Agrobiological Means for Sustainable Production in Controlled Environment Agriculture

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Protected Culture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 August 2024 | Viewed by 6776

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Horticulture, Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Kaunas Str. 30, 54333 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: photophysiology; physiology of plant productivity; stress physiology; horticulture
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Guest Editor
Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Kaunas str. 30, LT-54333, Kaunas dist, Kėdainiai, Lithuania
Interests: photophysiology; photosynthetic system; apple tree physiology; fruit quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is a plant cultivation practice that allows high-quality yields to be obtained by regulating growing factors, such as light, temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration, fertilizers, etc. Nowadays, various innovative techniques facilitate a more efficient regulation of such factors to reduce various resources and improve sustainability in CEA. On the other hand, manipulating growing factors to provoke mild stress on plants and induce metabolic defense responses could increase bioactive compounds which are beneficial for human health or protect plants from diseases without adverse effects on plant yield. Another significant aspect of sustainability in CEA is reducing the use of fertilizers and chemicals for plant protection. In solving this problem, the use of nanomaterials, biostimulants, and natural products for disease control is more fervently emphasized. However, for sustainability in CEA, it is important to study the effect of not only one or another measure on plants, but also the interactions between various agrobiological means. In this Special Issue, research and review articles which focus on the topics mentioned above are welcome.

Dr. Aušra Brazaitytė
Dr. Kristina Laužikė
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • controlled environment agriculture
  • environmental factors
  • growing medium
  • soiless cultivation
  • biofortification, fertilisers, nanomaterials
  • bionanoparticles
  • biostimulants, natural products

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 1583 KiB  
Article
Nickel Ions Enhanced the Adaptability of Tomato Seedling Roots to Low-Nitrogen Stress by Improving Their Antioxidant Capacity
by Shengxiang Ran, Kun Zhang, Yuqi Zhou, Weiqun Huang and Fenglin Zhong
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121342 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 904
Abstract
To elucidate the physiological mechanisms underlying the impact of exogenous nickel ions (Ni2+) on the adaptability of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedling roots to low-nitrogen levels, the cultivar ‘Micro Tom’ was selected as the experimental material and cultivated hydroponically in [...] Read more.
To elucidate the physiological mechanisms underlying the impact of exogenous nickel ions (Ni2+) on the adaptability of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedling roots to low-nitrogen levels, the cultivar ‘Micro Tom’ was selected as the experimental material and cultivated hydroponically in the cultivation room of the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University. Two distinct nitrogen concentrations (7.66 and 0.383 mmol·L−1) and two different levels of Ni2+ (0 and 0.1 mg·L−1 of NiSO4·6H2O) were employed as treatments. On the 9th day of cultivation, we measured the root biomass, the concentrations of antioxidant compounds, and the activities of antioxidant enzymes in the tomato seedlings. The study showed that when the nitrogen levels were low, the growth and development of the tomato seedling roots were hindered. This led to a significant increase in the levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anion (O2), and malondialdehyde (MDA), indicating oxidative damage to the roots. Conversely, treatment with Ni2+ induced a notable increase in the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the seedlings and augmented the accumulation of nonenzymatic antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid (ASA) and reduced glutathione (GSH), thereby enhancing the operational efficiency of the ascorbate–glutathione cycle (ASA–GSH). Consequently, this led to substantial reductions in the H2O2 and MDA levels, ultimately mitigating the oxidative damage inflicted on the tomato seedling roots subjected to low-nitrogen stress. In conclusion, exogenous Ni2+ can reduce the peroxidative damage of tomato seedlings by promoting antioxidase activity in tomato seedlings under low-nitrogen stress, improve the tolerance of tomato seedlings to low-nitrogen stress, and maintain the normal growth and development of tomato seedlings. Full article
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18 pages, 4856 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis of Diploid and Autotetraploid Hemerocallis Response to Drought Stress
by Edvinas Misiukevičius, Ingrida Mažeikienė, James Gossard, Aurelijus Starkus and Vidmantas Stanys
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111194 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1618
Abstract
Chromosome doubling in ornamental plants, as shown by our study in daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.), has great potential to increase tolerance to abiotic stress. Drought is the most critical growth-limiting factor in a changing climate. Drought tolerance is one of the decisive factors [...] Read more.
Chromosome doubling in ornamental plants, as shown by our study in daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.), has great potential to increase tolerance to abiotic stress. Drought is the most critical growth-limiting factor in a changing climate. Drought tolerance is one of the decisive factors for the survival, productivity, and appearance of perennial ornamental plants. Understanding and elucidating the molecular mechanisms that determine plant response to abiotic stress is essential. De novo transcriptome assembly of diploid and autotetraploid Hemerocallis spp. cv. Trahlyta was performed under artificially induced stress to elucidate the molecular mechanisms related to plant response to drought. In daylily mRNA, 237,886 transcripts were detected, and 42.4% of them were identified as annotated unigenes. In the experiment, diploid plants were more stressed, with 2871 upregulated or downregulated DEGs (differentially expressed genes) responding to drought, while tetraploid plants had 1599 DEGs. The proportion of upregulated DEGs differed by 1.3 times between diploid and autotetraploid genotypes, whereas the proportion of downregulated DEGs was 1.8 times greater in diploid plants. Signaling pathways related to the drought response were activated in daylilies, and key candidate genes were identified in both ploidy genotypes. In autotetraploid plants, more drought-related pathways were activated than in diploids—43 and 19, respectively. The most abundant DEGs in both cases were KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes), metabolic (ko01100), and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites (ko01110) pathways. Summarizing the data, it was found that autotetraploid plants of the daylily have a wider potential for adaptation to drought stress. Therefore, they adapt faster and better to adverse drought conditions by activating alternative signaling pathways. The comparative transcriptome analysis of diploid and autotetraploid plants allows us to understand the molecular mechanisms of drought resistance and it is also essential for daylily breeding programs to develop drought-resistant genotypes in the future. Full article
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20 pages, 637 KiB  
Article
Morpho-Physiological, Chlorophyll Fluorescence, and Diffuse Reflectance Spectra Characteristics of Lettuce under the Main Macronutrient Deficiency
by Elena V. Kanash, Nadezhda G. Sinyavina, Dmitryi V. Rusakov, Ksenia V. Egorova, Gayane G. Panova and Yuriy V. Chesnokov
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111185 - 30 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
The aim of the present work was to assess the physiological state of plants and photosynthetic apparatus activity in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) by non-invasive methods (leaf diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and chlorophyll fluorescence) under the deficiency of one of the macronutrients (nitrogen, [...] Read more.
The aim of the present work was to assess the physiological state of plants and photosynthetic apparatus activity in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) by non-invasive methods (leaf diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and chlorophyll fluorescence) under the deficiency of one of the macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium). Our experiments assessed the deficiency of each of the macronutrients relative to plants vegetating under optimal nutrition. The used methods showed that the deficiency of macronutrients causes changes in the optical characteristics of lettuce plants (cvs. ‘Vitaminnyi’ and ‘Kokarda’), including a decrease in the chlorophyll content (57% and 51%) and a change in metabolism, which leads to a decrease in the efficiency of light energy conversion in photochemical processes of photosynthesis and an increase in the dissipation of excess light energy (19% and 10%). Linear regression equations, describing the relationship between net productivity and spectral characteristics of diffuse leaf reflectance with high accuracy, have been obtained. Changes in all studied indicators of the physiological state of plants under the influence of macronutrient deficiency are more pronounced at the early stages of development than in later periods, when the first symptoms of aging appear (decrease in ChlRI). The observed differences between lettuce cultivars and their response to nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium deficiency are non-specific and mainly represent quantitative variation. The method for assessing the spectral characteristics of diffuse reflection of leaves seems to be the most promising for monitoring the physiological status of plants and early detection of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium deficiency. Full article
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12 pages, 1163 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Phytohormones: Effects on Lettuce Photosynthesis, Antioxidant Response and Growth
by Martynas Urbutis, Kristina Laužikė and Giedrė Samuolienė
Horticulturae 2023, 9(7), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9070792 - 12 Jul 2023
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Abstract
Constantly changing environments often negatively affect yield potential. Phytohormone-based biostimulants are known for their ability to control plant development and reduce the influences of negative environmental impacts and facilitate more efficient usage of resources. The aim of this study was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Constantly changing environments often negatively affect yield potential. Phytohormone-based biostimulants are known for their ability to control plant development and reduce the influences of negative environmental impacts and facilitate more efficient usage of resources. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of phytohormone-based biostimulants on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) antioxidant and photosynthetic responses and biomass formation. Lettuce was grown in a greenhouse with supplemental lighting; a 16 h photoperiod was maintained. Ten combinations of kinetin, indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellic acid, abscisic acid and salicylic acid were applied at 12–13 BBCH. The results thereof have shown that combining growth and stress phytohormones resulted in higher biomass formation; additionally, combining two growth or two stress hormones led to antagonistic effects and reduced photosynthetic rates. Furthermore, the application of gibberellic and salicylic acid had the most positive effect on lettuce productivity. The perspective offered by this work has shown that with the manipulation of hormone concentrations, photosynthetic and antioxidant systems can be controlled, thus enabling control of yield and quality. Full article
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14 pages, 3573 KiB  
Article
UV-A for Tailoring the Nutritional Value and Sensory Properties of Leafy Vegetables
by Kristina Laužikė, Akvilė Viršilė, Giedrė Samuolienė, Rūta Sutulienė and Aušra Brazaitytė
Horticulturae 2023, 9(5), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9050551 - 04 May 2023
Viewed by 1202
Abstract
This study aims to expand the artificial lighting potential of controlled environment cultivations systems by introducing UV-A (~315–400 nm) wavelengths into the traditional, visible spectrum lighting, seeking to improve the nutritional and sensory value of cultivated leafy vegetables. The experiment was conducted in [...] Read more.
This study aims to expand the artificial lighting potential of controlled environment cultivations systems by introducing UV-A (~315–400 nm) wavelengths into the traditional, visible spectrum lighting, seeking to improve the nutritional and sensory value of cultivated leafy vegetables. The experiment was conducted in a closed climate-controlled chamber, maintaining 21/17 °C day/night temperature, ~55% relative humidity, and a 16 h photo/thermo period. Several genotypes of leafy vegetables, red and green leaf lettuce cultivars, mustard, and kale were cultivated under 250 µmol m−2s−1 basal LED lighting, supplemented by 385 nm UV-A or 405 UV-A/violet wavelengths for 1.1 mW cm−2 for 12 h photoperiod for the whole cultivation cycle. The results show that UV-A/violet light impacts on leafy vegetable growth, free radical scavenging activity, sugar, and phytochemical (α tocopherol, α + β carotenes, epicatechin, rosmarinic and chicoric acid contents) are species-specific, and do not correlate with untrained consumer’s sensory evaluation scores. The 405 nm light is preferable for higher antioxidant and/or sensory properties of kale, mustard, and green leaf lettuces, but both UV-A wavelengths reduce growth parameters in red leaf lettuce. Full article
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