectives, communications, and original research articles focusing on the physiological and molecular understanding of biotic and abiotic stress responses in plant species, as well as discussing the plant biostimulants roles and changes in gene expression patterns and their regulation. Approaches to enhance stress tolerance and crop yield under stress conditions are also of particular interest.

Dr. Mohamed A. El-Esawi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • salinity and drought stress
  • heat and cold stress
  • flooding stress
  • heavy metals
  • nutrient deficiency
  • plant disease susceptibility and resistance
  • plant-microbe interaction
  • plant biostimulants
  • phytohormones
  • stress tolerance breeding
  • biotechnology and gene regulation

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Research

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Article
Assessment of the Heavy Metals Pollution and Ecological Risk in Sediments of Mediterranean Sea Drain Estuaries in Egypt and Phytoremediation Potential of Two Emergent Plants
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12244; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112244 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 631
Abstract
Environmental pollution and its eco-toxicological impacts have become a large and interesting concern worldwide as a result of fast urbanization, population expansion, sewage discharge, and heavy industrial development. Nine heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Fe, Mn, Zn, Ni, Cu, Cr, and Co) were evaluated [...] Read more.
Environmental pollution and its eco-toxicological impacts have become a large and interesting concern worldwide as a result of fast urbanization, population expansion, sewage discharge, and heavy industrial development. Nine heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Fe, Mn, Zn, Ni, Cu, Cr, and Co) were evaluated in 20 sediment samples from the estuaries of four major drains along the Mediterranean shoreline (Nile Delta coast) to determine the possible ecological effect of high heavy metal concentrations as well as roots and shoots of two common macrophytes (Cyperus alopecuroides and Persicaria salicifolia). For sediment, single- and multi-elemental standard indices were used to measure ecological risk. Data revealed high contents of heavy metals, for which the mean values of heavy metals in sediment followed a direction of Fe > Mn > Co > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cr > Pb > Cd, Fe > Mn > Co > Ni > Zn > Cu > Cr > Pb > Cd and Fe > Mn > Zn > Co > Cu > Ni > Cr > Pb > Cd for drains stream, estuaries, and Mediterranean coast, respectively. Mn, Cr, Zn, and Pb were found to be within Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines (CSQGD) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Guidelines (US-EPA) limitations, except for Zn and Pb in drain streams, which were above the US-EPA limits, whereas Cd, Co, Cu, and Ni indicated a high ecological risk index. This high quantity of contaminants might be linked to unabated manufacturing operations, which can bio-accumulate in food systems and create significant health issues in people. C. alopecuroides root demonstrated a more efficient accumulation of all metals than the shoot system. For most heavy metals, C. alopecuroides had the highest root BAF levels with the exception of Ni and Pb in P. salicifolia. As a result, C. alopecuroides might be employed as a possible phytoextractor of these dangerous metals, while P. salicifolia could be used as a hyper-accumulator of Ni and Pb. The policymaker must consider strict rules and restrictions against uncontrolled industrial operations, particularly in the Nile Delta near water streams. Full article
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Article
Optimizing the Biosorption Behavior of Ludwigia stolonifera in the Removal of Lead and Chromium Metal Ions from Synthetic Wastewater
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6390; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116390 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
In this study, a natural low-coast, efficient, and eco- bio-sorbent plant material (Ludwigia stolonifera), with both parts of the root and shoot, were studied for the removal of the cationic metal ions, lead Pb2+ and chromium Cr6+, via [...] Read more.
In this study, a natural low-coast, efficient, and eco- bio-sorbent plant material (Ludwigia stolonifera), with both parts of the root and shoot, were studied for the removal of the cationic metal ions, lead Pb2+ and chromium Cr6+, via batch mode experiments to evaluate their maximum adsorption capacity, and held a comparison between the used bio-sorbent roots and shoots, based on the highest bio-sorption potential. Optimization of the bio-sorption parameters, such as contact time, pH, bio-sorbent (root and shoot) dosage, and initial ion concentration was conducted. The results indicated that 1.6 g of the used bio-sorbent shoot material removed 81.4% of Pb2+, and 77% of Cr6+ metal ions from liquid media under the conditions of 100 ppm of initial metal ions concentration at room temperature for 60 min of contact time with the static condition. Different isotherms and kinetic models were fit to the experimental data to understand the nature of the bio-sorption process. The experimental data were best fit by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model with a high correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.999), which reveals the chemisorption nature of the bio-sorption process. The chemical and structural analysis of the used bio-sorbent, before and after Cr6+ and Pb2+ bio-sorption, were performed using different techniques of characterization, such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The used bio-sorbent proved to be a low-cost, efficient, and eco-friendly material to remove heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions. Full article
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Article
Environmental and Stress Analysis of Wild Plant Habitat in River Nile Region of Dakahlia Governorate on Basis of Geospatial Techniques
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6377; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116377 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Spatiotemporal environmental changes lead to disturbances in wild plant habitats, particularly in regions characterized by changeable land use and cover. The present study aims to characterize wild plant habitats in the River Nile region of Dakahlia Governorate using a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating remote [...] Read more.
Spatiotemporal environmental changes lead to disturbances in wild plant habitats, particularly in regions characterized by changeable land use and cover. The present study aims to characterize wild plant habitats in the River Nile region of Dakahlia Governorate using a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating remote sensing, GIS and sampling analyses. Twenty-four stands representing the wild plant habitats in the River Nile region were geographically identified, sampled and analyzed. Water and soil samples were investigated for physical and chemical characteristics. Two calibrated multispectral Landsat images dated 1999 and 2019 were processed to produce LULC, NDSI, NDMI and NDSI to characterize wild plan habitats. The floristic composition showed the presence of 64 species belonging to 53 genera and 28 families. Ecologically, the recorded plant species in the present work can be classified into four main categories, which are separated into three communities according to the TWINSPAN classification. Results showed that the annual loss of agricultural lands (3.98 km2) is closely relevant to the annual expansion of urban areas (4.24 km2). Although the uncontrolled urban sprawl caused loss of agricultural lands, it leads to the expansion of wild plant habitats, represented mainly by the sparse class and partially by the moderately dense class as obtained from NDVI. The increase in mean values of the moisture (NDMI) from 0.034 in 1999 to 0.64 in 2019 may have arisen from the increase in total areas of wild plant habitats during the investigated period (1999–2019). This might increase the suitability of conditions for wild habitats which induces the proliferation of natural plants. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Fourteen Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Genotypes by Observing Gas Exchange Parameters, Relative Water and Chlorophyll Content, and Yield Attributes under Drought Stress
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4799; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094799 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Water scarceness is a major threat to wheat productivity under changing climate scenarios, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. However, growing drought-tolerant wheat genotypes could be a sustainable option to enhance wheat productivity under drought stress conditions. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Water scarceness is a major threat to wheat productivity under changing climate scenarios, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. However, growing drought-tolerant wheat genotypes could be a sustainable option to enhance wheat productivity under drought stress conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of mild to severe drought stress on gas exchange parameters, relative water content, SPAD-chlorophyll value, and yield-related parameters of 14 wheat genotypes being cultivated in arid to semi-arid areas on large scale. The genotypes were grown in earthen pots under three drought levels, namely (1) control-well watered, (2) mild water stress, i.e., 60% water holding capacity, and (3) severe water stress, i.e., 40% water holding capacity. The drought was imposed from the jointing stage to physiological maturity. Drought significantly decreased net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, relative water contents, 100-grain weight, and grain yield in all genotypes. However, the reduction percentage was different in different genotypes under drought stress compared with well-watered conditions. The highest relative water content (65.2%) was maintained by the genotype Galaxy-2013, followed by AAS-2011 (64.6%) and Johar-2016 (62.3%) under severe drought conditions. Likewise, Galaxy-2013 showed the highest net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance under severe drought conditions. The highest grain yield per plant (6.2 g) and 100-grain weight (3.3 g) was also recorded in Galaxy-2013 under severe drought conditions, while the highest grain yield under well-watered conditions was recorded in Johar-2016, followed by Galaxy-2013. These results suggest that wheat variety Galaxy-2013 could be cultivated extensively to obtain good wheat yield under limited water conditions. Full article
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Article
The Potential of a New Commercial Seaweed Extract in Stimulating Morpho-Agronomic and Bioactive Properties of Eruca vesicaria (L.) Cav.
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084485 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
This study aimed to understand the effect of commercial seaweed extract as a biofertilizer, named True-Algae-Max (TAM®), on the yield, nutritional, antioxidant, and cytotoxic activity of Eruca vesicaria. Three concentrations of TAM® (5, 10, and 15%) were studied by [...] Read more.
This study aimed to understand the effect of commercial seaweed extract as a biofertilizer, named True-Algae-Max (TAM®), on the yield, nutritional, antioxidant, and cytotoxic activity of Eruca vesicaria. Three concentrations of TAM® (5, 10, and 15%) were studied by foliar spray over the two cultivation years (2016 and 2017) without any chemical fertilizer, along with a control consisting of synthetic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) fertilizers. The yield and composition of E. vesicaria were significantly improved in all treatments, particularly at 10% concentration of TAM®, which resulted in maximum yield (1.99 kg m−2) and significant amounts of chlorophyll, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and total nutrients. Compared to the NPK control, E. vesicaria grown with 10% of TAM® improved total antioxidant activity from 41.80 to 49.36 mg g−1 and cytotoxicity from 25.30 to 60.40% with an IC50 value 85.7 µg mL−1 against the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2). These findings indicate that seaweed extract can generally be used as a safe potential multifunctional biofertilizer in the agricultural field. The use of seaweed as a biofertilizer could potentially help mitigate the adverse effects of main nutrient deficiencies, diminishing the use of chemical fertilizers. Full article
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Article
Variations of Structural and Functional Traits of Azolla pinnata R. Br. in Response to Crude Oil Pollution in Arid Regions
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042142 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
In oil-producing countries, water pollution by crude petroleum oil frequently occurs and causes many environmental problems. This study aims to investigate the effect of crude petroleum oil on the growth and functional trails of the economically important freshwater plant Azolla pinnata R. Br. [...] Read more.
In oil-producing countries, water pollution by crude petroleum oil frequently occurs and causes many environmental problems. This study aims to investigate the effect of crude petroleum oil on the growth and functional trails of the economically important freshwater plant Azolla pinnata R. Br. and to report on the plant’s resistance to this abiotic stress. Plants were raised in an open greenhouse experiment under different levels of crude oil pollution ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 g/L. Plant functional traits were monitored over a three-week period. Plant cover of A. pinnata was decreased with the increased levels of oil pollution. The total chlorophyll content decreased from 0.76 mg/g fresh weight under 2 g/L oil treatment after 21 days of growth. The chlorophyll a/b ratio exceeded the unity at crude oil treatments above 1 g/L, with values reaching 2.78 after seven days, while after 21 days, the ratio ranged from 1.14 to 1.31. The carotenoid content ranged from 0.17 mg/g in the control to 0.11 mg/g in the 2 g/L oil treatment. The carotenoid content varied over time in relation to DNA% damage, which increased from 3.63% in the control to 11.36% in the highest oil treatment level of 2 g/L. The crude oil stress caused severe damage in the frond tissues and chloroplast structure of A. pinnata, including a less compacted palisade, the malformation of the epidermis, the disintegration of parenchyma tissue, and the lysis and malformation of the chloroplasts. Since A. pinnata cannot withstand high concentrations of crude oil pollution, it is for use in the remediation of slightly polluted freshwaters up to 0.5 g/L. Full article
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Article
Effectiveness of Herbicide to Control Rice Weeds in Diverse Saline Environments
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2053; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042053 - 14 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
To mitigate environmental pollution and food contamination caused by inappropriate and excessive herbicide usage, most potent herbicides should be screened to control rice weeds. A research trial was executed for assessing the comparative efficacy of different herbicides to control rice field weeds and [...] Read more.
To mitigate environmental pollution and food contamination caused by inappropriate and excessive herbicide usage, most potent herbicides should be screened to control rice weeds. A research trial was executed for assessing the comparative efficacy of different herbicides to control rice field weeds and to evaluate the toxicity on rice under normal (distilled water) as well as different salinity levels (4 and 8 dS m−1). The study was designed to select the most potent herbicide and its appropriate dose for weed control of rice crop in coastal areas. Fourteen herbicidal treatments were included weed free crop, Pretilachlor (0.25, 0.50, 0.375 and 0.75 kg a.i. ha−1), Propanil + Thiobencarb (0.6 + 1.2, 0.9 + 1.8, 1.2 + 2.4 and 1.8 + 3.6 kg a.i. ha−1), Bensulfuron + MCPA (0.03 + 0.05, 0.045 + 0.075, 0.06 + 0.1 and 0.09 + 0.15 kg a.i. ha−1) and weedy check (control). The results revealed that all tested herbicides in higher than recommended doses for non-saline rice fields were effective in controlling Cyperus iria, Echinochloa colona (salt-tolerant) and Jussiaea linifolia but showed in light injury in rice plants grown in non-saline soils. These higher doses of herbicides recorded severe crop injury under saline conditions indicating their differential efficacy from normal non-saline conditions. Treatments including Pretilachlor (0.375kg a.i. ha−1), Propanil + Thiobencarb (0.9 + 1.8 kg ai/ha), Bensulfuron + MCPA (0.06 + 0.1 kg a.i. ha−1) and Pretilachlor (0.50 kg a.i. ha−1) remained superior in terms of weed control and grain yield production under all salinitylevels at TanjungKarang, Malaysia. It is concluded that herbicides respond differently under saline conditions and optimization of their doses potentially prevent herbicidal injury in rice plants. Full article
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Article
Hydrogen Peroxide Supplementation in Irrigation Water Alleviates Drought Stress and Boosts Growth and Productivity of Potato Plants
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020899 - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1304
Abstract
The present investigations aim to decipher the beneficial role of hydrogen peroxide-supplemented irrigation in imparting drought tolerance and promotion plant growth and yield of potato plants grown under two different irrigation regimes. Hydrogen peroxide injection (oxygenation) was applied at 0, 300, and 600 [...] Read more.
The present investigations aim to decipher the beneficial role of hydrogen peroxide-supplemented irrigation in imparting drought tolerance and promotion plant growth and yield of potato plants grown under two different irrigation regimes. Hydrogen peroxide injection (oxygenation) was applied at 0, 300, and 600 ppm through subsurface irrigation regimes on potato performance grown in heavy clay soil. The results indicated that oxygenation of irrigation water boosted the plant′s vegetative growth and productivity, especially at 600 ppm hydrogen peroxide coupled with deficit irrigation. Root respiration, leaf biomass, chlorophyll content, and leaf osmotic status was observed to be improved in the presence of oxygenated irrigation. A similar trend was recorded on macro-elements (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium content), proline, and soluble carbohydrates content of leaf along with catalase enzyme activity. Individual tuber weight, tuber number and tuber yield per plant and hectare recorded higher values as responding to oxygenated irrigation (300 and 600 ppm) of water within the optimum irrigation level. While the highest value of water use efficiency (WUE) was obtained by pairing deficit irrigation with 600 ppm oxygenated water. Thus, the present work provides new insights into the importance of oxygenated irrigation in obtaining optimum yield and field performance in potato plants subjected to deficit irrigation in clayey-loamy soils. Full article
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Article
Field Performance of Allelopathic Bacteria for Biological Weed Control in Wheat: Innovative, Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Approach for Enhanced Crop Production
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8936; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218936 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Application of allelopathic bacteria (AB) for weed suppression may be helpful to solve various environmental challenges posed by conventional weed control techniques. In our earlier studies, around 400 strains of rhizobacteria of five weeds and wheat were isolated, screened for production of phytotoxic [...] Read more.
Application of allelopathic bacteria (AB) for weed suppression may be helpful to solve various environmental challenges posed by conventional weed control techniques. In our earlier studies, around 400 strains of rhizobacteria of five weeds and wheat were isolated, screened for production of phytotoxic substances, and tested for phytotoxic activity on wild oat and little seed canary grass, and possible effects on wheat under laboratory conditions. We obtained 13 strains inhibitory to wild oat (Avena fatua L.) and 11 to little seed canary grass (Phalaris minor Retz.). Five of these (13 and 11) strains also suppressed wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) while others either stimulated or remained ineffective on wheat in separate bioassays. The success of any weed biocontrol technique, however, depends on its response under field conditions. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate biological weed control of the five most efficient strains of AB under natural conditions in pot and field trials. Wheat was artificially invaded with wild oat in the pot trial through seeding. Wheat of the field trial was artificially invaded with wild oat and little seed canary through seeding. The selected strains belonged to pseudomonads (Pseudomonas putida, P. fluorescence, P. aeruginosa, and P. alcaligenes) and their inocula were prepared using sterilized peat. The inoculated seeds of wild oat and wheat were sown together in a pot trial. The inoculated seeds of wild oat, little seed canary grass, and wheat were sown together in the field experiment. The field was selected based on chronic infestation of these weeds. However, weed invasion was ensured by adding seeds of weeds (inoculated with the respective strains of AB, according to treatment plan). A severe invasion of wild oat was observed in the pot trial, which reduced the grain yield of infested wheat up to 60.8%. The effectiveness of applied strains controlled 22.0–76.3% loss of grain yield of infested wheat. Weed invasion in the field trial reduced the grain yield of the crop up to 56.3% and effectiveness of the applied strains controlled 29.0–60.7% loss of grain yield of infested wheat. The study of other agronomic, physiological, and chemical parameters of the crop and weeds supported these findings. Harnessing the potential of these strains exhibited in our studies may be helpful to introduce an innovative, sustainable, and eco-friendly weed control technique for production of wheat. Full article
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Article
Fertigation of Ajwain (Trachyspermum ammi L.) with Fe-Glutamate Confers Better Plant Performance and Drought Tolerance in Comparison with FeSO4
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7119; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177119 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Shortage of fresh water limits crop yield. Different ways including the use of chemicals are being employed for the improvement in yield through induction of plant performance. In the present study, ajwain plants grown under water stress and normal irrigation conditions were fertigated [...] Read more.
Shortage of fresh water limits crop yield. Different ways including the use of chemicals are being employed for the improvement in yield through induction of plant performance. In the present study, ajwain plants grown under water stress and normal irrigation conditions were fertigated with Fe-chelated glutamate (Fe-Glu), as a foliar spray for the induction of plant performance in comparison with FeSO4. Water shortage adversely affected the plant growth and seed yield, associated with decreased uptake of water and nutrients, along with perturbations in different physio-biochemical attributes. On the other hand, Fe-Glu and FeSO4 fertigation improved plant performance under water stress and normal irrigation conditions. Fe-Glu and FeSO4 fertigation ameliorated the adverse effects of water stress on biomass and seed production, improved water and nutrients uptake, increased the accumulation of essential amino acids, leaf chlorophyll and carotenoids, and reduced the lipid peroxidation due to the induction of antioxidative mechanisms. Fertigation of Fe-Glu and FeSO4 also improved Fe uptake and conferred better mobility and availability of Fe for plants when applied in chelated form. Overall, a significant improvement in ajwain performance under water stress and normal irrigation conditions was recorded due to the fertigation of Fe-Glu as compared with FeSO4. Full article
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Article
Iron–Lysine Mediated Alleviation of Chromium Toxicity in Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) Plants in Relation to Morpho-Physiological Traits and Iron Uptake When Irrigated with Tannery Wastewater
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6690; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166690 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 1714
Abstract
Chromium (Cr) is among the most widespread toxic trace elements found in agricultural soils due to various anthropogenic activities. However, the role of micronutrient-amino chelates on reducing Cr toxicity in crop plants was recently introduced. In the current experiment, the exogenous application of [...] Read more.
Chromium (Cr) is among the most widespread toxic trace elements found in agricultural soils due to various anthropogenic activities. However, the role of micronutrient-amino chelates on reducing Cr toxicity in crop plants was recently introduced. In the current experiment, the exogenous application of micronutrients [iron (Fe)] chelated with amino acid [lysine (lys)] was examined, using an in vivo approach that involved plant growth and biomass, photosynthetic pigments and gaseous exchange parameters, oxidative stress indicators and antioxidant response. The uptake and accumulation of Fe and Cr were determined under different levels of tannery wastewater (33, 66, 100%) used along with the exogenous supplementation of Fe-lys (5 mM) to Spinacia oleracea plants. Results revealed that tannery wastewater in the soil decreased plant growth and growth-related attributes, photosynthetic apparatus and Fe contents in different parts of the plants. In contrast, the addition of different levels of tannery wastewater to the soil significantly increased the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and electrolyte leakage (EL), which induced oxidative damage in the roots and leaves of S. oleracea plants. However, S. oleracea plants increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), which scavenge the over-production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cr toxicity can be overcome by the supplementation of Fe-lys, which significantly increased plant growth and biomass, improved photosynthetic machinery and increased the activities of different antioxidative enzymes, even in the plants grown under different levels of tannery wastewater in the soil. Furthermore, the supplementation of Fe-lys increased the contents of essential nutrients (Fe) and decreased the contents of Cr in all plant parts compared to the plants cultivated in tannery wastewater without application of Fe-lys. In conclusion, the application of Fe-lys is an innovative approach to mitigate Cr stress in spinach plants, which not only increased plant growth and biomass but also decreased the Cr contents in different plant organs. Full article
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Article
Possibility of Increasing the Growth and Photosynthetic Properties of Precocious Walnut by Grafting
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5178; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125178 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1095
Abstract
Plant growth characteristics after grafting are mainly dependent on photosynthesis performance, which may be influenced by grafting combinations with different rootstocks and scions. In this study, we used one-year-old walnut grafts to investigate the grafting compatibility between precocious (‘Liaoning 1’, L) and hybrid [...] Read more.
Plant growth characteristics after grafting are mainly dependent on photosynthesis performance, which may be influenced by grafting combinations with different rootstocks and scions. In this study, we used one-year-old walnut grafts to investigate the grafting compatibility between precocious (‘Liaoning 1’, L) and hybrid (‘Zhong Ning Sheng’, Z) walnut, as well as rootstock and scion impact on the growth and photosynthetic properties of walnut trees. The results showed that grafting compatibility between the two varieties is high, with survival rates upward of 86%. Overwintering survival of grafted seedlings was as high as 100%, which indicated that the allopolyploid had good resistance to low-temperature stress. The homograft of the hybrid walnut had the highest net photosynthesis rate (18.77 μmol·m−2s−1, Z/Z) and growth characteristics, which could be due to its higher transpiration rate and stomatal conductance, whereas the homograft of precocious walnut presented the lowest net photosynthesis rate (15.08 μmol·m−2s−1, L/L) and growth characteristics. Significant improvements in the net photosynthesis rate (15.97 and 15.24 μmol·m−2s−1 for L/Z and Z/L, respectively) and growth characteristics of precocious walnut were noticed during grafting of the hybrid walnut, which could have been contributed by their transpiration rate. The results of this study serve as a guide for the selection and breeding of good rootstock to improve plant growth characteristics and photosynthetic efficiency. We conclude that good rootstock selection improves plant growth potential and could play an important role in sustainable production. Full article
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Article
Mitigation of Heat Stress in Solanum lycopersicum L. by ACC-deaminase and Exopolysaccharide Producing Bacillus cereus: Effects on Biochemical Profiling
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062159 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 2368
Abstract
Soil microorganisms might be assessed for their capabilities of plant growth promotion in order to identify heat tolerant strategies for crop production. The planned study was conducted to determine the potential of heat tolerant plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in mitigating heat stress [...] Read more.
Soil microorganisms might be assessed for their capabilities of plant growth promotion in order to identify heat tolerant strategies for crop production. The planned study was conducted to determine the potential of heat tolerant plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in mitigating heat stress effects in tomato. Bacillus cereus was evaluated for plant growth promoting activities and assessed for 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC-deaminase) (0.76–C0.9 μM/mg protein/h), and exopolysaccharide (0.66–C0.91 mg/mL) under normal and heat stressed conditions. Plant growth regulators were evaluated through High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Bacterial inoculation effects on important physiological and biochemical parameters were evaluated under normal and heat stressed conditions in growth chamber. The morphological-physiological traits significantly revealed drastic effects on both of un-inoculated tomato varieties under heat stress conditions. Bacterial augmentation significantly promoted shoot, root length, leaf surface area, fresh and dry weight. Heat stress enhanced extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) production and cleavage of ACC into a-ketobutyrate and ammonia due to ACC-deaminase producing bacteria that significantly reduced the adverse effects of heat on tomato growth. In conclusion, the applied plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) bacterial strain proved as potential candidate for improving tomato crop growing under heat stressed conditions. However, it is highly suggested to validate the current results by conducting field trials. Full article
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Article
Genotoxic and Anatomical Deteriorations Associated with Potentially Toxic Elements Accumulation in Water Hyacinth Grown in Drainage Water Resources
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2147; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052147 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs)-induced genotoxicity on aquatic plants is still an open question. Herein, a single clone from a population of water hyacinth covering a large distribution area of Nile River (freshwater) was transplanted in two drainage water resources to explore the hazardous [...] Read more.
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs)-induced genotoxicity on aquatic plants is still an open question. Herein, a single clone from a population of water hyacinth covering a large distribution area of Nile River (freshwater) was transplanted in two drainage water resources to explore the hazardous effect of PTEs on molecular, biochemical and anatomical characters of plants compared to those grown in freshwater. Inductivity Coupled Plasma (ICP) analysis indicated that PTEs concentrations in water resources were relatively low in most cases. However, the high tendency of water hyacinth to bio-accumulate and bio-magnify PTEs maximized their concentrations in plant samples (roots in particular). A Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assay showed the genotoxic effects of PTEs on plants grown in drainage water. PTEs accumulation caused substantial alterations in DNA profiles including the presence or absence of certain bands and even the appearance of new bands. Plants grown in drainage water exhibited several mutations on the electrophoretic profiles and banding pattern of total protein, especially proteins isolated from roots. Several anatomical deteriorations were observed on PTEs-stressed plants including reductions in the thickness of epidermis, cortex and endodermis as well as vascular cylinder diameter. The research findings of this investigation may provide some new insights regarding molecular, biochemical and anatomical responses of water hyacinth grown in drainage water resources. Full article
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Article
Exogenous Application of Proline and Salicylic Acid can Mitigate the Injurious Impacts of Drought Stress on Barley Plants Associated with Physiological and Histological Characters
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051736 - 26 Feb 2020
Cited by 53 | Viewed by 2550
Abstract
Barley is a very important crop worldwide and has good impact in preserving food security. The impacts of 10 mM proline and 0.5 mM salicylic acid were evaluated on water stressed barley plants (Hordeum vulgare L. Giza126). Salicylic acid and proline treatments [...] Read more.
Barley is a very important crop worldwide and has good impact in preserving food security. The impacts of 10 mM proline and 0.5 mM salicylic acid were evaluated on water stressed barley plants (Hordeum vulgare L. Giza126). Salicylic acid and proline treatments led to increased stem length, plant dry weights, chlorophyll concentration, relative water content, activity of antioxidant enzymes, and grain yield under drought stress. Nevertheless, lipid peroxidation, electrolyte leakage (EL), superoxide (O2·−), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) significantly decreased in treated barley plants with proline and salicylic acid in both growing seasons as compared with drought treatment only, which caused significant decrease in stem length, plant dry weights, chlorophyll concentration, activity of antioxidant enzymes, as well as biological and grain yield. These results demonstrated the importance of salicylic acid and proline as tolerance inducers of drought stress in barley plants. Full article
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Article
Thymelaea hirsuta and Echinops spinosus: Xerophytic Plants with High Potential for First-Generation Biodiesel Production
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031137 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
The negative impacts of fossil fuel on the environment should be replaced by clean and sustainable energy sources worldwide. Therefore, the use of biodiesel as a clean energy source is crucial. Biodiesel is produced from various natural resources through a transesterification process. Considering [...] Read more.
The negative impacts of fossil fuel on the environment should be replaced by clean and sustainable energy sources worldwide. Therefore, the use of biodiesel as a clean energy source is crucial. Biodiesel is produced from various natural resources through a transesterification process. Considering the importance of this topic, this study focuses on the assessment of oil properties of Thymelaea hirsuta and Echinops spinosus as primary sources for biodiesel production. The two investigated plants were collected from the Western Desert of Egypt. The results showed that the lignocellulosic content was about 57.3 and 79.8 g/100 g in E. spinosus and 59.1 and 82.8 g/100 g in T. hirsuta, respectively. The two investigated samples showed variable lipid contents (30.2–76.1%). The GC-MS fatty acid profile characterized seven FAs in E. spinosus and twelf FAs in T. hirsuta. The greatest CN was calculated in T. hirsuta (379.2) compared to the lowest in E. spinosus (229.9). Furthermore, the values of saponification number (SN) were 27.9 in E. spinosus and 16.07 in T. hirsuta. The value of higher heating value (HHV) was about 47.5 MJ/kg in E. spinosus and 48.3 MJ/kg in T. hirsuta. Meanwhile, T. hirsuta exhibited a higher induction period (IP) value (19.3 h) comparable to that of E. spinosus (4.3 h). The results revealed that both plants are potential sources for biodiesel production according to various international standards for biodiesel production, and this work appears to be one of the first reports regarding such wild xerophytic plants as promising new primary sources for biodiesel production in Egypt. Full article
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Article
Alleviation of Salinity-Induced Oxidative Stress, Improvement in Growth, Physiology and Mineral Nutrition of Canola (Brassica napus L.) through Calcium-Fortified Composted Animal Manure
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030846 - 23 Jan 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 2106
Abstract
Salinity stress is one of the serious restrictive issues for optimum crop production in arid to semi-arid areas. Application of organic amendments have shown positive effects on crop growth and yield under such scenario. The present study was conducted to estimate the potential [...] Read more.
Salinity stress is one of the serious restrictive issues for optimum crop production in arid to semi-arid areas. Application of organic amendments have shown positive effects on crop growth and yield under such scenario. The present study was conducted to estimate the potential of calcium-fortified composted animal manure (Ca-FCM) to enhance growth and yield of canola under saline soil conditions. Salt affected soils with various electrical conductivity (EC) levels (original 1.5, 5, and 10 dS m−1) were developed via spiking the soil with sodium chloride (NaCl) salt. The results reveal that soil salinity reduced the growth, physiological, yield, and nutritional parameters of canola. However, application of 3% calcium-fortified composted manure significantly enhanced the growth and yield parameters at all EC levels as compared to control. Plant physiological parameters such as photosynthetic rate, relative chlorophyll contents (SPAD value), and relative water content were also increased with the application of 3% Ca-FCM at all EC levels in comparison to control. Application of 3% Ca-FCM also mediated the antioxidant enzymes activities at all EC levels in comparison to control. Moreover, application of 3% Ca-FCM caused maximum increase in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium concentrations in shoot at all EC levels. Conversely, application of 3% Ca-FCM showed maximum decrease in Na+/K+ ratio in leaf up to 83.33%, 77.78%, and 71.43% at EC levels 1.5, 5, and 10 dS m−1, respectively, as compared to control. It was concluded that application of calcium-fortified composted animal manure (Ca-FCM) could be an efficient method for improving growth, yield, physiological, and nutritional parameters of canola through mediation of antioxidant defense machinery under saline soil conditions. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Removal Mechanisms of Slag against Potentially Toxic Elements in Soil and Plants for Sustainable Agriculture Development: A Critical Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5255; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095255 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1310
Abstract
Potentially toxic element (PTE) pollution is a major abiotic stress, which reduces plant growth and affects food quality by entering the food chain, and ultimately poses hazards to human health. Currently, the use of slag in PTE-contaminated soils has been reported to reduce [...] Read more.
Potentially toxic element (PTE) pollution is a major abiotic stress, which reduces plant growth and affects food quality by entering the food chain, and ultimately poses hazards to human health. Currently, the use of slag in PTE-contaminated soils has been reported to reduce PTEs and toxicity in plants. This review highlights the role of slag used as a fertilizer for better crop production and sustainable agricultural development. The application of slag increased the growth, yield, and quality of crops under PTE toxicity. The mechanisms followed by slag are the immobilization of PTEs in the soil, enhancement of soil pH, changes in the redox state of PTEs, and positive changes in soil physicochemical and biological properties under PTE toxicity. Nevertheless, these processes are influenced by the plant species, growth conditions, imposition length of stress, and type of slag used. The current review provides an insight into improving plant tolerance to PTE toxicity by slag-based fertilizer application and highlights the theoretical basis for applying slag in PTE-contaminated environments worldwide. Full article
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Review
Phytoremediation of Heavy Metals in Tropical Soils an Overview
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2574; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052574 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2358
Abstract
The geomorphological characteristics of the materials inherent in tropical soils, in addition to the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, industrial waste and residues, and novel pollutants derived from emerging new technologies such as nanomaterials, affect the functionality and resilience of the soil-microorganism-plant [...] Read more.
The geomorphological characteristics of the materials inherent in tropical soils, in addition to the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, industrial waste and residues, and novel pollutants derived from emerging new technologies such as nanomaterials, affect the functionality and resilience of the soil-microorganism-plant ecosystem; impacting phytoremediation processes and increasing the risk of heavy metal transfer into the food chain. The aim of this review is to provide a general overview of phytoremediation in tropical soils, placing special emphasis on the factors that affect this process, such as nanoagrochemicals, and highlighting the value of biodiversity among plant species that have the potential to grow and develop in soils impacted by heavy metals, as a useful resource upon which to base further research. Full article
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Review
Melatonin as Master Regulator in Plant Growth, Development and Stress Alleviator for Sustainable Agricultural Production: Current Status and Future Perspectives
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010294 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1673
Abstract
Melatonin, a multifunctional signaling molecule, is ubiquitously distributed in different parts of a plant and responsible for stimulating several physiochemical responses against adverse environmental conditions in various plant systems. Melatonin acts as an indoleamine neurotransmitter and is primarily considered as an antioxidant agent [...] Read more.
Melatonin, a multifunctional signaling molecule, is ubiquitously distributed in different parts of a plant and responsible for stimulating several physiochemical responses against adverse environmental conditions in various plant systems. Melatonin acts as an indoleamine neurotransmitter and is primarily considered as an antioxidant agent that can control reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in plants. Melatonin, being a signaling agent, induces several specific physiological responses in plants that might serve to enhance photosynthesis, growth, carbon fixation, rooting, seed germination and defense against several biotic and abiotic stressors. It also works as an important modulator of gene expression related to plant hormones such as in the metabolism of indole-3-acetic acid, cytokinin, ethylene, gibberellin and auxin carrier proteins. Additionally, the regulation of stress-specific genes and the activation of pathogenesis-related protein and antioxidant enzyme genes under stress conditions make it a more versatile molecule. Because of the diversity of action of melatonin, its role in plant growth, development, behavior and regulation of gene expression it is a plant’s master regulator. This review outlines the main functions of melatonin in the physiology, growth, development and regulation of higher plants. Its role as anti-stressor agent against various abiotic stressors, such as drought, salinity, temperatures, UV radiation and toxic chemicals, is also analyzed critically. Additionally, we have also identified many new aspects where melatonin may have possible roles in plants, for example, its function in improving the storage life and quality of fruits and vegetables, which can be useful in enhancing the environmentally friendly crop production and ensuring food safety. Full article
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Review
A Review on Practical Application and Potentials of Phytohormone-Producing Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria for Inducing Heavy Metal Tolerance in Crops
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9056; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219056 - 30 Oct 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1509
Abstract
Water scarcity and high input costs have compelled farmers to use untreated wastewater and industrial effluents to increase profitability of their farms. Normally, these effluents improve crop productivity by serving as carbon source for microbes, providing nutrients to plants and microbes, and improving [...] Read more.
Water scarcity and high input costs have compelled farmers to use untreated wastewater and industrial effluents to increase profitability of their farms. Normally, these effluents improve crop productivity by serving as carbon source for microbes, providing nutrients to plants and microbes, and improving soil physicochemical and biological properties. They, however, may also contain significant concentrations of potential heavy metals, the main inorganic pollutants affecting plant systems, in addition to soil deterioration. The continuous use of untreated industrial wastes and agrochemicals may lead to accumulation of phytotoxic concentration of heavy metals in soils. Phytotoxic concentration of heavy metals in soils has been reported in Pakistan along the road sides and around metropolitan areas, which may cause its higher accumulation in edible plant parts. A number of bacterial that can induce heavy metal tolerance in plants due to their ability to produce phytohormones strains have been reported. Inoculation of crop plants with these microbes can help to improve their growth and productivity under normal, as well as stressed, conditions. This review reports the recent developments in heavy metal pollution as one of the major inorganic sources, the response of plants to these contaminants, and heavy metal stress mitigation strategies. We have also summarized the exogenous application of phytohormones and, more importantly, the use of phytohormone-producing, heavy metal-tolerant rhizobacteria as one of the recent tools to deal with heavy metal contamination and improvement in productivity of agricultural systems. Full article
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