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Topic Editors

Dr. Andrea Ertani
DISAFA Departement, Largo Braccini 2, University of Torino, Grugliasco, Turin, Italy
Dr. Michela Schiavon
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment, Univerisity of Padova, 35122 Padova, Italy

Plant Nutrition Biofortification

Abstract submission deadline
closed (25 May 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (25 September 2022)
Viewed by
18204

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biofortification is a practice developed mainly as a food strategy addressing several widespread deficiencies remaining prevalent in low-income countries, consisting of adding micronutrients and other health-related molecules to food crops, being sustainable, easy to manage, low cost and effective in addressing malnutrition in countries where the population’s diet is based on low-quality food. Indeed, humans need a minimum daily intake of micronutrients and vitamins to maintain a balanced metabolism. An inadequate dietary intake of one or more micronutrient or vitamin has far-reaching adverse health consequences at all stages of life, and is a pervasive issue for all countries. Strategies commonly adopted for averting micronutrient deficiencies lie in the distribution of micronutrient supplements as drug preparations, to which not all populations worldwide have access to. Alternatively, staple crops can be biofortified using genetic and agronomic approaches. Micronutrients can be applied to plants in combination with other beneficial elements or other health-related compounds through an array of methods that, mainly, depend on the edible produce to enrich. In addition to promoting an increase in the nutritional value of food crops, plant bioenrichment often determines further positive outcomes in several aspects of plant physiology and metabolism and a greater resistance to certain types of stress, either abiotic or biotic.

A significant portion of the developing world’s population largely relies on one or more staple crop for nutrition, which are the subject of biofortification projects carried out using agronomic approaches, conventional breeding or modern biotechnological methods. Micronutrients play a variety of roles in cell metabolism and homeostasis, and their deficiency can result in an increased incidence of many diseases and metabolic disorders. Deficiencies in iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and iodine (I) are the most common on a global scale and have a negative impact on health. In past and recent years, food supplements have been the main strategy used to enrich the diet with vitamins and minerals, though having a number of weaknesses, such as the decreased bioavailability of micronutrients after food processing. Plants require at least 14 mineral elements for their nutrition, including the macronutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S) and the micronutrients chlorine (Cl), boron (B), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni) and molybdenum (Mo). As these mineral elements are acquired from the soil, agricultural production depends on the properties of the soil controlling their availability and being reduced when they are scarcely present in the soil solution.

A novel challenge in agriculture is the production of biofortified vegetables to improve the nutritional status of consumers that feed on them, while allowing the producers to offer more valuable products rich in micronutrients. The ability to rapidly identify and characterize genes involved in plant metabolism has been a driving force in recent biofortification efforts, being made possible by the rapid development of whole genome sequencing, high throughput physical mapping, the global gene expression analysis and metabolite profiling applied to plants. These techniques have made it possible to contribute an important impetus to the biofortification of plants. This Topic aims to present a collection of high-quality relevant scientific papers to promote discussions, informing the scientific community of new information. Original articles and review papers concerning plant biofortification encompassing agronomic, metabolomic and genetic approaches, and/or evaluating the effects of biofortification on plant physiology and resistance to stress are welcome.

Dr. Andrea Ertani
Dr. Michela Schiavon
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • selenium
  • biostimulant
  • stress
  • biofortification
  • nanotechnology

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Horticulturae
horticulturae
2.923 1.8 2015 15.9 Days 1600 CHF
Agriculture
agriculture
3.408 3.1 2011 19.8 Days 1800 CHF
Agronomy
agronomy
3.949 3.9 2011 18.7 Days 2000 CHF
Crops
crops
- - 2021 15.0 days * 1000 CHF
Plants
plants
4.658 3.6 2012 13.3 Days 2200 CHF

* Median value for all MDPI journals in the first half of 2022.


Preprints is a platform dedicated to making early versions of research outputs permanently available and citable. MDPI journals allow posting on preprint servers such as Preprints.org prior to publication. For more details about reprints, please visit https://www.preprints.org.

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Article
Preharvest Reduction in Nutrient Solution Supply of Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Contributes to Improve Fruit Quality and Fertilizer Efficiency While Stabilising Yields
Agronomy 2022, 12(12), 3004; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12123004 - 29 Nov 2022
Viewed by 169
Abstract
Optimising fertilisation is an important part of maximising vegetable yield and quality whilst minimising environmental hazards. An accurate and efficient scheme of irrigation and fertiliser based on plants’ nutrient requirements at different growth stages is essential for the effective intensive production of greenhouse [...] Read more.
Optimising fertilisation is an important part of maximising vegetable yield and quality whilst minimising environmental hazards. An accurate and efficient scheme of irrigation and fertiliser based on plants’ nutrient requirements at different growth stages is essential for the effective intensive production of greenhouse pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). In this study, the effects of reducing fertilisation rate by 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% from the day 6 to day 0 before harvest for each layer of peppers on growth, yield, quality and nutrient utilisation were evaluated. The results showed that the morphological indicators (plant height and stem diameter) and biomass of plants decreased gradually with the increase in fertiliser reduction rate. Compared with control (CK) plants, the 20–40% reduction in fertiliser application rate did not cause a significant decrease in biomass and stem diameter but significantly increased the accumulation of N (13.52–15.73%), P (23.09% in 20% reducted-treatment) and K (13.22–14.21%) elements in plants. The 20–80% reduction in fertiliser application before harvest had no significant effects on the nutrient agronomic efficiency of N, P and K elements. However, it decreased the physiological nutrient efficiency and significantly improved the nutrient harvest index of N, P and K. Appropriate reduction in fertiliser application significantly increased the nutrient recovery efficiency (20–40% reduction) and nutrient partial-factor productivity (40% reduction) of N (3.35–6.00% and 12.87%), P (2.47–2.92% and 14.01%) and K (7.49–15.68% and 14.01%), respectively. Furthermore, reducing the fertilisation rate by 20–40% before each harvest had a certain positive effect on the C and N metabolism of pepper leaves and fruits. In particular, the activities of N metabolism-related enzymes (nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase, glutamine synthase, glutamate synthase and glutamate dehydrogenase) and C metabolism-related enzymes (sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthetase, acid invertase and neutral invertase) in leaves and fruits did not significantly different or significantly increased compared with those in CK plants. The results of the representative aromatic substance contents in the fruit screened by the random forest model showed that compared with the CK plants, reducing the fertiliser application by 20–40% before harvest significantly increased the content of capsaicin and main flavour substances in the fruit on the basis of stable yield. In summary, in the process of pepper substrate cultivation, reducing the application of nutrients by 40% from the day 6 to day 0 before each harvest could result in stable yield and quality improvement of the pepper. These results have important implications for institutional precision fertilisation programs and the improvement of the agroecological environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Biofortified Rocket (Eruca sativa) with Selenium by Using the Nutrient Film Technique
Horticulturae 2022, 8(11), 1088; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8111088 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient for humans, but most foods are Se deficient, mainly because of its low content in the soil. A Se-deficient diet results in increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and hyperthyroidism. Agronomic biofortification is a good alternative to [...] Read more.
Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient for humans, but most foods are Se deficient, mainly because of its low content in the soil. A Se-deficient diet results in increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and hyperthyroidism. Agronomic biofortification is a good alternative to increase Se in food. This study investigated the effect of Se on the growth, yield, and biofortification of the rocket. Plants were grown in a hydroponic system. Seven Se concentrations (0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 µM) were evaluated using sodium selenate. Growth, yield, lipid peroxidation, hydrogen peroxide content, and the enzymatic activity of catalase and ascorbate peroxidase were influenced by the Se concentration. Considering the evaluated parameters, 10–30 µM Se promoted the best results, and with 20 µM, the higher yield. Rocket plants treated with Se in the nutrient solution were biofortified, showing Se contents of 598.96 to 1437.56 mg kg−1 in the dry mass, higher than plants cultivated in a nutrient solution without Se, which presented 167.84 mg kg−1 of Se. Se concentrations of 10–30 µM in the nutrient solution were beneficial for rocket plants, while concentrations above 50 µM were toxic to the plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Zinc and Provitamin A Biofortified Maize Genotypes Exhibited Potent to Reduce Hidden—Hunger in Nepal
Plants 2022, 11(21), 2898; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11212898 - 28 Oct 2022
Viewed by 422
Abstract
Zinc deficiency affects one third of the population worldwide, and vitamin A deficiency is a prevalent public health issue in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-Asia, including Nepal. Crop biofortification is the sustainable solution to these health—related problems, thus we conducted two different field trials [...] Read more.
Zinc deficiency affects one third of the population worldwide, and vitamin A deficiency is a prevalent public health issue in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-Asia, including Nepal. Crop biofortification is the sustainable solution to these health—related problems, thus we conducted two different field trials in an alpha lattice design to identify zinc and provitamin A biofortified maize genotypes consistent and competitive in performance over the contrasting seasons (Season 1: 18 February to 6 July 2020 and Season 2: 31 August to 1 February, 2020/21). In our study, the performance of introduced maize genotypes (zinc—15 and provitamin A biofortified—24) were compared with that of the local check, focusing on the overall agro-morphology, yield attributes, yield, and kernel zinc and total carotenoid content. Zinc and total carotenoid in the tested genotypes were found in the range between 14.2 and 24.8 mg kg−1 and between 1.8 and 3.6 mg 100 g−1. Genotypes A1831-8 from zinc and EEPVAH-46 from provitamin A biofortified maize trial recorded kernel zinc and total carotenoid as high as 52.3, and 79.5%, respectively, compared to the local check (DMH849). The provitamin A genotypes EEPVAH-46 and EEPVAH-51 (total carotenoid: 3.6 and 3.3 mg 100 g−1), and zinc biofortified genotypes A1847-10 and A1803-42 (20.4 and 22.4 mg kg−1 zinc) were identified as superior genotypes based on their yield consistency over the environments and higher provitamin A and zinc content compared to the check. In addition, farmers can explore August sowing to harvest green cobs during December-January to boost up the emerging green cob business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Biofortification and Quality of Collard Greens as a Function of Iron Concentration in Nutrient Solution
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2493; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102493 - 13 Oct 2022
Viewed by 445
Abstract
The agronomic biofortification of vegetables is a strategy for increasing the concentration of iron (Fe) in food and, consequently, the intake of this micronutrient by the population. When in deficiency, it can cause anemia—a pathology that affects millions of people. Soil-less cultivation is [...] Read more.
The agronomic biofortification of vegetables is a strategy for increasing the concentration of iron (Fe) in food and, consequently, the intake of this micronutrient by the population. When in deficiency, it can cause anemia—a pathology that affects millions of people. Soil-less cultivation is an important cropping system, but there are no studies on how Fe concentrations in a nutrient solution can promote biofortification and affect the quality of collard greens; this is the aim of the present study. For this purpose, five Fe concentrations (2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 mg L−1) were evaluated. Increasing the Fe concentration in the nutrient solution increased the leaf Fe content and decreased the leaf contents of cationic nutrients, without affecting yield. Photosynthetic pigment contents were positively affected by Fe concentrations, while ascorbic acid decreased. There was efficient biofortification of collard greens leaves from 4 mg L−1 Fe, and a higher nutritional quality of leaves was observed at Fe concentrations of 8 mg L−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Effects of Applying Different Doses of Selenite to Soil and Foliar at Different Growth Stage on Selenium Content and Yield of Different Oat Varieties
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1810; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141810 - 08 Jul 2022
Viewed by 653
Abstract
(1) Background: With the increase in people’s consumption of processed oat products, the production of selenium (Se)-enriched oat has become a possibility to supplement the human body with Se. Therefore, the effects of various factors on the Se-enriched ability and yield of different [...] Read more.
(1) Background: With the increase in people’s consumption of processed oat products, the production of selenium (Se)-enriched oat has become a possibility to supplement the human body with Se. Therefore, the effects of various factors on the Se-enriched ability and yield of different oat varieties were comprehensively studied. (2) Methods: cv.“Pinyan 5” and cv.“Bayou 18” were applied at the stem-elongation stage and heading stage in the Jinzhong (JZ), and cv.“Bayou 1” and cv.“Jinyan 18” were applied at the heading stage and flowering stage in the northwestern Shanxi (JXB) with different doses of Na2SeO3 (0, 5.48, 10.96, 21.92, 43.84, 65.76, 98.64, 0, 5.48, 10.96, 21.92, 43.84, 65.76, 98.64, 147.96 g hm−2) by soil application and foliar spraying. (3) Results: The grain Se content and yield of oat were affected by the variety, Se application dose, stage and method of Se supplementation. Additionally, the Se content in oat grain was positively correlated with the Se application dose while the yield of oat first increased and then decreased with the Se application dose. (4) Conclusions: In the JZ and JXB, 21.92 g hm−2 and 43.84 g hm−2 Se was sprayed on the leaves of cv.“Bayou 18” and cv.“Bayou 1” at the heading stage, respectively, was the most effective Se biofortification program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
Article
Foliar Spraying of Salicylic Acid Enhances Growth, Yield, and Curcuminoid Biosynthesis Gene Expression as Well as Curcuminoid Accumulation in Curcuma longa
Horticulturae 2022, 8(5), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8050417 - 07 May 2022
Viewed by 784
Abstract
The application of exogenously applied salicylic acid plays important roles in improving the growth, yield, and bioactive compound compositions of different plant species. Curcuma longa is a medicinal plant that is commonly used as a spice and food additive, and has antioxidant potential. [...] Read more.
The application of exogenously applied salicylic acid plays important roles in improving the growth, yield, and bioactive compound compositions of different plant species. Curcuma longa is a medicinal plant that is commonly used as a spice and food additive, and has antioxidant potential. In this study, an innovative strategy for enhancing active compound production was investigated by applying a natural plant growth enhancer—namely, salicylic acid (SA)—to C. longa plants. The experiment was conducted using a complete randomized block design. The effects of SA on the growth, yield, and chemical compound contents of C. longa were recorded. Our findings demonstrated that SA significantly improved C. longa growth, yield, and curcuminoid content when compared to control treatment, with SA at 10−3 M having the greatest effect. The study also indicated that the increase in the curcuminoid content was accompanied by the overexpression of the curcumin synthase 1 (CURS1), 2 (CURS2), and 3 (CURS3) genes, as well as the diketide-CoA synthase (DCS) gene, which have been implicated in the synthesis of curcuminoids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Comparative Analysis of Transcriptome Profiles Reveals the Mechanisms in the Difference of Low Potassium Tolerance among Cultivated and Tibetan Wild Barleys
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051094 - 30 Apr 2022
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Potassium (K) deficiency is a bottleneck for crop production. Thus, developing low K (LK)-tolerant crop cultivars to relieve the issue is extremely urgent. Our previous studies had found that Tibetan annual wild barley accessions showed a higher LK tolerance than the cultivated barley. [...] Read more.
Potassium (K) deficiency is a bottleneck for crop production. Thus, developing low K (LK)-tolerant crop cultivars to relieve the issue is extremely urgent. Our previous studies had found that Tibetan annual wild barley accessions showed a higher LK tolerance than the cultivated barley. In this study, RNA-sequencing was performed on three barley genotypes, wild (XZ153, LK tolerance; XZ141, LK sensitivity) and cultivated (ZD9, LK sensitivity) barley genotypes, to compare the transcriptome profiles of their shoots at two time points after LK stress. In total, 4832 genes displayed differential expression at 48 h and 15 d among three genotypes after K stress treatment, with XZ153 having much more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) at 48 h than 15 d, but it was the opposite in ZD9. Meanwhile, GO annotation analysis and KEGG pathway enrichment were implemented on 555 and 814 LK tolerance-associated DEGs at 48 h and 15 d after LK stress, respectively. Three barley genotypes differed significantly in transcriptional level after LK treatment. The high tolerance in wild genotype XZ153 could be attributed to many factors, mainly including K channels, Ca2+ signaling pathway, ethylene biosynthesis process, TCA cycle, glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, and photosynthesis. Furthermore, some candidate genes identified in this study may be used to improve the LK tolerance of barley. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Biofortification of Soybean (Glycine max L.) through FeSO4·7H2O to Enhance Yield, Iron Nutrition and Economic Outcomes in Sandy Loam Soils of India
Agriculture 2022, 12(5), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12050586 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
The nutritional value of Glycine max L. (soybean) and its yield potential for improving sustainability of agricultural systems has resulted into its increased production. Soybean crop has potential to replace the rice crop in the rice-wheat cropping system. However, the crop has shown [...] Read more.
The nutritional value of Glycine max L. (soybean) and its yield potential for improving sustainability of agricultural systems has resulted into its increased production. Soybean crop has potential to replace the rice crop in the rice-wheat cropping system. However, the crop has shown high sensitivity towards iron (Fe) deficiency, and thus recorded major yield and nutritional quality losses. Thus, a three-year field experiment was planned to compare the impact of the application rate (0.5% and 1.0%) and number of sprays of FeSO4 on yield, Fe nutrition, and economic outcomes of soybeans. The Fe application posed a beneficial impact on the studied parameters due to an increase in enzymatic activity of Fe-containing enzymes. Among various treatments, maximum increase in grain and straw yield (3064 and 9341 kg ha−1, respectively) was obtained with 0.5% FeSO4 application at 30, 60, and 90 DAS over the control (2397 and 6894 kg ha−1, respectively). Similar results were attained for grain Fe concentration (69.9 mg kg−1) and Fe uptake in grain and straw (214 and 9088 g ha−1, respectively). The results were statistically non-significant, with the treatment in which 0.5% FeSO4 was applied at 30 and 60 DAS. The economic returns of soybean cultivation were also highest with 0.5% FeSO4 application at 30, 60, and 90 DAS with highest benefit; the cost (3.02) followed by treatment in which 0.5% FeSO4 was applied at 30 and 60 DAS. Thus, 0.5% FeSO4 application at 30, 60, and 90 DAS can be recommended for soybeans grown on sandy loam soil followed by 0.5% FeSO4 application at 30and 60 DAS to harness maximum yield, Fe concentration, and profitability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Comparing Efficacy of Different Biostimulants for Hydroponically Grown Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040786 - 24 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1665
Abstract
Biostimulants can enhance horticultural crop production. However, their application in hydroponically grown lettuce is still limited, and information regarding their relative efficacy is lacking. A greenhouse trial was conducted to address this issue. Five nutrient solution treatments were evaluated on two lettuce cultivars: [...] Read more.
Biostimulants can enhance horticultural crop production. However, their application in hydroponically grown lettuce is still limited, and information regarding their relative efficacy is lacking. A greenhouse trial was conducted to address this issue. Five nutrient solution treatments were evaluated on two lettuce cultivars: butterhead and red oak-leaf. The treatments included a half-strength modified Hoagland solution (Hs-H); a full-strength modified Hoagland solution (Fs-H); and Hs-H supplemented with 50 mg L−1 fulvic acid (FA), 334 mg L−1 seaweed extract (SE), or 5 mL L−1 gamma polyglutamic acid (PGA). The results indicated that the shoot biomass observed after biostimulant supplementation was significantly greater than or comparable to that observed with Fs-H. Nutrient solutions supplemented with SE and PGA led to a greater increase in the root biomass than that realized with Hs-H and Fs-H treatments. The Hs-H + FA treatment resulted in the lowest root-to-shoot ratio on a fresh weight basis among all treatments. The nitrate concentration in the shoot was significantly reduced following biostimulant supplementation compared to that realized with Fs-H and Hs-H treatments. Nutrient solutions supplemented with SE and PGA also decreased soluble sugar concentrations compared to that achieved using Hs-H and Fs-H treatments. FA and SE improved nutrient uptake for both cultivars, but PGA had a minimal effect on nutrient uptake. The two cultivars varied in their responses to biostimulant supplementation with regard to biomass, quality traits, and nutrient uptake. This study supports using fulvic acid and seaweed extract, rather than γ-PGA, in hydroponic lettuce production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Review
Benefits of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene to Crops and Their Potential Nutraceutical Value to Mammals
Agriculture 2022, 12(3), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12030368 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Resveratrol and its dimethoxylated derivative, pterostilbene, are produced by several plant species, including a few edible crops such as peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), grapes (Vitis spp.), and blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), as well some plants used in traditional medicine. Both compounds [...] Read more.
Resveratrol and its dimethoxylated derivative, pterostilbene, are produced by several plant species, including a few edible crops such as peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), grapes (Vitis spp.), and blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), as well some plants used in traditional medicine. Both compounds are inducible, antimicrobial compounds with activity against both plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi, an activity apparently not directly related to their strong antioxidant activity. An amazing number of nutraceutical properties have been claimed for both compounds, including antioxidant, antiaging, anti-cholesterol, anticancer, antidiabetic and other beneficial activities. Most evidence supports the view that pterostilbene is more active for most of these effects, due in part to its greater biological availability. However, the amount of these compounds in most diets is insufficient to provide these health benefits. Dietary supplements of formulated pure compounds can now provide sufficient dietary levels for these effects, as transgenic crops in the future might also do. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Biofortification of Staple Crops to Alleviate Human Malnutrition: Contributions and Potential in Developing Countries
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020452 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2106
Abstract
Micronutrient malnutrition is a global health challenge affecting almost half of the global population, causing poor physical and mental development of children and a wide range of illnesses. It is most prevalent in young girls, women, and pre-school children who are suffering particularly [...] Read more.
Micronutrient malnutrition is a global health challenge affecting almost half of the global population, causing poor physical and mental development of children and a wide range of illnesses. It is most prevalent in young girls, women, and pre-school children who are suffering particularly from the low consumption of vitamins and micronutrients. Given this global challenge, biofortification has proven to be a promising and economical approach to increase the concentration of essential micronutrients in edible portions of staple crops. Produce quality and micronutrient content can be further enhanced with the use of micronutrient fertilizers. Especially developing countries with a high percentage of malnourished populations are attracted to this integrated biofortification, combining modern agronomic interventions and genetic improvement of food crops. Consequently, maize, rice, wheat, beans, pearl millet, sweet potato, and cassava have all been biofortified with increased concentrations of Fe, Zn, or provitamin A in various developing countries. Today, there are several large-scale success stories in Africa and Asia that support the research and development of biofortified crops. In this review, we summarized what has been achieved to date and how edible crops can be further improved by integrating agronomic and genetic strategies to upgrade the nutritional status of children and adults around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Exogenous Application of L-Arginine Improves Protein Content and Increases Yield of Pereskia aculeata Mill. Grown in Soilless Media Container
Horticulturae 2022, 8(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8020142 - 07 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1073
Abstract
The Brazilian flora is one of the richest in biodiversity and has many species with high pharmaceutical and nutraceutical potential. Among these species is ora-pro-nobis (Pereskia aculeata Mill.), which stands out for the high protein content found in its leaves. The exogenous [...] Read more.
The Brazilian flora is one of the richest in biodiversity and has many species with high pharmaceutical and nutraceutical potential. Among these species is ora-pro-nobis (Pereskia aculeata Mill.), which stands out for the high protein content found in its leaves. The exogenous application of amino acids in crop production has shown promising results, such as the increase in productivity and plant quality, besides their capacity in alleviating environmental stress in plants. Exogenous application of L-arginine (0, 0.25, 1.0 and 2.0 g L−1 of water) was performed by drenching on coconut fiber growing media of ora-pro-nobis plants. Plant growth parameters analyzed were chlorophylls and carotenoids contents, crude protein content, and determination of enzymes and oxidative stress substances. The higher concentration of L-arginine (2 g L−1 of water) increased net photosynthetic rate, leaf area, plant fresh and dry mass, carotenoids content and crude protein content in leaves. Thus, the exogenous application of L-arginine in ora-pro-nobis plants can improve both the productivity and nutritional value of its leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
A New Calcium Vectoring Technology: Concentration and Distribution of Ca and Agronomic Efficiency in Pepper Plants
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020410 - 06 Feb 2022
Viewed by 992
Abstract
Calcium (Ca) is an important macronutrient for plants, although its low mobility through the phloem makes more difficult the translocation to growing tissues, including fruits. The blossom end rot (BER) physiopathy occurs mainly in fruits and is associated with water stress, and especially [...] Read more.
Calcium (Ca) is an important macronutrient for plants, although its low mobility through the phloem makes more difficult the translocation to growing tissues, including fruits. The blossom end rot (BER) physiopathy occurs mainly in fruits and is associated with water stress, and especially with low Ca levels, which has a very negative effect on the production of many crops. Currently, through the vectoring process, it is possible to increase the transport of immobile elements to the fruits. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of BRANDT® MANNI-PLEX® Ca, which contains Ca with a vector (polyalcohols), provided by the company BRANDT EUROPE S.L. (Carmona, Spain), on Ca accumulation and the production and quality of pepper fruits, both at harvest and post-harvest stage. Pepper plants were grown in a shaded greenhouse and supplied with BRANDT® MANNI-PLEX® Ca and parameters related to biomass, production, and fruit quality were analyzed. The results showed that the product increased shoot biomass, photosynthesis performance, Ca accumulation and quality of pepper fruits both at harvest and post-harvest, while reducing the incidence of Ca physiopathies by 70%. Therefore, this study proves the BRANDT® MANNI-PLEX® Ca efficacy in a crop with a high incidence of Ca physiopathies, such as pepper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Seed Priming and Foliar Application with Nitrogen and Zinc Improve Seedling Growth, Yield, and Zinc Accumulation in Rice
Agriculture 2022, 12(2), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020144 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
Improving grain yield and zinc (Zn) concentration yields a double benefit for farmers and consumers, especially when accomplished through the common practice of nitrogen (N) and Zn application. The objective of this study was to evaluate responses of a modern improved rice variety [...] Read more.
Improving grain yield and zinc (Zn) concentration yields a double benefit for farmers and consumers, especially when accomplished through the common practice of nitrogen (N) and Zn application. The objective of this study was to evaluate responses of a modern improved rice variety (SPT1) to Zn and N fertilizer management of seed germination, seedling growth, yield, and grain Zn accumulation. A preliminary laboratory study was conducted by priming seeds with variation of N and Zn solutions, consisting of (1) 0% urea + 0% ZnSO4 (N0Zn0), (2) 0% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N0Zn+), (3) 0.05% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N0.05Zn+), (4) 0.10% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N0.10Zn+), (5) 0.15% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N0.15Zn+), (6) 0.20% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N0.20Zn+), and (7) 0.25% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N0.25Zn+). Priming seeds with N0.15Zn+ led to a higher germination rate and growth performance. Seedling Zn concentration increased linearly along with the dry weights of root and coleoptile during germination. A second experiment in the field included priming the seed with (1) 0% urea + 0% ZnSO4 (N0Zn0), (2) 0.15% urea + 0% ZnSO4 (N+Zn0), (3) 0% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N0Zn+), and (4) 0.15% urea + 0.07% ZnSO4 (N+Zn+); this experiment showed that simultaneous priming of seeds with 0.15% urea and 0.07% ZnSO4 (N+Zn+) resulted in the highest coleoptile length and seedling dry weight. The highest seedling Zn concentration was observed when priming seeds with N0Zn+ followed by N+Zn+, but the effect disappeared at the later growth stages. A third experiment in the field was conducted by foliar application with four different treatments of (1) 0% urea + 0% ZnSO4 (N0Zn0), (2) 1% urea + 0.5% ZnSO4 (N+Zn0), (3) 0% urea + 0.5% ZnSO4 (N0Zn+), and (4) 1% urea + 0.5% ZnSO4 (N+Zn+). The highest grain yield increases were achieved by foliar application of N+Zn0 (28.5%) and foliar application of N+Zn+ (32.5%), as compared with the control (N0Zn0). Grain Zn concentration was the highest under foliar application of N+Zn+, with a 37.9% increase compared with N0Zn0. This study confirmed that seedling growth performance can be enhanced by initially priming seeds with N and Zn solution, while grain yield and Zn concentration can be improved by foliar application of N and Zn fertilizer. The information would be useful for the appropriate combined application of Zn and N fertilizers in the practical field to improve grain yield and Zn accumulation as well as Zn nutrition among humans with rice-based diets. The result should be extended to a wider range of rice varieties under suitable management of N and Zn fertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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Article
Biofortification of Diverse Basmati Rice Cultivars with Iodine, Selenium, and Zinc by Individual and Cocktail Spray of Micronutrients
Agronomy 2022, 12(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12010049 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2087
Abstract
Given that an effective combined foliar application of iodine (I), selenium (Se), and zinc (Zn) would be farmer friendly, compared to a separate spray of each micronutrient, for the simultaneous biofortification of grain crops, we compared effectiveness of foliar-applied potassium iodate (KIO3 [...] Read more.
Given that an effective combined foliar application of iodine (I), selenium (Se), and zinc (Zn) would be farmer friendly, compared to a separate spray of each micronutrient, for the simultaneous biofortification of grain crops, we compared effectiveness of foliar-applied potassium iodate (KIO3, 0.05%), sodium selenate (Na2SeO4, 0.0024%), and zinc sulfate (ZnSO4∙7H2O, 0.5%), separately and in their combination (as cocktail) for the micronutrient biofortification of four Basmati cultivars of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Foliar-applied, each micronutrient or their cocktail did not affect rice grain yield, but grain yield varied significantly among rice cultivars. Irrespective of foliar treatments, the brown rice of cv. Super Basmati and cv. Kisan Basmati had substantially higher concentration of micronutrients than cv. Basmati-515 and cv. Chenab Basmati. With foliar-applied KIO3, alone or in cocktail, the I concentration in brown rice increased from 12 to 186 µg kg−1. The average I concentration in brown rice with foliar-applied KIO3 or cocktail was 126 μg kg−1 in cv. Basmati-515, 160 μg kg−1 in cv. Chenab Basmati, 153 μg kg−1 in cv. Kisan Basmati, and 306 μg kg−1 in cv. Super Basmati. Selenium concentration in brown rice increased from 54 to 760 µg kg−1, with foliar-applied Na2SeO4 individually and in cocktail, respectively. The inherent Zn concentration in rice cultivars ranged between 14 and 19 mg kg−1 and increased by 5–6 mg Zn per kg grains by foliar application of ZnSO4∙7H2O and cocktail. The results also showed the existence of genotypic variation in response to foliar spray of micronutrients and demonstrated that a foliar-applied cocktail of I, Se, and Zn could be an effective strategy for the simultaneous biofortification of rice grains with these micronutrients to address the hidden hunger problem in human populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Nutrition Biofortification)
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