Recent Advances in Metabolic Processes and Metabolites of Agricultural Crops

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Horticultural and Floricultural Crops".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 16727

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture can be defined as that human activity aimed at obtaining the highest number of plant products with the best nutritional potentialities. For that reason, humans have always devoted a great part of their time seeking those health-promoting treasures. From the simple and intuitive first-sight analysis of the plant products initiated in the Neolithic to the application of cutting-edge approaches today, many issues have been the focus of human efforts oriented towards agriculture.

Genetic breeding has been one of the strategies developed since pioneering Plant Science started, improving species and cultivars with profitable use, either nutritional, forage or industrial. Due to the rapid development of genetic tools, genomic and transcriptomic eras have achieved considerable advances to obtain the best and most resistant varieties to uncountable stresses. However, due to the complex and mostly specific secondary metabolism which performs in plant cells, a deeper knowledge of how the plant cell physiology is able to adapt to the imminent scenario of climate change is still necessary.

With these perspectives, works (either research papers and reviews) focused on the investigation of the most updated issues related to plant metabolic processes, including single and complex enzymatic pathways, and the report and potential implications of new metabolites in agricultural crops, including exogenous growth promoters (salicylic acid, silicon, nanoparticles, among others), will be welcomed.

Prof. Dr. José M. Palma
Prof. Francisco Corpas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Antioxidants;
  • Enzyme;
  • Metabolic pathways;
  • Metabolomics;
  • Nanoparticles;
  • Phytohormones (classical but also including melatonin, serotonin, and others);
  • Secondary metabolism;
  • Signaling (nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide and other) events;

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 1679 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Biochemical and Volatile Components of Qianlincha and Qiandingcha Prepared from Eurya alata Kobuski and Camellia cuspidate
Agronomy 2021, 11(4), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040657 - 30 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1861
Abstract
Due to the accumulation of experiences on treating disease, tea began to develop to pluralism, and not limited to Camellia sinensis. The leaf buds of Eurya alata Kobuski and Camellia cuspidate were used to make Qianlincha (QLC) and Qiandingcha (QDC), which have [...] Read more.
Due to the accumulation of experiences on treating disease, tea began to develop to pluralism, and not limited to Camellia sinensis. The leaf buds of Eurya alata Kobuski and Camellia cuspidate were used to make Qianlincha (QLC) and Qiandingcha (QDC), which have special taste, aromas, and health benefits. In our study, the biochemical and volatile components of QLC and QDC were systematically analyzed and compared with a normal green tea (GT, C. sinensis). The biochemical and volatile components in the three tea samples were remarkably different. Compared with those in GT, QLC and QDC exhibited higher content of flavonoids and remarkably lower content of amino acids, catechins, and caffeine. High levels of flavonoids may play a crucial role in taste, liquor color, and health function of QLC and QDC. Low levels of amino acids, catechins, and caffeine may impart mouth-drying or velvety-like astringent taste; umami and refreshing taste of QLC and QDC was not as good as that of GT. High levels of linalool, geraniol, nonanal, dimethyl sulfide, and cis-jasmone may impart a clean and strongly floral or fruity aroma characteristic of QLC. High levels of linalool, 3,7-dimethyl-6-octen-3-ol, (-)-terpinen-4-ol, and terpenes may impart a strongly floral aroma characteristic of QDC. Full article
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13 pages, 884 KiB  
Article
Composition, Physicochemical Features, and Covalent Gelling Properties of Ferulated Pectin Extracted from Three Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris L.) Cultivars Grown under Desertic Conditions
Agronomy 2021, 11(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010040 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2419
Abstract
Sugar beet is a potential source of pectin, competitive with traditional sources, that has recently acquired great relevance for its interesting covalent gelling and applications in food and biomedical industries. Pectins from three Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) commercial cultivars (Cadet, Coronado [...] Read more.
Sugar beet is a potential source of pectin, competitive with traditional sources, that has recently acquired great relevance for its interesting covalent gelling and applications in food and biomedical industries. Pectins from three Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) commercial cultivars (Cadet, Coronado large, and SV MEI) were grown under irrigated desertic conditions and the influence of cultivar, on pectin yield, composition, physicochemical and gelling characteristics was investigated. The composition and chemical properties of pectin from the three cultivars were in general, statistically different, especially in the Syngenta Cadet cultivar, presenting higher protein (10.3%), neutral sugars (21.6%), galacturonic acid (55%) and ferulic acid (5.5 mg/g) content, which are important parameters for gel formation. All pectins gelled via oxidative coupling and the main ferulic acid dimers found were 8-5′ and 8-O-4′. Pectin from Cadet cultivar formed gels with higher hardness (6.65 N) and adhesiveness (12.2 N) values than the other two varieties. The results indicate that pectin composition is affected by the sugar beet cultivars reported herein, especially in ferulic acid content, which confer the covalent gelling capability. Sugar beet cultivars grown under desert conditions could be a source of gelling ferulated pectins for the food industry, as valuable as those obtained in temperate conditions. Full article
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12 pages, 3674 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Analysis for Compositional Differences of Bush Tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.) Subjected to Seasonal Dynamics
Agronomy 2020, 10(6), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10060892 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2283
Abstract
Bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.) is a South African indigenous herbal tea rich in secondary metabolites with medicinal significance. However, studies on the effects of seasonal changes on bush tea and quantification of its metabolites using untargeted approach have not been explored. [...] Read more.
Bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.) is a South African indigenous herbal tea rich in secondary metabolites with medicinal significance. However, studies on the effects of seasonal changes on bush tea and quantification of its metabolites using untargeted approach have not been explored. Therefore, this study’s objective was to investigate the effects of seasonal variation on the metabolites of bush tea using LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry) and 1H NMR (High-Resolution Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) techniques. Bush tea leaves were plucked once in each season namely, autumn (March to May), winter (June to August), spring (September to November), and summer (December to February). The primary metabolites including non-essential amino acids, organic acids, and vitamins in bush tea were predominantly elevated during summer and spring. The 1H NMR-based metabolomic analysis revealed that bush tea metabolome was strongly affected by seasonal variations, using the partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) which demonstrated four distinct groups of seasons. Similarly, the 1H NMR based metabolic profiling of bush tea subjected to different seasons resulted in putative annotation of six phenolic compounds which included rutin, 4-(hydroxyphenyl) propyl coumarate, caffeic acid, hymenoxin, quercetin, and kaempferol. The phenolics and primary metabolites differed remarkably per season with enhanced accumulation observed in the summer and spring harvested bush tea. The LC-MS and 1H NMR metabolomics analysis suggests that summer and spring can be recommended as preferred plucking seasons for bush tea leaves and twigs. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 1330 KiB  
Review
Fruit Development and Primary Metabolism in Apple
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061160 - 05 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4251
Abstract
Apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) represent one of the most produced fruits worldwide, along with citrus and bananas. As high quality is an important trait for the consumer, many studies have focused on the research of new techniques to ensure and preserve the [...] Read more.
Apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) represent one of the most produced fruits worldwide, along with citrus and bananas. As high quality is an important trait for the consumer, many studies have focused on the research of new techniques to ensure and preserve the optimal organoleptic characteristics of this fruit. However, despite the huge number of studies on recent technological advances dealing with fruit final quality, less research has focused on the physiological aspects of apple development, including a variety of processes triggered after fertilization, such as photosynthesis, assimilation of carbohydrates, cell division, and cell enlargement, which determine apple final quality. In the present review, we summarize some of the most important changes and mechanisms linked to the primary metabolism of apples, as well as the effect of agronomic practices, such as fruit thinning, as key factors to improve apple quality and meet consumer demands, with the aim of amassing available information and suggesting future directions of research. Full article
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28 pages, 530 KiB  
Review
Metabolomics, a Powerful Tool for Understanding Plant Abiotic Stress
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050824 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 5125
Abstract
Metabolomics is a technology that generates large amounts of data and contributes to obtaining wide and integral explanations of the biochemical state of a living organism. Plants are continuously affected by abiotic stresses such as water scarcity, high temperatures and high salinity, and [...] Read more.
Metabolomics is a technology that generates large amounts of data and contributes to obtaining wide and integral explanations of the biochemical state of a living organism. Plants are continuously affected by abiotic stresses such as water scarcity, high temperatures and high salinity, and metabolomics has the potential for elucidating the response-to-stress mechanisms and develop resistance strategies in affected cultivars. This review describes the characteristics of each of the stages of metabolomic studies in plants and the role of metabolomics in the characterization of the response of various plant species to abiotic stresses. Full article
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