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Special Issue "Biochemical and Molecular Regulations of Priming: How Plants Enhance Their Defence against Environmental Pressures"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Cecilia Brunetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IPSP - Institute for Sustainable Plant Research, National Research Council of Italy, Viale delle Idee, 30 - 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Firenze), Italy
Interests: drought; plant ecophysiology; plant hormones; polyphenols; secondary metabolites; water relations
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection National Research Council of Italy, IPSP-CNR, Turin, Italy
Interests: cell wall; genomics and fungal genomics of symbiotic fungi; mycorrhizal fungi; plant-microbe interactions; abiotic stresses
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are exposed to a combination of recurring abiotic and biotic stresses. These detrimental effects are exacerbated by climate change, which is leading to a rapid decline of crop productivity and pushes forest tree populations and species to the limits of their ecological tolerance. However, plants, in addition to their adaptive genetic variation in traits linked to climate, can also rely on the so-called “priming of defence,” which results in a faster, stronger, and more efficient resistance response upon subsequent pathogen attack or stressful events. Primed condition can be reached through the application of chemical compounds but also by beneficial soil microorganisms, such as rhizobacteria and root-associated fungi. Recently, new research frontiers have been also investigated, such as the beneficial plant-virus interactions and the possibility to exploit the innate plant silencing pathway using double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs). In a primed plant, several changes take place at the physiological, molecular, and/or epigenetic levels, and this information is stored (by the memory effect), allowing a more robust defence in the presence of a challenge, i.e., biotic and abiotic stresses. This Special Issue is open to both research and review papers focused on the investigation of the mechanisms leading to priming status in a plant.

Dr. Cecilia Brunetti
Prof. Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. 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

  • abiotic and biotic stresses
  • plant defence
  • arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • root-associated microbes
  • volatile organic compounds
  • secondary metabolites
  • biochemical responses
  • gene expression

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Jasmonic Acid Plays a Pivotal Role in Pollen Development and Fertility Regulation in Different Types of P(T)GMS Rice Lines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 7926; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22157926 - 25 Jul 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Two-line hybrid rice systems represent a new technical approach to utilizing the advantages of rice hybrids. However, the mechanism underlying the male sterile-line fertility transition in rice remains unclear. Peiai 64S (PA64S) is a photoperiod- and thermo-sensitive genic male sterile (PTGMS) line in [...] Read more.
Two-line hybrid rice systems represent a new technical approach to utilizing the advantages of rice hybrids. However, the mechanism underlying the male sterile-line fertility transition in rice remains unclear. Peiai 64S (PA64S) is a photoperiod- and thermo-sensitive genic male sterile (PTGMS) line in which male sterility manifests at an average temperature above 23.5 °C under long-day (LD) conditions. Nongken 58S (NK58S) is a LD-sensitive genic male sterile (PGMS) rice that is sterile under LD conditions (above 13.75 h-day). In contrast, D52S is a short-day (SD)-PGMS line that manifests male sterility under SD conditions (below 13.5 h-day). In this study, we obtained fertile and sterile plants from all three lines and performed transcriptome analyses on the anthers of the plants. Gene ontology (GO) analysis suggested that the differentially expressed genes identified were significantly enriched in common terms involved in the response to jasmonic acid (JA) and in JA biosynthesis. On the basis of the biochemical and molecular validation of dynamic, tissue-specific changes in JA, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) levels, gibberellin (GA) levels, and JA biosynthetic enzyme activities and expression, we proposed that JA could play a pivotal role in viable pollen production through its initial upregulation, constant fluctuation and leaf-spikelet signaling under certain fertility-inducing conditions. Furthermore, we also sprayed methyl jasmonate (MEJA) and salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM) on the plants, thereby achieving fertility reversal in the PGMS lines NK58S and D52S, with 12.91–63.53% pollen fertility changes. Through qPCR and enzyme activity analyses, we identified two key enzymes—allene oxide synthase (AOS) and allene oxide cyclase (AOC)—that were produced and upregulated by 20–500-fold in PGMS in response to spraying; the activities of these enzymes reversed pollen fertility by influencing the JA biosynthetic pathway. These results provide a new understanding of hormone interactions and networks in male-sterile rice based on the role of JA that will help us to better understand the potential regulatory mechanisms of fertility development in rice in the future. Full article
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Article
Gadolinium Protects Arabidopsis thaliana against Botrytis cinerea through the Activation of JA/ET-Induced Defense Responses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4938; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22094938 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Plant food production is severely affected by fungi; to cope with this problem, farmers use synthetic fungicides. However, the need to reduce fungicide application has led to a search for alternatives, such as biostimulants. Rare-earth elements (REEs) are widely used as biostimulants, but [...] Read more.
Plant food production is severely affected by fungi; to cope with this problem, farmers use synthetic fungicides. However, the need to reduce fungicide application has led to a search for alternatives, such as biostimulants. Rare-earth elements (REEs) are widely used as biostimulants, but their mode of action and their potential as an alternative to synthetic fungicides have not been fully studied. Here, the biostimulant effect of gadolinium (Gd) is explored using the plant-pathosystem Arabidopsis thalianaBotrytis cinerea. We determine that Gd induces local, systemic, and long-lasting plant defense responses to B. cinerea, without affecting fungal development. The physiological changes induced by Gd have been related to its structural resemblance to calcium. However, our results show that the calcium-induced defense response is not sufficient to protect plants against B. cinerea, compared to Gd. Furthermore, a genome-wide transcriptomic analysis shows that Gd induces plant defenses and modifies early and late defense responses. However, the resistance to B. cinerea is dependent on JA/ET-induced responses. These data support the conclusion that Gd can be used as a biocontrol agent for B. cinerea. These results are a valuable tool to uncover the molecular mechanisms induced by REEs. Full article
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Article
Effects of Different Short-Term UV-B Radiation Intensities on Metabolic Characteristics of Porphyra haitanensis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 2180; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22042180 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 567
Abstract
The effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, particularly UV-B on algae, have become an important issue as human-caused depletion of the protecting ozone layer has been reported. In this study, the effects of different short-term UV-B radiation on the growth, physiology, and metabolism of [...] Read more.
The effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, particularly UV-B on algae, have become an important issue as human-caused depletion of the protecting ozone layer has been reported. In this study, the effects of different short-term UV-B radiation on the growth, physiology, and metabolism of Porphyra haitanensis were examined. The growth of P. haitanensis decreased, and the bleaching phenomenon occurred in the thalli. The contents of total amino acids, soluble sugar, total protein, and mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) increased under different UV-B radiation intensities. The metabolic profiles of P. haitanensis differed between the control and UV-B radiation-treated groups. Most of the differential metabolites in P. haitanensis were significantly upregulated under UV-B exposure. Short-term enhanced UV-B irradiation significantly affected amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, glutathione metabolism, and phenylpropane biosynthesis. The contents of phenylalanine, tyrosine, threonine, and serine were increased, suggesting that amino acid metabolism can promote the synthesis of UV-absorbing substances (such as phenols and MAAs) by providing precursor substances. The contents of sucrose, D-glucose-6-phosphate, and beta-D-fructose-6-phosphate were increased, suggesting that carbohydrate metabolism contributes to maintain energy supply for metabolic activity in response to UV-B exposure. Meanwhile, dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) was also significantly upregulated, denoting effective activation of the antioxidant system. To some extent, these results provide metabolic insights into the adaptive response mechanism of P. haitanensis to short-term enhanced UV-B radiation. Full article
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Review

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Review
Strategies to Modulate Specialized Metabolism in Mediterranean Crops: From Molecular Aspects to Field
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 2887; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22062887 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
Plant specialized metabolites (SMs) play an important role in the interaction with the environment and are part of the plant defense response. These natural products are volatile, semi-volatile and non-volatile compounds produced from common building blocks deriving from primary metabolic pathways and rapidly [...] Read more.
Plant specialized metabolites (SMs) play an important role in the interaction with the environment and are part of the plant defense response. These natural products are volatile, semi-volatile and non-volatile compounds produced from common building blocks deriving from primary metabolic pathways and rapidly evolved to allow a better adaptation of plants to environmental cues. Specialized metabolites include terpenes, flavonoids, alkaloids, glucosinolates, tannins, resins, etc. that can be used as phytochemicals, food additives, flavoring agents and pharmaceutical compounds. This review will be focused on Mediterranean crop plants as a source of SMs, with a special attention on the strategies that can be used to modulate their production, including abiotic stresses, interaction with beneficial soil microorganisms and novel genetic approaches. Full article
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