Special Issue "Effects of Metal Stress on Crops"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Physiology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2024 | Viewed by 901

Special Issue Editor

Center of Natural and Human Sciences, Federal University of ABC, Santo André 09210-170, SP, Brazil
Interests: food crops; metal exposure; metallic nanoparticles; plant stress; human health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Natural processes and anthropogenic activities may lead to metal contamination of the environment. Crops are susceptible to suffer the influence of metal exposure by atmospheric dry and wet deposition, agrochemicals application and soil uptake. Some metals can accumulate in plant tissues and in edible parts, which is a serious concern to public health threatening food security. Different metals can be beneficial or toxic to crops at different concentration ranges, which requires analytical techniques with adequate sensitivity for its determination. The effects of metal accumulation in crops can trigger directly or indirectly several biochemical, physiological, and morphological disturbances in plants. Understanding the dynamic of metal accumulation and plants defense mechanisms to manage this accumulation is an important issue to keep crops productivity. This Special Issue will focus on the recent advancements in the role of reactive oxygen species, plants pigments, nutritional balance and their contribution to tolerance to metal stress in food crops. Contributions involving metallic nanoparticles effects and tolerance in crops and remediation alternatives are also welcome. This is an interesting opportunity for publishing original research articles or reviews that will improve our knowledge of anthropogenic or natural exposure of plants to metals, which influences human health.

Prof. Dr. Bruno Lemos Batista
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • food crops
  • metal exposure
  • metallic nanoparticles
  • plant stress
  • human health

Published Papers (1 paper)

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17 pages, 8085 KiB  
Lead Toxicity-Mediated Growth and Metabolic Alterations at Early Seedling Stages of Maize (Zea mays L.)
Plants 2023, 12(18), 3335; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12183335 - 21 Sep 2023
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To investigate the toxic effects of lead (Pb) on key metabolic activities essential for proper germination and seedling growth of maize seeds, experiments were carried out with different levels of Pb (0 to 120 mg of Pb L−1 as PbCl2) [...] Read more.
To investigate the toxic effects of lead (Pb) on key metabolic activities essential for proper germination and seedling growth of maize seeds, experiments were carried out with different levels of Pb (0 to 120 mg of Pb L−1 as PbCl2) applied through growth medium to two maize hybrids H-3310S and H-6724. The research findings indicated that growth and metabolic activities were adversely affected by increased Pb contamination in growth medium; however, a slow increase in these parameters was recorded with increasing time from 0 to 120 h. Protease activity decreased with an increase in the level of Pb contamination but increased with time; consequently, a reduction in seed proteins and an increase in total free amino acids were observed with time. Similarly, α-amylase activity decreased with an increase in Pb concentration in growth medium while it increased with increasing time from 0 to 120 h; consequently, reducing and non-reducing sugars increased with time but decreased with exposure to lead. The roots of both maize hybrids had higher Pb contents than those of the shoot, which decreased the uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. All these nutrients are essential for optimal plant growth; therefore, the reduction in growth and biomass of maize seedlings could be due to Pb toxicity that altered metabolic processes, as sugar and amino acids are necessary for the synthesis of metabolic compounds, rapid cell division, and proper functioning of enzymes in the growing embryo, but all were dramatically reduced due to suppression of protease and α-amylase by toxicity of Pb. In general, hybrid H-3310S performed better in Pb-contaminated growth medium than H-6724. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Metal Stress on Crops)
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