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Drought-Stress Induced Physiological and Molecular Changes in Plants 2.0

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 (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 15121

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Polish Academy of Sciences, The Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Niezapominajek 21, 30-239 Kraków, Poland
Interests: abiotic stress; water stress and rehydration; plant stress physiology; plant molecular biology; cereals; invasive plants; photosynthetic apparatus; plant phenolics
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Guest Editor
Department of Plant Breeding, Physiology and Seed Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, Agricultural University, ul. Podużna 3, 30-239 Kraków, Poland
Interests: abiotic and biotic stress; plant stress physiology; plant molecular biology; primary and secondary metabolism; reactive oxygen species; antioxidants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
The Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Niezapominajek 21, 30-239 Kraków, Poland
Interests: plant senescence; water stress; drought; waterlogging; plant phenolics; gas exchange; photosynthetic apparatus; cereal; plant growth regulators; gene expression
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drought stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that limit the growth and productivity of plants all over the world. Rapid climate changes mean that, now more than ever, we need to understand how plants are able to withstand extreme drought conditions. The study of physiological and molecular mechanisms of plant responses to drought stress as well as the search for tolerant crop varieties are the most important challenge in plant biology today.

The complexity of plant response to drought stress can be affected by several factors, including the duration and intensity of stress, the plant genotype, and the developmental stages. Many genes, transcription factors, transcripts, proteins, metabolites, enzymes, and others are associated with tolerance to drought stress. Scientists discover new genes and exciting molecular processes involved in drought tolerance, but our knowledge is still far from complete. Therefore, the understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying plant responses to drought stress represent an important goal for plant stability under future climate change conditions.

This Special Issue of IJMS aims to expose the whole picture of drought-stress induced changes, and especially those focused on the molecular and physiological aspects. Authors are invited to submit original research papers, communications, and reviews exploring different aspects of this topic.

Dr. Tomasz Hura
Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Hura
Dr. Agnieszka Ostrowska
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • drought stress
  • water stress
  • signal transduction
  • genes, transcripts, and proteins
  • primary and secondary metabolism
  • phytohormones
  • antioxidants
  • reactive oxygen species
  • photosynthetic apparatus
  • photosynthesis

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 192 KiB  
Editorial
Drought-Stress Induced Physiological and Molecular Changes in Plants 2.0
by Tomasz Hura, Katarzyna Hura and Agnieszka Ostrowska
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(2), 1773; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24021773 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1509
Abstract
Plant adaptation to soil drought is a topic that is currently under investigation [...] Full article

Research

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16 pages, 2777 KiB  
Article
Polar Metabolites Profiling of Wheat Shoots (Triticum aestivum L.) under Repeated Short-Term Soil Drought and Rewatering
by Joanna Szablińska-Piernik and Lesław Bernard Lahuta
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(9), 8429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24098429 - 8 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
The response of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants to the soil drought at the metabolome level is still not fully explained. In addition, research focuses mainly on single periods of drought, and there is still a lack of data on the response [...] Read more.
The response of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants to the soil drought at the metabolome level is still not fully explained. In addition, research focuses mainly on single periods of drought, and there is still a lack of data on the response of plants to short-term cyclical periods of drought. The key to this research was to find out whether wheat shoots are able to resume metabolism after the stress subsides and if the reaction to subsequent stress is the same. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is one of the most valuable and fast methods to discover changes in the primary metabolism of plants. The targeted GC-MS analyses of whole shoots of wheat plants exposed (at the juvenile stage of development) to short-term (five days) mild soil drought/rewatering cycles (until the start of shoot wilting) enabled us to identify 32 polar metabolites. The obtained results revealed an accumulation of sugars (sucrose, fructose, glucose, and 1-kestose), proline, and malic acid. During five days of recovery, shoots regained full turgor and continued to grow, and the levels of accumulated metabolites decreased. Similar changes in metabolic profiles were found during the second drought/rewatering cycle. However, the concentrations of glucose, proline, and malic acid were higher after the second drought than after the first one. Additionally, the concentration of total polar metabolites after each plant rewatering was elevated compared to control samples. Although our results confirm the participation of proline in wheat responses to drought, they also highlight the responsiveness of soluble carbohydrate metabolism to stress/recovery. Full article
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21 pages, 5093 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Family and Functional Analysis of DcAP2/ERF#96 Associated with Abiotic Stress in Dendrobium catenatum
by Yuliang Han, Maohong Cai, Siqi Zhang, Jiawen Chai, Mingzhe Sun, Yingwei Wang, Qinyu Xie, Youheng Chen, Huizhong Wang and Tao Chen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(21), 13603; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232113603 - 6 Nov 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
APETALA2/Ethylene Responsive Factor (AP2/ERF) family plays important roles in reproductive development, stress responses and hormone responses in plants. However, AP2/ERF family has not been systematically studied in Dendrobium catenatum. In this study, 120 AP2/ERF family members were identified for the [...] Read more.
APETALA2/Ethylene Responsive Factor (AP2/ERF) family plays important roles in reproductive development, stress responses and hormone responses in plants. However, AP2/ERF family has not been systematically studied in Dendrobium catenatum. In this study, 120 AP2/ERF family members were identified for the first time in D. catenatum, which were divided into four groups (AP2, RAV, ERF and DREB subfamily) according to phylogenetic analysis. Gene structures and conserved motif analysis showed that each DcAP2/ERF family gene contained at least one AP2 domain, and the distribution of motifs varied among subfamilies. Cis-element analysis indicated that DcAP2/ERF genes contained abundant cis-elements related to hormone signaling and stress response. To further identify potential genes involved in drought stress, 12 genes were selected to detect their expression under drought treatment through qRT-PCR analysis and DcAP2/ERF#96, a nuclear localized ethylene-responsive transcription factor, showed a strong response to PEG treatment. Overexpression of DcAP2/ERF#96 in Arabidopsis showed sensitivity to ABA. Molecular, biochemical and genetic assays indicated that DcAP2ERF#96 interacts with DREB2A and directly inhibits the expression of P5CS1 in response to the ABA signal. Taken together, our study provided a molecular basis for the intensive study of DcAP2/ERF genes and revealed the biological function of DcAP2ERF#96 involved in the ABA signal. Full article
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23 pages, 3356 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Analysis Revealed Different Molecular Mechanisms of Response to PEG Stress in Drought-Sensitive and Drought-Resistant Sorghums
by Yanni Li, Binglan Tan, Daoping Wang, Yongying Mu, Guiying Li, Zhiguo Zhang, Yinghong Pan and Li Zhu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(21), 13297; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232113297 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
Drought is the major limiting factor that directly or indirectly inhibits the growth and reduces the productivity of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). As the main vegetative organ of sorghum, the response mechanism of the leaf to drought stress at the proteomic [...] Read more.
Drought is the major limiting factor that directly or indirectly inhibits the growth and reduces the productivity of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). As the main vegetative organ of sorghum, the response mechanism of the leaf to drought stress at the proteomic level has not been clarified. In the present study, nano-scale liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS/MS) technology was used to compare the changes in the protein expression profile of the leaves of drought-sensitive (S4 and S4-1) and drought-resistant (T33 and T14) sorghum varieties at the seedling stage under 25% PEG-6000 treatment for 24 h. A total of 3927 proteins were accurately quantitated and 46, 36, 35, and 102 differentially abundant proteins (DAPs) were obtained in the S4, S4-1, T14, and T33 varieties, respectively. Four proteins were randomly selected for parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) assays, and the results verified the reliability of the mass spectrometry (MS) results. The response mechanism of the drought-sensitive sorghum leaves to drought was attributed to the upregulation of proteins involved in the tyrosine metabolism pathway with defense functions. Drought-resistant sorghum leaves respond to drought by promoting the TCA cycle, enhancing sphingolipid biosynthesis, interfering with triterpenoid metabolite synthesis, and influencing aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis. The 17 screened important candidate proteins related to drought stress were verified by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), the results of which were consistent with the results of the proteomic analysis. This study lays the foundation for revealing the drought-resistance mechanism of sorghum at the protein level. These findings will help us cultivate and improve new drought-resistant sorghum varieties. Full article
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18 pages, 4345 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of ERF Transcription Factor Family and Functional Analysis of the Drought Stress-Responsive Genes in Melilotus albus
by Na Wei, Qingyan Zhai, Hang Li, Shuwen Zheng, Jiyu Zhang and Wenxian Liu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(19), 12023; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231912023 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1841
Abstract
As an important forage legume with high values in feed and medicine, Melilotus albus has been widely cultivated. The AP2/ERF transcription factor has been shown to play an important regulatory role in plant drought resistance, but it has not been reported in the [...] Read more.
As an important forage legume with high values in feed and medicine, Melilotus albus has been widely cultivated. The AP2/ERF transcription factor has been shown to play an important regulatory role in plant drought resistance, but it has not been reported in the legume forage crop M. albus. To digger the genes of M. albus in response to drought stress, we identified and analyzed the ERF gene family of M. albus at the genome-wide level. A total of 100 MaERF genes containing a single AP2 domain sequence were identified in this study, named MaERF001 to MaERF100, and bioinformatics analysis was performed. Collinearity analysis indicated that segmental duplication may play a key role in the expansion of the M. albus ERF gene family. Cis-acting element predictions suggest that MaERF genes are involved in various hormonal responses and abiotic stresses. The expression patterns indicated that MaERFs responded to drought stress to varying degrees. Furthermore, four up-regulated ERFs (MaERF008, MaERF037, MaERF054 and MaERF058) under drought stress were overexpressed in yeast and indicated their biological functions to confer the tolerance to drought. This work will advance the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the drought response in M. albus. Further study of the promising potential candidate genes identified in this study will provide a valuable resource as the next step in functional genomics studies and improve the possibility of improving drought tolerance in M. albus by transgenic approaches. Full article
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20 pages, 4809 KiB  
Article
Genome–Wide Identification of the GRAS Family Genes in Melilotus albus and Expression Analysis under Various Tissues and Abiotic Stresses
by Shengsheng Wang, Zhen Duan, Qi Yan, Fan Wu, Pei Zhou and Jiyu Zhang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(13), 7403; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23137403 - 3 Jul 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2012
Abstract
The GRAS gene family is a plant–specific family of transcription factors, which play an important role in many metabolic pathways, such as plant growth and development and stress response. However, there is no report on the comprehensive study of the GRAS gene family [...] Read more.
The GRAS gene family is a plant–specific family of transcription factors, which play an important role in many metabolic pathways, such as plant growth and development and stress response. However, there is no report on the comprehensive study of the GRAS gene family of Melilotus albus. Here, we identified 55 MaGRAS genes, which were classified into 8 subfamilies by phylogenetic analysis, and unevenly distributed on 8 chromosomes. The structural analysis indicated that 87% of MaGRAS genes have no intron, which is highly conservative in different species. MaGRAS proteins of the same subfamily have similar protein motifs, which are the source of functional differences of different genomes. Transcriptome and qRT–PCR data were combined to determine the expression of 12 MaGRAS genes in 6 tissues, including flower, seed, leaf, stem, root and nodule, which indicated the possible roles in plant growth and development. Five and seven MaGRAS genes were upregulated under ABA, drought, and salt stress treatments in the roots and shoots, respectively, indicating that they play vital roles in the response to ABA and abiotic stresses in M. albus. Furthermore, in yeast heterologous expression, MaGRAS12, MaGRAS34 and MaGRAS33 can enhance the drought or salt tolerance of yeast cells. Taken together, these results provide basic information for understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of GRAS proteins and valuable information for further studies on the growth, development and stress responses of GRAS proteins in M. albus. Full article
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18 pages, 8821 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Analysis and Profile of UDP-Glycosyltransferases Family in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) under Drought Stress
by Bao Ao, Yangyang Han, Shengsheng Wang, Fan Wu and Jiyu Zhang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(13), 7243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23137243 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1933
Abstract
Drought stress is one of the major constraints that decreases global crop productivity. Alfalfa, planted mainly in arid and semi-arid areas, is of crucial importance in sustaining the agricultural system. The family 1 UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGT) is indispensable because it takes part in the [...] Read more.
Drought stress is one of the major constraints that decreases global crop productivity. Alfalfa, planted mainly in arid and semi-arid areas, is of crucial importance in sustaining the agricultural system. The family 1 UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGT) is indispensable because it takes part in the regulation of plant growth and stress resistance. However, a comprehensive insight into the participation of the UGT family in adaptation of alfalfa to drought environments is lacking. In the present study, a genome-wide analysis and profiling of the UGT in alfalfa were carried out. A total of 409 UGT genes in alfalfa (MsUGT) were identified and they are clustered into 13 groups. The expression pattern of MsUGT genes were analyzed by RNA-seq data in six tissues and under different stresses. The quantitative real-time PCR verification genes suggested the distinct role of the MsUGT genes under different drought stresses and abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. Furthermore, the function of MsUGT003 and MsUGT024, which were upregulated under drought stress and ABA treatment, were characterized by heterologous expression in yeast. Taken together, this study comprehensively analyzed the UGT gene family in alfalfa for the first time and provided useful information for improving drought tolerance and in molecular breeding of alfalfa. Full article
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26 pages, 8274 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome and Physiological Analyses of a Navel Orange Mutant with Improved Drought Tolerance and Water Use Efficiency Caused by Increases of Cuticular Wax Accumulation and ROS Scavenging Capacity
by Beibei Liang, Shiguo Wan, Qingling Ma, Li Yang, Wei Hu, Liuqing Kuang, Jingheng Xie, Dechun Liu and Yong Liu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(10), 5660; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23105660 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2133
Abstract
Drought is one of the main abiotic stresses limiting the quality and yield of citrus. Cuticular waxes play an important role in regulating plant drought tolerance and water use efficiency (WUE). However, the contribution of cuticular waxes to drought tolerance, WUE and the [...] Read more.
Drought is one of the main abiotic stresses limiting the quality and yield of citrus. Cuticular waxes play an important role in regulating plant drought tolerance and water use efficiency (WUE). However, the contribution of cuticular waxes to drought tolerance, WUE and the underlying molecular mechanism is still largely unknown in citrus. ‘Longhuihong’ (MT) is a bud mutant of ‘Newhall’ navel orange with curly and bright leaves. In this study, significant increases in the amounts of total waxes and aliphatic wax compounds, including n-alkanes, n-primary alcohols and n-aldehydes, were overserved in MT leaves, which led to the decrease in cuticular permeability and finally resulted in the improvements in drought tolerance and WUE. Compared to WT leaves, MT leaves possessed much lower contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), significantly higher levels of proline and soluble sugar, and enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD) activities under drought stress, which might reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) damage, improve osmotic regulation and cell membrane stability, and finally, enhance MT tolerance to drought stress. Transcriptome sequencing results showed that seven structural genes were involved in wax biosynthesis and export, MAPK cascade, and ROS scavenging, and seven genes encoding transcription factors might play an important role in promoting cuticular wax accumulation, improving drought tolerance and WUE in MT plants. Our results not only confirmed the important role of cuticular waxes in regulating citrus drought resistance and WUE but also provided various candidate genes for improving citrus drought tolerance and WUE. Full article
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