Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2024 | Viewed by 7478

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Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, FI, Italy
Interests: viticulture; sustainability; grapes quality; drought stress; zeolite; soil management; net photosynthesis
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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, FI, Italy
Interests: grapevine physiology; Grapevine canopy efficiency; Grapevine nutrition and soil management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The open-access journal Horticulturae (IF: 2.923; Q1 in Horticulture) is pleased to announce that we have launched a new Special Issue titled “Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops”. Given your expertise in this field, we would like to invite you to contribute an article to the present Special Issue.

Global warming and invasive anthropogenic interventions, such as the excess of phytopharmaceutical products and non-stop soil tillage, are jeopardizing agriculture by subjecting crops to continuous abiotic and biotic stress. The oxidative stress status, the increased susceptibility to pathogen damage, and the reduction in quality are just some of the main problems that occur as a result of imbalances in the plant. Final crop yield can be notably compromised if stress occurs in plants’ most sensitive phenological phases. Moreover, the enhancement of crop stress tolerance through genetic ameliorations demands long breeding programs and various cultivation environments for crop performance validation. In light of this scenario, it is auspicable that sustainable techniques and sensitivity approaches for environmental and human health must be applied. Biostimulant applications have become interesting tools for counteracting different stresses and improving crop quantity or quality. In fact, these products, encompassing bioactive molecules, have beneficial consequences for plants and improve their ability to face adverse environmental states, acting on theo primary and/or secondary metabolism. In addition, these represent a partial alternative to soil fertilization by improving nutrient absorption and avoiding its leaching into the groundwater. Finally, numerous companies are investing in biostimulant product development and the recognition of the most efficacious bioactive molecules held in different types of extracts, which can elicit determined plant responses to counter abiotic stresses.

We hope to receive your contributions so that we can share them with the community of researchers, students, and technicians that believe in new frontiers for plant protection. In the hope that this invitation receives your favorable consideration, we look forward to our future collaboration.

Kind regards,

Dr. Eleonora Cataldo
Dr. Giovan Battista Mattii
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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

  • plant biostimulant
  • environmental stress
  • crops
  • agriculture
  • phytopharmaceutical products
  • sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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0 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Olive Performance under the Soil Application of Humic Acid and the Spraying of Titanium and Zinc Nanoparticles under Soil Salinity Stress
by Adel M. Al-Saif, Lidia Sas-Paszt and Walid F. A. Mosa
Horticulturae 2024, 10(3), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10030295 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Salinity is a major social, economic, and environmental menace in climates with low rainfall and high evapotranspiration, and it influences plant growth and causes restriction to crop production in the world. Additionally, under salinity stress, numerous physiological processes such as photosynthesis, biomass accumulation, [...] Read more.
Salinity is a major social, economic, and environmental menace in climates with low rainfall and high evapotranspiration, and it influences plant growth and causes restriction to crop production in the world. Additionally, under salinity stress, numerous physiological processes such as photosynthesis, biomass accumulation, and photosynthate transfer are also harshly lessened, and it also limits the absorption of adequate water by plants and leads to a dimension in plant water status. Therefore, the current study was conducted to investigate the soil application of humic acid (HA) at 0, 0.5, 1 and 2 kg/tree alone or in combination with the foliar spraying of 0 mg ZnO2 + 0 mg TiO2, 200 mg ZnO2 + 60 mg TiO2 and/or 300 mg ZnO2 + 80 mg TiO2 through the two successive seasons 2022 and 2023. The results demonstrated that the use of HA alone or in combination with the spraying of TiO2 and ZnO2 greatly improved the leaf chlorophyll, flower number, fruit set percentages, fruit yields in kg or in ton per hectare, fruit weight, fruit size, and fruit firmness. Additionally, the same used treatments greatly improved the fruit content from TSS and oil percentages and also the leaf mineral content from N, P and K, while they minimized the fruit drop percentage and fruit moisture content as compared to control. The most positive influence was observed with the soil implementation of 2 kg HA combined with 300 mg ZnO2 + 80 mg TiO2 in the two experimental seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops)
15 pages, 605 KiB  
Article
Bioavailability of Cd in Plantago weldenii and Sonchus oleraceus Plants: The Effects of a Humic and Fulvic Acids-Based Biostimulant
by Aspasia Grammenou, Spyridon A. Petropoulos and Vasileios Antoniadis
Horticulturae 2024, 10(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10010074 - 11 Jan 2024
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Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) contamination poses a major threat to plants and human health, as well as to ecosystem services. Biostimulants provide a promising eco-friendly solution to enhance the phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soils. We examined the influence of a humic and fulvic acids-based biostimulant on [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) contamination poses a major threat to plants and human health, as well as to ecosystem services. Biostimulants provide a promising eco-friendly solution to enhance the phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soils. We examined the influence of a humic and fulvic acids-based biostimulant on two plant species, e.g., Plantago weldenii and Sonchus oleraceus (common sowthistle), in a soil spiked with Cd at 45 mg kg−1. The aim of this study was to determine whether a biostimulant can potentially affect Cd mobility in soil and absorption in plant tissues. We found that the biostimulant significantly decreased Cd bioavailability (recorded as DTPA extractability) in the soil where Plantago was grown from 17.57 to 13.12 mg kg−1, probably due to the Cd immobilization effect of the added biostimulant. However, the biostimulant had the opposite effect in the soil where S. oleraceus was grown (Cd-DTPA significantly increased from 10.13 to 13.03 mg kg−1). S. oleraceus was found to have accumulated higher Cd concentrations in its aerial parts, resulting in a soil-to-plant transfer value close to 1 and root-to-shoot translocation value well above 1. These two indices exhibited the potential of S. oleraceus to be used as hyperaccumulator in Cd-contaminated soils, while P. weldenii behaved rather as a Cd excluder. These findings highlight the complex dynamics of added biostimulants and Cd behavior in soil and plants. We recognize the need for further research so that the mechanisms dictating Cd behavior after biostimulant application can be better elucidated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops)
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12 pages, 636 KiB  
Article
Crude Saponins from Chenopodium quinoa Willd. Reduce Fusarium Wilt Infection in Tomato Seedlings
by Xueyong Zhou, Huan Guo, Lihong Zhang, Liyan Yang, Zuofu Wei, Xiaoying Zhang and Yan Niu
Horticulturae 2023, 9(12), 1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9121340 - 15 Dec 2023
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Abstract
Quinoa saponins are pentacyclic triterpene compounds composed of one triterpenoid glycoside and two different sugar chains. Previous studies have showed that natural quinoa saponins showed little or no antifungal activity, and there are few reports about their antifungal effects in recent decades. Fusarium [...] Read more.
Quinoa saponins are pentacyclic triterpene compounds composed of one triterpenoid glycoside and two different sugar chains. Previous studies have showed that natural quinoa saponins showed little or no antifungal activity, and there are few reports about their antifungal effects in recent decades. Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL) is the most serious for tomatoes in the field and under greenhouse conditions. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of different concentrations and application modes of crude saponins from quinoa bran against the causal pathogen of tomato wilt under a greenhouse experiment. The results showed that the anti-FOL activity of quinoa saponins was weak in vitro, but significantly enhanced in vivo. Tomato seeds and seedlings treated with solution of quinoa saponins at 0.5 and 1.0 g/L significantly reduced the disease incidence (%) of tomato Fusarium wilt. The treatment types of saponin solution have influence on the preventive effects (%) of tomato seedlings against Fusarium wilt, among them, root soaking > foliar spray > seed soaking. The treatment of seed soaking with quinoa saponins inhibited germination of tomato seeds to some extent. However, the germination rate of tomato seeds after saponin soaking was comparable to the chemical pesticide (thiram carboxin); therefore, it could be used to control tomato wilt disease. This is due to the fact that the antifungal activity of quinoa saponins in vivo was much higher than that in vitro when the saponin concentration was between 0.5–1.0 g/L, indicating that the antifungal activity of quinoa saponins may be achieved mainly by inducing resistance. This investigation supports the potential use of quinoa saponins as a supplier of antifungal compounds, and could be the foundation for a future study examining the use of quinoa bran as a new resource against FOL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops)
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Review

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24 pages, 1460 KiB  
Review
Survey of the Influences of Microbial Biostimulants on Horticultural Crops: Case Studies and Successful Paradigms
by Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian, Spyridon A. Petropoulos and Wenli Sun
Horticulturae 2023, 9(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9020193 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4294
Abstract
Sustainable farming of horticultural plants has been the focus of research during the last decade, paying significant attention to alarming weather extremities and climate change, as well as the pressure of biotic stressors on crops. Microbial biostimulants, including plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) and [...] Read more.
Sustainable farming of horticultural plants has been the focus of research during the last decade, paying significant attention to alarming weather extremities and climate change, as well as the pressure of biotic stressors on crops. Microbial biostimulants, including plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), have been proven to increase plant growth via both direct and indirect processes, as well as to increase the availability and uptake of nutrients, boosting soil quality, increasing plants’ tolerance to abiotic stress and increasing the overall quality attributes of various horticultural crops (e.g., vegetables, fruit, herbs). The positive effects of microbial biostimulants have been confirmed so far, mostly through symbiotic interactions in the plant–soil–microbes ecosystem, which are considered a biological tool to increase quality parameters of various horticultural crops as well as to decrease soil degradation. However, more research is needed to address future challenges of crop production through revealing the mechanisms of action and identifying response patterns of crops to various microbial products. The present review aims to present the most up-to-date results regarding the practical applications of microbial biostimulants in horticultural species, including case studies of successful paradigms for the most important microbial genera of PGPB and AMF. Moreover, the mechanisms of the actions are briefly described while future remarks are also discussed, aiming to suggest further needs to be addressed for the successful establishment of microbial biostimulants in sustainable horticultural crop production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biostimulants Application in Horticultural Crops)
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