Topic Editors

Department of Agricultural, Forest, and Food Sciences (DISAFA), Vegetable Crops and Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (VEGMAP), University of Turin, Grugliasco, Italy
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy

New Trends and Innovations in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, and Specialty Crops

Abstract submission deadline
30 September 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
31 December 2024
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3321

Topic Information

Dear Colleague,

Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), as well as specialty crops, encompass a vast array of plant species that have been the subject of research in numerous areas and experimental approaches. The innovative and sustainable evaluation and exploitation of these crops involve a broad spectrum of botanical, environmental, horticultural, agronomic, genetic, phytochemical, and applicative aspects, necessitating a multifaceted and diversified approach. This Topic Collection aims to highlight the latest trends in research and development within MAPs and specialty crops, providing a comprehensive overview that includes plant evaluation, conservation, cultivation, biological activity, phytochemical analysis, and marketing. Articles submitted should focus on process innovation or product innovation and should clearly emphasize these aspects. Research reports and reviews on MAPs and specialty crops are welcome, with the topics addressed being but not limited to:

  • Ecological role, characterization, and description of wild populations, including conservation and domestication concerns;
  • Breeding, selection, propagation and nursery studies, including studies on plant growth and development, in vitro culture and micropropagation, genetic selection, genomics, and related topics;
  • Cultivation and crop management issues, in fields and in protected growing conditions, soil and soilless systems, conventional and organic approaches, and intensive and extensive farming. This includes all kinds of cropping techniques, such as sowing/transplant, fertilization, irrigation, mulching, and weeds management, as well as harvesting methods.
  • Adaptation, coping mechanisms, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.
  • Phytochemical evaluations, including assessment and analysis of essential oils and other plant extracts, quantification and bioactivity studies.
  • Traditional and novel uses of MAPs and specialty crops, both for food and no-food purposes, at the household and industrial levels. This also includes exploring market perspectives and conducting present and future scenario analyses for applications and selling.
  • Utilization of byproducts, wastes and residues, and the development and improvement of the related production chains.

Prof. Dr. Silvana Nicola
Dr. Alessandra Carrubba
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • crop productivity
  • bioactivity
  • biodiversity
  • botanicals
  • herbs
  • multifunctionality
  • phytochemistry
  • plant-based extracts
  • secondary metabolites

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.6 3.6 2011 17.7 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Agronomy
agronomy
3.7 5.2 2011 15.8 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Crops
crops
- - 2021 30.5 Days CHF 1000 Submit
Horticulturae
horticulturae
3.1 2.4 2015 14.7 Days CHF 2200 Submit
Plants
plants
4.5 5.4 2012 15.3 Days CHF 2700 Submit

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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12 pages, 1090 KiB  
Article
Non-Destructive Near-Infrared Technology for Efficient Cannabinoid Analysis in Cannabis Inflorescences
by Hamza Rafiq, Jens Hartung, Torsten Schober, Maximilian M. Vogt, Dániel Árpád Carrera, Michael Ruckle and Simone Graeff-Hönninger
Plants 2024, 13(6), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13060833 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 540
Abstract
In the evolving field of cannabis research, scholars are exploring innovative methods to quantify cannabinoids rapidly and non-destructively. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a hand-held near-infrared (NIR) device for quantifying total cannabidiol (total CBD), total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (total THC), and total cannabigerol (total [...] Read more.
In the evolving field of cannabis research, scholars are exploring innovative methods to quantify cannabinoids rapidly and non-destructively. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a hand-held near-infrared (NIR) device for quantifying total cannabidiol (total CBD), total delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (total THC), and total cannabigerol (total CBG) in whole cannabis inflorescences. Employing pre-processing techniques, including standard normal variate (SNV) and Savitzky–Golay (SG) smoothing, we aim to optimize the portable NIR technology for rapid and non-destructive cannabinoid analysis. A partial least-squares regression (PLSR) model was utilized to predict cannabinoid concentration based on NIR spectra. The results indicated that SNV pre-processing exhibited superior performance in predicting total CBD concentration, yielding the lowest root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) of 2.228 and the highest coefficient of determination for prediction (R2P) of 0.792. The ratio of performance to deviation (RPD) for total CBD was highest (2.195) with SNV. In contrast, raw data exhibited the least accurate predictions for total THC, with an R2P of 0.812, an RPD of 2.306, and an RMSEP of 1.651. Notably, total CBG prediction showed unique characteristics, with raw data yielding the highest R2P of 0.806. SNV pre-processing emerges as a robust method for precise total CBD quantification, offering valuable insights into the optimization of a hand-held NIR device for the rapid and non-destructive analysis of cannabinoid in whole inflorescence samples. These findings contribute to ongoing efforts in developing portable and efficient technologies for cannabinoid analysis, addressing the increasing demand for quick and accurate assessment methods in cannabis cultivation, pharmaceuticals, and regulatory compliance. Full article
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13 pages, 2491 KiB  
Article
Silver Nanoparticles and Biostimulants Affect Chemical Constituents, Total Phenolics, Antioxidants, and Potential Antimicrobial Activities of Santolina chamaecyparissus
by Ezz Al-Dein Al-Ramamneh, Khalid Y. Alsharafa, Taha Rababah, Razan J. Rahahleh, Fuad Al-Rimawi, Ashok K. Shakya, Ayoup M. Ghrair, Muhammad H. Alu’datt and Moayad K. Alnawafleh
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10010026 - 27 Dec 2023
Viewed by 935
Abstract
The beneficial application of silver nanoparticles and biostimulants to increase crop yield and quality is a long-term strategy to achieve desired agricultural productions that are resilient to various biotic and abiotic challenges. This project aimed to evaluate the individual effects of silver nanoparticles [...] Read more.
The beneficial application of silver nanoparticles and biostimulants to increase crop yield and quality is a long-term strategy to achieve desired agricultural productions that are resilient to various biotic and abiotic challenges. This project aimed to evaluate the individual effects of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), Ascophyllum nodosum (SEW), and Spirulina platensis (SP) on the growth and physiological responses of Santolina chamaecyparissus. S. chamaecyparissus plants were exposed to AgNPs (20, 40, and 60 mg L−1), SWE (0.5% and 1%), and SP (1%, 2%, and 3%). The finding indicates that the light-harvesting efficiency and plant photochemical capacity are not affected by most treatments except for 60 mg L−1 AgNPs. Furthermore, the pattern of H2O2 levels in leaves was significantly higher after AgNP, SP, and SEW treatments. In parallel, total phenolic production was at least accompanied by a burst in H2O2 levels. However, higher antioxidant activity compared to the control, is shown by the higher free-DPPH-radical inhibition that goes completely smoothly with lower H2O2 levels. Thus, the results of the present study showed that biostimulants overall improved the antioxidant activity of S. chamaecyparissus and induced variable detectable amounts of phenolic compounds in response to the concentrations of each biostimulant. Full article
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17 pages, 6212 KiB  
Article
Main Habitat Factors Driving the Phenotypic Diversity of Litsea cubeba in China
by Guoxiang Liao, Xiaodan Ning, Yuling Yang, Zongde Wang, Guorong Fan, Xuefang Wang, Dan Fu, Juan Liu, Ming Tang, Shangxing Chen and Jiawei Wang
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3781; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213781 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers. is an important woody spice tree in southern China, and its fruit is a rich source of valuable essential oil. We surveyed and sampled L. cubeba germplasm resources from 36 provenances in nine Chinese provinces, and detected rich phenotypic [...] Read more.
Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers. is an important woody spice tree in southern China, and its fruit is a rich source of valuable essential oil. We surveyed and sampled L. cubeba germplasm resources from 36 provenances in nine Chinese provinces, and detected rich phenotypic diversity. The survey results showed that plants of SC-KJ, SC-HJ, and SC-LS provenance presented higher leaf area (LA); YN-SM and YN-XC plants had larger thousand-grain fresh weight (TFW); and HN-DX plants had the highest essential oil content (EOC). To explain the large differences in the phenotypes of L. cubeba among different habitats, we used Pearson’s correlation analysis, multiple stepwise regression path analysis, and redundancy analysis to evaluate the phenotypic diversity of L. cubeba. It was found that compared to other traits, leaf and fruit traits had more significant geographical distributions, and that leaf phenotypes were correlated to fruit phenotypes. The results showed that elevation, latitude, longitude, total soil porosity (SP), soil bulk density (SBD), and average annual rainfall (AAR, mm) contributed significantly to the phenotypic diversity of L. cubeba. Geographical factors explained a higher percentage of variation in phenotypic diversity than did soil factors and climate factors. Plants of SC-KJ and HN-DX provenances could be important resources for domestication and breeding to develop new high-yielding varieties of this woody aromatic plant. This study describes significant phenotypic differences in L. cubeba related to adaptation to different environments, and provides a theoretical basis for the development of a breeding strategy and for optimizing L. cubeba cultivation. Full article
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