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Special Issue "ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants"

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: closed (31 May 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Tsanko Gechev
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology, University of Plovdiv, 24 Tsar Assen Str., 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
2. Center of Plant Systems Biology and Biotechnology (CPSBB), 139 Ruski Blvd., 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Interests: abiotic stress; desiccation tolerance; drought; oxidative stress; resurrection plants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Veselin Petrov
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Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Abiotic stresses cause plant growth inhibition, damage, and in the most severe cases cell death, resulting in major crop yield losses worldwide. Many abiotic stresses can lead to oxidative stress. Recent genetic and genomics studies have revealed highly complex and integrated gene networks related to abiotic stress and reactive oxygen species, which are responsible for stress adaptation. Therefore, a systems biology approach is needed in order to fully understand the molecular mechanisms of stress tolerance and to find solutions for stress mitigation and secure crop production for the growing human population in an era of global climate change.

The papers submitted to this Special Issue should report original research that delves into the intricate pathways promoting plant tolerance to single or combined abiotic stresses as well as oxidative stress and provides novel insights into the control mechanisms regulating plant growth or defense programs under adverse conditions. Multidisciplinary approaches, studying the experimental systems from genetic, molecular biology, physiological, biochemical, and systems biology perspectives are encouraged.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tsanko Gechev
Dr. Veselin Petrov
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • chilling/freezing
  • drought stress
  • heat stress
  • heavy metals stress
  • nutrient/mineral stress
  • oxidative stress
  • resurrection plants and desiccation tolerance
  • salinity

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Reactive Oxygen Species and Abiotic Stress in Plants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7433; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21207433 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1156
Abstract
Abiotic stresses cause plant growth inhibition, damage, and in the most severe cases, cell death, resulting in major crop yield losses worldwide. Many abiotic stresses lead also to oxidative stress. Recent genetic and genomics studies have revealed highly complex and integrated gene networks [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses cause plant growth inhibition, damage, and in the most severe cases, cell death, resulting in major crop yield losses worldwide. Many abiotic stresses lead also to oxidative stress. Recent genetic and genomics studies have revealed highly complex and integrated gene networks which are responsible for stress adaptation. Here we summarize the main findings of the papers published in the Special Issue “ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants”, providing a global picture of the link between reactive oxygen species and various abiotic stresses such as acid toxicity, drought, heat, heavy metals, osmotic stress, oxidative stress, and salinity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)

Research

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Article
Identifying the Pressure Points of Acute Cadmium Stress Prior to Acclimation in Arabidopsis thaliana
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6232; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21176232 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
The toxic metal cadmium (Cd) is a major soil pollutant. Knowledge on the acute Cd-induced stress response is required to better understand the triggers and sequence of events that precede plant acclimation. Therefore, we aimed to identify the pressure points of Cd stress [...] Read more.
The toxic metal cadmium (Cd) is a major soil pollutant. Knowledge on the acute Cd-induced stress response is required to better understand the triggers and sequence of events that precede plant acclimation. Therefore, we aimed to identify the pressure points of Cd stress using a short-term exposure set-up ranging from 0 h to 24 h. Acute responses related to glutathione (GSH), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), ethylene and the oxidative challenge were studied at metabolite and/or transcript level in roots and leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana either exposed or not to 5 µM Cd. Cadmium rapidly induced root GSH depletion, which might serve as an alert response and modulator of H2O2 signalling. Concomitantly, a stimulation of root ACC levels was observed. Leaf responses were delayed and did not involve GSH depletion. After 24 h, a defined oxidative challenge became apparent, which was most pronounced in the leaves and concerted with a strong induction of leaf ACC synthesis. We suggest that root GSH depletion is required for a proper alert response rather than being a merely adverse effect. Furthermore, we propose that roots serve as command centre via a.o. root-derived ACC/ethylene to engage the leaves in a proper stress response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Article
Phloem Exudate Protein Profiles during Drought and Recovery Reveal Abiotic Stress Responses in Tomato Vasculature
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4461; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21124461 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1412
Abstract
Drought is the leading cause of agricultural yield loss among all abiotic stresses, and the link between water deficit and phloem protein contents is relatively unexplored. Here we collected phloem exudates from Solanum lycopersicum leaves during periods of drought stress and recovery. Our [...] Read more.
Drought is the leading cause of agricultural yield loss among all abiotic stresses, and the link between water deficit and phloem protein contents is relatively unexplored. Here we collected phloem exudates from Solanum lycopersicum leaves during periods of drought stress and recovery. Our analysis identified 2558 proteins, the most abundant of which were previously localized to the phloem. Independent of drought, enrichment analysis of the total phloem exudate protein profiles from all samples suggests that the protein content of phloem sap is complex, and includes proteins that function in chaperone systems, branched-chain amino acid synthesis, trehalose metabolism, and RNA silencing. We observed 169 proteins whose abundance changed significantly within the phloem sap, either during drought or recovery. Proteins that became significantly more abundant during drought include members of lipid metabolism, chaperone-mediated protein folding, carboxylic acid metabolism, abscisic acid signaling, cytokinin biosynthesis, and amino acid metabolism. Conversely, proteins involved in lipid signaling, sphingolipid metabolism, cell wall organization, carbohydrate metabolism, and a mitogen-activated protein kinase are decreased during drought. Our experiment has achieved an in-depth profiling of phloem sap protein contents during drought stress and recovery that supports previous findings and provides new evidence that multiple biological processes are involved in drought adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Article
AtSK11 and AtSK12 Mediate the Mild Osmotic Stress-Induced Root Growth Response in Arabidopsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3991; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21113991 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
Although most osmotic stresses are harmful to plant growth and development, certain drought- or polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced mild osmotic stresses promote plant root growth. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of this response remain elusive. Here, we report that the GLYCOGEN SYNTHASE KINASE 3 (GSK3) [...] Read more.
Although most osmotic stresses are harmful to plant growth and development, certain drought- or polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced mild osmotic stresses promote plant root growth. The underlying regulatory mechanisms of this response remain elusive. Here, we report that the GLYCOGEN SYNTHASE KINASE 3 (GSK3) genes ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA SHAGGY-RELATED KINASE 11 (AtSK11) (AT5G26751) and AtSK12 (AT3G05840) are involved in the mild osmotic stress (−0.4 MPa) response in Arabidopsis thaliana. When grown on plant medium infused with different concentrations of PEG to mimic osmotic stress, both wild-type (WT) and atsk11atsk12 plants showed stimulated root growth under mild osmotic stress (−0.4 MPa) but repressed root growth under relatively strong osmotic stress (−0.5, −0.6, −0.7 MPa) as compared to the mock condition (−0.25 MPa). The root growth stimulation of atsk11atsk12 was more sensitive to −0.4 MPa treatment than was that of WT, indicating that AtSK11 and AtSK12 inhibit the mild stress-induced root growth response. RNA-seq analysis of WT and atsk11atsk12 plants under three water potentials (−0.25 MPa, −0.4 MPa, −0.6 MPa) revealed 10 differentially expressed candidate genes mainly involved in cell wall homeostasis, which were regulated by AtSK11 and AtSK12 to regulate root growth in response to the mild stress condition (−0.4 MPa). Promoter motif and transcription factor binding analyses suggested that the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor bHLH69/LJRHL1-LIKE 2 (LRL2) may directly regulate the expression of most −0.4 MPa-responsive genes. These findings indicate that mild osmotic stress (−0.4 MPa) promotes plant growth and that the GSK3 family kinase genes AtSK11 and AtSK12 play a negative role in the induction of root growth in response to mild osmotic stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Article
An Arabidopsis Mutant Over-Expressing Subtilase SBT4.13 Uncovers the Role of Oxidative Stress in the Inhibition of Growth by Intracellular Acidification
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 1173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21031173 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1774
Abstract
Intracellular acid stress inhibits plant growth by unknown mechanisms and it occurs in acidic soils and as consequence of other stresses. In order to identify mechanisms of acid toxicity, we screened activation-tagging lines of Arabidopsis thaliana for tolerance to intracellular acidification induced by [...] Read more.
Intracellular acid stress inhibits plant growth by unknown mechanisms and it occurs in acidic soils and as consequence of other stresses. In order to identify mechanisms of acid toxicity, we screened activation-tagging lines of Arabidopsis thaliana for tolerance to intracellular acidification induced by organic acids. A dominant mutant, sbt4.13-1D, was isolated twice and shown to over-express subtilase SBT4.13, a protease secreted into endoplasmic reticulum. Activity measurements and immuno-detection indicate that the mutant contains less plasma membrane H+-ATPase (PMA) than wild type, explaining the small size, electrical depolarization and decreased cytosolic pH of the mutant but not organic acid tolerance. Addition of acetic acid to wild-type plantlets induces production of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) measured by dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate. Acid-induced ROS production is greatly decreased in sbt4.13-1D and atrboh-D,F mutants. The latter is deficient in two major NADPH oxidases (NOXs) and is tolerant to organic acids. These results suggest that intracellular acidification activates NOXs and the resulting oxidative stress is important for inhibition of growth. The inhibition of acid-activated NOXs in the sbt4.13-1D mutant compensates inhibition of PMA to increase acid tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Article
Tartary Buckwheat Transcription Factor FtbZIP5, Regulated by FtSnRK2.6, Can Improve Salt/Drought Resistance in Transgenic Arabidopsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 1123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21031123 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
bZIP transcription factors have been reported to be involved in many different biological processes in plants. The ABA (abscisic acid)-dependent AREB/ABF-SnRK2 pathway has been shown to play a key role in the response to osmotic stress in model plants. In this study, a [...] Read more.
bZIP transcription factors have been reported to be involved in many different biological processes in plants. The ABA (abscisic acid)-dependent AREB/ABF-SnRK2 pathway has been shown to play a key role in the response to osmotic stress in model plants. In this study, a novel bZIP gene, FtbZIP5, was isolated from tartary buckwheat, and its role in the response to drought and salt stress was characterized by transgenic Arabidopsis. We found that FtbZIP5 has transcriptional activation activity, which is located in the nucleus and specifically binds to ABRE elements. It can be induced by exposure to PEG6000, salt and ABA in tartary buckwheat. The ectopic expression of FtbZIP5 reduced the sensitivity of transgenic plants to drought and high salt levels and reduced the oxidative damage in plants by regulating the antioxidant system at a physiological level. In addition, we found that, under drought and salt stress, the expression levels of several ABA-dependent stress response genes (RD29A, RD29B, RAB18, RD26, RD20 and COR15) in the transgenic plants increased significantly compared with their expression levels in the wild type plants. Ectopic expression of FtbZIP5 in Arabidopsis can partially complement the function of the ABA-insensitive mutant abi5-1 (abscisic acid-insensitive 5-1). Moreover, we screened FtSnRK2.6, which might phosphorylate FtbZIP5, in a yeast two-hybrid experiment. Taken together, these results suggest that FtbZIP5, as a positive regulator, mediates plant tolerance to salt and drought through ABA-dependent signaling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Article
A Biostimulant Obtained from the Seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum Protects Arabidopsis thaliana from Severe Oxidative Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 474; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21020474 - 11 Jan 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2386
Abstract
Abiotic stresses cause oxidative damage in plants. Here, we demonstrate that foliar application of an extract from the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum, SuperFifty (SF), largely prevents paraquat (PQ)-induced oxidative stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. While PQ-stressed plants develop necrotic lesions, plants pre-treated with [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses cause oxidative damage in plants. Here, we demonstrate that foliar application of an extract from the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum, SuperFifty (SF), largely prevents paraquat (PQ)-induced oxidative stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. While PQ-stressed plants develop necrotic lesions, plants pre-treated with SF (i.e., primed plants) were unaffected by PQ. Transcriptome analysis revealed induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) marker genes, genes involved in ROS-induced programmed cell death, and autophagy-related genes after PQ treatment. These changes did not occur in PQ-stressed plants primed with SF. In contrast, upregulation of several carbohydrate metabolism genes, growth, and hormone signaling as well as antioxidant-related genes were specific to SF-primed plants. Metabolomic analyses revealed accumulation of the stress-protective metabolite maltose and the tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates fumarate and malate in SF-primed plants. Lipidome analysis indicated that those lipids associated with oxidative stress-induced cell death and chloroplast degradation, such as triacylglycerols (TAGs), declined upon SF priming. Our study demonstrated that SF confers tolerance to PQ-induced oxidative stress in A. thaliana, an effect achieved by modulating a range of processes at the transcriptomic, metabolic, and lipid levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Article
Transcription Factor GarWRKY5 Is Involved in Salt Stress Response in Diploid Cotton Species (Gossypium aridum L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(21), 5244; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20215244 - 23 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Cotton is one of the most economically important crops in the world, and it is exposed to various abiotic stresses during its lifecycle, especially salt stress. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying cotton tolerance to salt stress are still not fully understood due to [...] Read more.
Cotton is one of the most economically important crops in the world, and it is exposed to various abiotic stresses during its lifecycle, especially salt stress. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying cotton tolerance to salt stress are still not fully understood due to the complex nature of salt response. Therefore, identification of salt stress tolerance-related functional genes will help us understand key components involved in stress response and provide valuable genes for improving salt stress tolerance via genetic engineering in cotton. In the present study, virus-induced gene silencing of GhWRKY5 in cotton showed enhanced salt sensitivity compared to wild-type plants under salt stress. Overexpression of GarWRKY5 in Arabidopsis positively regulated salt tolerance at the stages of seed germination and vegetative growth. Additionally, GarWRKY5-overexpressing plants exhibited higher activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) under salt stress. The transcriptome sequencing analysis of transgenic Arabidopsis plants and wild-type plants revealed that there was enriched coexpression of genes involved in reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging (including glutamine S-transferases (GSTs) and SODs) and altered response to jasmonic acid and salicylic acid in the GarWRKY5-OE lines. GarWRKY5 is involved in salt stress response by the jasmonic acid- or salicylic acid-mediated signaling pathway based on overexpression of GarWRKY5 in Arabidopsis and virus-induced gene silencing of GarWRKY5 in cotton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Article
Integration of Transcriptomics and Metabolomics for Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in Response to Heat Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5042; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms20205042 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1818
Abstract
Heat stress (HS), caused by extremely high temperatures, is one of the most severe forms of abiotic stress in pepper. In the present study, we studied the transcriptome and metabolome of a heat-tolerant cultivar (17CL30) and a heat-sensitive cultivar (05S180) under HS. Briefly, [...] Read more.
Heat stress (HS), caused by extremely high temperatures, is one of the most severe forms of abiotic stress in pepper. In the present study, we studied the transcriptome and metabolome of a heat-tolerant cultivar (17CL30) and a heat-sensitive cultivar (05S180) under HS. Briefly, we identified 5754 and 5756 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in 17CL30 and 05S180, respectively. Moreover, we also identified 94 and 108 differentially accumulated metabolites (DAMs) in 17CL30 and 05S180, respectively. Interestingly, there were many common HS-responsive genes (approximately 30%) in both pepper cultivars, despite the expression patterns of these HS-responsive genes being different in both cultivars. Notably, the expression changes of the most common HS-responsive genes were typically much more significant in 17CL30, which might explain why 17CL30 was more heat tolerant. Similar results were also obtained from metabolome data, especially amino acids, organic acids, flavonoids, and sugars. The changes in numerous genes and metabolites emphasized the complex response mechanisms involved in HS in pepper. Collectively, our study suggested that the glutathione metabolic pathway played a critical role in pepper response to HS and the higher accumulation ability of related genes and metabolites might be one of the primary reasons contributing to the heat resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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Review

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Review
Chromium-Induced Reactive Oxygen Species Accumulation by Altering the Enzymatic Antioxidant System and Associated Cytotoxic, Genotoxic, Ultrastructural, and Photosynthetic Changes in Plants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 728; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21030728 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Chromium (Cr) is one of the top seven toxic heavy metals, being ranked 21st among the abundantly found metals in the earth’s crust. A huge amount of Cr releases from various industries and Cr mines, which is accumulating in the agricultural land, is [...] Read more.
Chromium (Cr) is one of the top seven toxic heavy metals, being ranked 21st among the abundantly found metals in the earth’s crust. A huge amount of Cr releases from various industries and Cr mines, which is accumulating in the agricultural land, is significantly reducing the crop development, growth, and yield. Chromium mediates phytotoxicity either by direct interaction with different plant parts and metabolic pathways or it generates internal stress by inducing the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Thus, the role of Cr-induced ROS in the phytotoxicity is very important. In the current study, we reviewed the most recent publications regarding Cr-induced ROS, Cr-induced alteration in the enzymatic antioxidant system, Cr-induced lipid peroxidation and cell membrane damage, Cr-induced DNA damage and genotoxicity, Cr-induced ultrastructural changes in cell and subcellular level, and Cr-induced alterations in photosynthesis and photosynthetic apparatus. Taken together, we conclude that Cr-induced ROS and the suppression of the enzymatic antioxidant system actually mediate Cr-induced cytotoxic, genotoxic, ultrastructural, and photosynthetic changes in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS and Abiotic Stress in Plants)
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