Physiological Aspects of Plant Response to Pathogens and Abiotic Stress

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 17878

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Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Bialystok, 15-245 Bialystok, Poland
Interests: abiotic stress; plant growth and development; phosphorus and nitrogen deficiency; sugar metabolism under stress
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Reprogramming of metabolic pathways during plant growth and development is well documented in the literature. However, the environmental biotic and abiotic stimuli extort changes in plant primary and secondary metabolites and functioning of various physiological processes. Plant pathogens, i.e., viruses, bacteria, and fungi causing diseases, trigger different immune responses and influence the physiological state of host plants. Similarly, abiotic stresses such as heavy metals, fluctuation of temperature, light intensity, or deficiency in macro- and micronutrients can cause changes in plant physiological processes, redirecting them to defensive mode. Moreover, so-called cross-stress or multistress, caused by the simultaneous influence of more than one stress factor, e.g., combination of biotic and abiotic stresses, can also affect plant physiology.

We welcome original research papers and reviews on all aspects of plant physiology under the influence of various biotic and/or abiotic stresses.

Dr. Violetta Macioszek
Prof. Dr. Iwona Ciereszko
Prof. Dr. Andrzej Kiejstut Kononowicz
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biotic and abiotic stresses
  • plant physiology
  • plant disease
  • photosynthesis
  • primary and secondary metabolites
  • plant hormones
  • plant pathogens

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1268 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Biochemical Responses Induced by Plum Pox Virus and Plum Bark Necrosis Steam Pitting Associated Virus in Tuscany Autochthonous Plum cv. Coscia di Monaca
by Athos Pedrelli, Gian Piero Ricci, Alessandra Panattoni, Cristina Nali and Lorenzo Cotrozzi
Plants 2023, 12(18), 3264; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12183264 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 692
Abstract
The present study focused on trees of Tuscany autochthonous plum cv. Coscia di Monaca in order to evaluate the presence of viruses and elucidate the physiological and biochemical responses to virus infections under real field conditions. Among the several investigated viruses, plums tested [...] Read more.
The present study focused on trees of Tuscany autochthonous plum cv. Coscia di Monaca in order to evaluate the presence of viruses and elucidate the physiological and biochemical responses to virus infections under real field conditions. Among the several investigated viruses, plums tested positive only to plum pox virus (PPV) and plum bark necrosis steam pitting associated virus (PBNSPaV), occurring as both singular and co-infections. This is the first report of PBNSPaV in a Tuscany orchard. Furthermore, the present study not only confirmed the detrimental effects of PPV on the carbon dioxide assimilation rate due to both stomatal limitations and mesophyll impairments, but also showed that although PBNSPaV did not induce such photosynthetic impairments when occurring as singular infection, it enhanced this damaging effect when present as a co-infection with PPV, as confirmed by a severe decrease in the chlorophyll content. Infection-specific responses in terms of accessory pigments (i.e., carotenoids and xanthophylls), as well as sugars and organic acids, were also reported, these being likely related to photoprotective mechanisms and osmotic regulations under virus-induced oxidative stress. Overall, the results here presented represent an important step to fill knowledge gaps about the interaction of plant viruses and autochthonous Prunus cultivars. Full article
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25 pages, 6951 KiB  
Article
Alleviation of Adverse Effects of Drought Stress on Growth and Nitrogen Metabolism in Mungbean (Vigna radiata) by Sulphur and Nitric Oxide Involves Up-Regulation of Antioxidant and Osmolyte Metabolism and Gene Expression
by Huida Lian, Cheng Qin, Jie Shen and Mohammad Abass Ahanger
Plants 2023, 12(17), 3082; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12173082 - 28 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1581
Abstract
The influence of drought induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the alleviatory effect of nitric oxide (50 µM) and sulphur (S, 1 mM K2SO4) were studied in Vigna radiata. Drought stress reduced plant height, dry weight, total chlorophylls, [...] Read more.
The influence of drought induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and the alleviatory effect of nitric oxide (50 µM) and sulphur (S, 1 mM K2SO4) were studied in Vigna radiata. Drought stress reduced plant height, dry weight, total chlorophylls, carotenoids and the content of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and sulphur. The foliar applications of NO and sulphur each individually alleviated the decline, with a greater alleviation observed in seedlings treated with both NO and sulphur. The reduction in intermediates of chlorophyll synthesis pathways and photosynthesis were alleviated by NO and sulphur. Oxidative stress was evident through the increased hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and activity of lipoxygenase and protease which were significantly assuaged by NO, sulphur and NO + sulphur treatments. A reduction in the activity of nitrate reductase, glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase was mitigated due to the application of NO and the supplementation of sulphur. The endogenous concentration of NO and hydrogen sulphide (HS) was increased due to PEG; however, the PEG-induced increase in NO and HS was lowered due to NO and sulphur. Furthermore, NO and sulphur treatments to PEG-stressed seedlings further enhanced the functioning of the antioxidant system, osmolytes and secondary metabolite accumulation. Activities of γ-glutamyl kinase and phenylalanine ammonia lyase were up-regulated due to NO and S treatments. The treatment of NO and S regulated the expression of the Cu/ZnSOD, POD, CAT, RLP, HSP70 and LEA genes significantly under normal and drought stress. The present study advocates for the beneficial use of NO and sulphur in the mitigation of drought-induced alterations in the metabolism of Vigna radiata. Full article
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14 pages, 3029 KiB  
Article
The Comparative Root System Architecture of Declining and Non-Declining Trees in Two Apple Orchards in New York
by Alicia Serrano, Anna Wunsch, Jean Sabety, Janet van Zoeren, Michael Basedow, Mario Miranda Sazo, Marc Fuchs and Awais Khan
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2644; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142644 - 14 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1310
Abstract
Rapid apple decline is a phenomenon characterized by a weakening of young apple trees in high density orchards, often followed by their quick collapse. The nature of this phenomenon remains unclear. In this work, we investigated the root system architecture (RSA) of declining [...] Read more.
Rapid apple decline is a phenomenon characterized by a weakening of young apple trees in high density orchards, often followed by their quick collapse. The nature of this phenomenon remains unclear. In this work, we investigated the root system architecture (RSA) of declining and non-declining apple trees in two orchards in New York State. High-density orchard A consisted of 4-year-old ‘Honeycrisp’ on ‘Malling 9 Nic29’, and conventional orchard B consisted of 8-year-old ‘Fuji’ on ‘Budagovsky 9’. In both orchards, a negative correlation (−0.4–−0.6) was observed between RSA traits and decline symptoms, suggesting that declining trees have weaker root systems. Scion trunk diameter at the graft union, total root length, and the length of fine and coarse roots were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in declining trees in both orchards. Additionally, internal trunk necrosis at, above, and below the graft union was observed in declining trees in orchard A but not in orchard B. Finally, latent viruses were not associated with decline, as their occurrence was documented in declining and non-declining trees in orchard A, but not in orchard B. Together, these results showed weakened root systems of declining trees, suggesting that these trees may experience deficiencies in water and nutrient uptake, although distinct RSA and trunk health traits between the two orchards were noticeable. Full article
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18 pages, 1552 KiB  
Article
Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Nitric Oxide Application on Heavy Metal Stress Tolerance in Plants
by Xiaoxiao Liu, Di Gong, Qingbo Ke, Lina Yin, Shiwen Wang and Tianpeng Gao
Plants 2023, 12(7), 1494; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12071494 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1317
Abstract
Substantial single-species studies have reported the facility of nitric oxide (NO) in alleviating heavy metal-induced stress in plants. Understanding the mechanisms of NO-involved stress alleviation is progressing; however, a quantitative description of the alleviative capacity of NO against heavy metal stress is still [...] Read more.
Substantial single-species studies have reported the facility of nitric oxide (NO) in alleviating heavy metal-induced stress in plants. Understanding the mechanisms of NO-involved stress alleviation is progressing; however, a quantitative description of the alleviative capacity of NO against heavy metal stress is still lacking. We combined the results of 86 studies using meta-analysis to statistically assess the responses of heavy metal-stressed plants to NO supply across several metal stresses and plant families. The results showed that plant biomass was consistently improved following NO supply to metal-stressed plants. NO played an important role in mitigating oxidative damage caused by heavy metal stress by significantly stimulating the activities of antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, NO supply consistently increased the Ca, Fe, and Mg contents in both leaves and roots. Plant tissues accumulated less heavy metals when exposed to heavy metal stress after NO addition. Additionally, the best concentration of SNP (an NO donor) for hydroponic culture is in the range of 75–150 μM. We further confirmed that NO application can generally alleviate plant heavy metal stress and its action pathway. The results presented here can help guide future applications of NO as a plant growth regulator in agriculture and breeding plants for heavy metal stress tolerance. Full article
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22 pages, 5413 KiB  
Article
Salt Tolerant Bacillus Strains Improve Plant Growth Traits and Regulation of Phytohormones in Wheat under Salinity Stress
by Muhammad Ayaz, Qurban Ali, Qifan Jiang, Ruoyi Wang, Zhengqi Wang, Guangyuan Mu, Sabaz Ali Khan, Abdur Rashid Khan, Hakim Manghwar, Huijun Wu, Xuewen Gao and Qin Gu
Plants 2022, 11(20), 2769; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11202769 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2951
Abstract
Soil salinity is a major constraint adversely affecting agricultural crops including wheat worldwide. The use of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to alleviate salt stress in crops has attracted the focus of many researchers due to its safe and eco-friendly nature. The current [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is a major constraint adversely affecting agricultural crops including wheat worldwide. The use of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to alleviate salt stress in crops has attracted the focus of many researchers due to its safe and eco-friendly nature. The current study aimed to study the genetic potential of high halophilic Bacillus strains, isolated from the rhizosphere in the extreme environment of the Qinghai–Tibetan plateau region of China, to reduce salt stress in wheat plants. The genetic analysis of high halophilic strains, NMCN1, LLCG23, and moderate halophilic stain, FZB42, revealed their key genetic features that play an important role in salt stress, osmotic regulation, signal transduction and membrane transport. Consequently, the expression of predicted salt stress-related genes were upregulated in the halophilic strains upon NaCl treatments 10, 16 and 18%, as compared with control. The halophilic strains also induced a stress response in wheat plants through the regulation of lipid peroxidation, abscisic acid and proline in a very efficient manner. Furthermore, NMCN1 and LLCG23 significantly enhanced wheat growth parameters in terms of physiological traits, i.e., fresh weight 31.2% and 29.7%, dry weight 28.6% and 27.3%, shoot length 34.2% and 31.3% and root length 32.4% and 30.2%, respectively, as compared to control plants under high NaCl concentration (200 mmol). The Bacillus strains NMCN1 and LLCG23 efficiently modulated phytohormones, leading to the substantial enhancement of plant tolerance towards salt stress. Therefore, we concluded that NMCN1 and LLCG23 contain a plethora of genetic features enabling them to combat with salt stress, which could be widely used in different bio-formulations to obtain high crop production in saline conditions. Full article
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24 pages, 67636 KiB  
Article
Effect of Phytoplasma Associated with Sesame Phyllody on Ultrastructural Modification, Physio-Biochemical Traits, Productivity and Oil Quality
by Eman A. Ahmed, Amro A. Farrag, Ahmed A. Kheder and Ahmed Shaaban
Plants 2022, 11(4), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040477 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5526
Abstract
Phytoplasmas are obligate cell-wall-less plant pathogenic bacteria that infect many economically important crops, causing considerable yield losses worldwide. Very little information is known about phytoplasma–host plant interaction mechanisms and their influence on sesame yield and oil quality. Therefore, our aim was to explore [...] Read more.
Phytoplasmas are obligate cell-wall-less plant pathogenic bacteria that infect many economically important crops, causing considerable yield losses worldwide. Very little information is known about phytoplasma–host plant interaction mechanisms and their influence on sesame yield and oil quality. Therefore, our aim was to explore the ultrastructural and agro-physio-biochemical responses of sesame plants and their effects on sesame productivity and oil quality in response to phytoplasma infection. Sesame leaf samples exhibiting phyllody symptoms were collected from three experimental fields during the 2021 growing season. Phytoplasma was successfully detected by nested- polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays using the universal primer pairs P1/P7 and R16F2n/R16R2, and the product of approximately 1200 bp was amplified. The amplified product of 16S rRNA was sequenced and compared with other available phytoplasma’s 16S rRNA in the GenBank database. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that our Egyptian isolate under accession number MW945416 is closely related to the 16SrII group and showed close (99.7%) identity with MH011394 and L33765.1, which were isolated from Egypt and the USA, respectively. The microscopic examination of phytoplasma-infected plants revealed an observable deterioration in tissue and cell ultrastructure. The primary and secondary metabolites considerably increased in infected plants compared with healthy ones. Moreover, phytoplasma-infected plants showed drastically reduced water content, chlorophyll content, growth, and yield components, resulting in 37.9% and 42.5% reductions in seed and oil yield, respectively. The peroxide value of the infected plant’s oil was 43.2% higher than that of healthy ones, suggesting a short shelf-life. Our findings will provide a better understanding of the phyllody disease pathosystem, helping us to develop effective strategies for overcoming such diseases. Full article
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21 pages, 3885 KiB  
Article
Diurnal Change of the Photosynthetic Light-Response Curve of Buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata), an Emergent Aquatic Plant
by Azumi Okamoto, Kohei Koyama and Narayan Bhusal
Plants 2022, 11(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020174 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2749
Abstract
Understanding plant physiological responses to high temperature is an important concern pertaining to climate change. However, compared with terrestrial plants, information about aquatic plants remains limited. Since the degree of midday depression of photosynthesis under high temperature depends on soil water conditions, it [...] Read more.
Understanding plant physiological responses to high temperature is an important concern pertaining to climate change. However, compared with terrestrial plants, information about aquatic plants remains limited. Since the degree of midday depression of photosynthesis under high temperature depends on soil water conditions, it is expected that emergent aquatic plants, for which soil water conditions are always saturated, will show different patterns compared with terrestrial plants. We investigated the diurnal course of the photosynthetic light-response curve and incident light intensity for a freshwater emergent plant, buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata L.; Menyanthaceae) in a cool temperate region. The effect of midday depression was observed only on a very hot day, but not on a moderately hot day, in summer. The diurnal course of photosynthetic light-response curves on this hot day showed that latent morning reduction of photosynthetic capacity started at dawn, preceding the apparent depression around the midday, in agreement with results reported in terrestrial plants. We concluded that (1) midday depression of emergent plants occurs when the stress intensity exceeds the species’ tolerance, and (2) measurements of not only photosynthetic rate under field conditions but also diurnal course of photosynthetic light-response curve are necessary to quantify the effect of midday depression. Full article
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