Special Issue "Plant Secondary Metabolism as a Response to Single or Multiple Stresses"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Product Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maria Giordano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, 80055 Portici, Italy
Interests: vegetable quality; sustainable agriculture; horticultural crops; hydroponics and soilless culture; biofortification; microgreens; functional foods; microbial and non-microbial biostimulants; carbon sequestration; nutrient cycling
Dr. Christophe El-Nakhel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, 80055 Portici, Italy
Interests: horticultural crops; microgreens; protected cultivation; hydroponics; plant biostimulants; nutrient eustress; biofortification; space farming; nutrient recovery from urine
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Secondary metabolites (e.g., flavonoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols) are an innate defense against stress, as all plants can synthesize them. In some species, stress response is enhanced by previous mild or short-term stresses, during which the plant channels its energy towards the synthesis of secondary molecules, to the detriment of growth or other metabolic activities. The type or quantity of secondary metabolites in plants can vary according to pre-harvest factors and plant phenological stage (e.g., microgreens, baby leaf, adult stage). In a scenario of rapid and intense climate change, the activation of the secondary metabolism must be just as rapid and intense to allow the plant to survive. Furthermore, plants are subjected not only to single biotic or abiotic stresses, but also to multiple stresses. Genetic variability cannot quickly create plant organisms capable of surviving such stresses. The choice of eco-sustainable agricultural practices that can both reduce the impact on natural resources (e.g., soil, air, water) and increase the plant defense response is a valuable solution for modern agriculture. On the other hand, at present, consumers’ interest is directed towards functional foods which are rich in secondary metabolites. This Special Issue aims to understand the agronomic, metabolic, and physiological factors which contribute to activate the secondary metabolism in response to single or multiple abiotic and/or biotic stresses.

Dr. Maria Giordano
Dr. Christophe El-Nakhel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • secondary metabolites
  • climate change
  • single/multiple stresses
  • biotic/abiotic stresses
  • eco-sustainable agricultural practices
  • functional foods
 

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Pigment Production under Cold Stress in the Green Microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 564; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11060564 - 20 Jun 2021
Viewed by 786
Abstract
Microalgae have long been used for the commercial production of natural colorants such as carotenoids and chlorophyll. Due to the rising demand for carotenoids and other natural products from microalgae, strategies to increase production efficiency are urgently needed. The production of microalgal biorefineries [...] Read more.
Microalgae have long been used for the commercial production of natural colorants such as carotenoids and chlorophyll. Due to the rising demand for carotenoids and other natural products from microalgae, strategies to increase production efficiency are urgently needed. The production of microalgal biorefineries has been limited to countries with moderate climates. For countries with cooler climates and less daylight, methodologies for the efficient production of microalgal biorefineries need to be investigated. Algal strains that can be safely consumed as whole cells are also attractive alternatives for developing as carotenoid supplements, which can also contain other compounds with health benefits. Using such strains helps to eliminate the need for hazardous solvents for extraction and several other complicated steps. In this study, the mesophilic green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was employed to study the effects of cold stress on cell physiology and the production of pigments and storage compounds. The results showed that temperatures between 10 and 20 °C induced carotenoid and chlorophyll accumulation in the wild-type strain of C. reinhardtii. Interestingly, the increased level of carotenoids suggested that they might play a crucial role in cold stress acclimation. A temperature of 15 °C resulted in the highest carotenoid and chlorophyll productivity. At this temperature, carotenoid and chlorophyll productivity was 2 times and 1.3 times higher than at 25 °C, respectively. Subjecting a mutant defective in lutein and zeaxanthin accumulation to cold stress revealed that these two carotenoids are not essential for cold stress survival. Therefore, cold temperature could be used as a strategy to induce and increase the productivity of pigments in C. reinhardtii. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Fate of Nitrogen from Soil to Plants: Influence of Agricultural Practices in Modern Agriculture
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 944; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11100944 - 29 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Nitrogen is an element present on Earth in different forms, such as gaseous in the air, dissolved in water, immobilized in the soil, as well as biologically bound in all living organisms. The transition from one form to another constitutes the nitrogen cycle. [...] Read more.
Nitrogen is an element present on Earth in different forms, such as gaseous in the air, dissolved in water, immobilized in the soil, as well as biologically bound in all living organisms. The transition from one form to another constitutes the nitrogen cycle. Current agricultural systems rely on nitrogen fertilizers, which represent the reactive or biologically available nitrogen in soil. The excessive presence of reactive nitrogen in the environment has become a threat to soil, water, and air. The increasing demands for food in the world are associated with significant increase in nitrogen fertilizers inputs which threatens the environment and living organisms. The quantities of nitrogen used per capita in developed countries exceed those in developing countries. However, developed countries are regulated by restrictions of fertilizers inputs in agriculture, whereas such regulations do not exist in most of the developing countries. The need to resort to alternative and eco-sustainable strategies to mitigate the pollution related to human activities, is increasingly evident. This review aims to highlight the fate of nitrogen through the main agricultural practices in modern agriculture. Special attention was given to rocket (Eruca sativa) which is considered a nitrate hyper-accumulator and was used as a case study in the present review. Finally, some eco-sustainable solutions, useful for mitigating or preventing the excessive release of harmful forms of nitrogen into the environment, were also discussed. Full article
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Review
Response and Defence Mechanisms of Vegetable Crops against Drought, Heat and Salinity Stress
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 463; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11050463 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Environmental pollution, increasing CO2 atmospheric levels and the greenhouse effect are closely associated with the ongoing climate change and the extreme climatic events we are witnessing all over the Earth. Drought, high temperature and salinity are among the main environmental stresses that [...] Read more.
Environmental pollution, increasing CO2 atmospheric levels and the greenhouse effect are closely associated with the ongoing climate change and the extreme climatic events we are witnessing all over the Earth. Drought, high temperature and salinity are among the main environmental stresses that negatively affect the yield of numerous crops, challenging the world food safety. These effects are more profound in vegetable crops which are generally more susceptible to climate change than field or tree crops. The response to single or combined environmental stressors involves various changes in plant morphology and physiology or in molecular processes. Knowing the mechanisms behind these responses may help towards the creation of more tolerant genotypes in the long-term. However, the imediacy of the problem requires urgently short-term measures such as the use of eco-sustainable agricultural practices which can alleviate the negative effects of environmental pollution and allow vegetable crops to adapt to adverse climatic conditions. In this review, the main abiotic stressors were examined, namely drought, heat and salinity stress, focusing on the mechanisms involved in the most common vegetable crops responses. Moreover, the use of eco-sustainable cultural techniques, such as biostimulants, grafting and genomic sequencing techniques, to increase the quality of tomato crop under adverse environmental conditions are also presented. Full article

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

 
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