Impact of Abiotic Stresses on Plant-Soil Nutrient Status, Metabolism, Growth, and Ecosystem Functions

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2023) | Viewed by 10937

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Guest Editor
Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, Xinjiang, China
Interests: plant eco-physiology; plant biochemistry; plant nutrition; abiotic stress; nutrients regulation and dynamics; growth and metabolism; ecological stoichiometry; plant stress; climate change
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Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre (CREAF), Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: chemical ecology; ecotoxicology and metabolomics; reserves and flows of carbon and nutrients; species interactions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, Xinjiang, China
Interests: plant ecology; plant physiology; global change biology; nutrient stoichiometry; growth regulation; climate change; water management; crop production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Global Ecology Unit CREAF‐CSIC‐UAB, CSIC, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Interests: biodiversity; terrestrial ecosystems; global ecology; global change; climate change; pollution; atmosphere-biosphere; biogenic volatile organic compounds; remote sensing; plant ecophysiology; functioning and structure of terrestrial plants and ecosystems; chemical ecology; ecometabolomics; microbial ecology; macroecology and evolutionary ecology; biogeochemistry with special focus on phosphorus; environmental sustainability; food security and global health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water and nutrients are essential factors for sustaining plant growth. Global climatic change is predicted to alter precipitation patterns, potentially increasing the risk of extreme drought events during this century. Despite being relatively short-term events, severe droughts can cause significant and long-term ecological change and can thus have impacts disproportionate to their duration. Drought stress can depress plant metabolism, growth, development, and distribution by affecting uptake, transport, and nutrient partitioning through decreased mineralization rates and diffusion of soil nutrients to root surface. Nutrient cycling in plants and soil is a vital biological process and ecosystem function that can influence plant growth and productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. A better understanding of plants’ physiological and biochemical responses and identifying the dynamics of nutrients under drought is essential to predict drought effects on ecosystem processes. An improvement in the knowledge of the interactions in the interfaces among drought, nutrient availability, and plant responses/adaptation is needed for a better understanding of the impacts, resistance, and resilience of terrestrial ecosystems under drought. Thus, this Special Issue of Plants will highlight physiobiochemical responses of ecologically and economically important plant species, and plant–soil nutrient status under abiotic stresses, not only under drought but also salinity and temperature, which could help in designing proper management strategies for improving ecosystem functioning and productivity in the face of climate change.

Dr. Akash Tariq
Dr. Jordi Sardans
Dr. Fanjiang Zeng
Prof. Dr. Josep Peñuelas
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • drought
  • plant ecophysiology
  • nutrient dynamics
  • growth and development
  • plant nutrition
  • ecosystem functioning

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1898 KiB  
Communication
Genome-Wide Identification of SPX Family Genes and Functional Characterization of PeSPX6 and PeSPX-MFS2 in Response to Low Phosphorus in Phyllostachys edulis
by Jiali Luo, Zhihui Liu, Jiawen Yan, Wenhui Shi and Yeqing Ying
Plants 2023, 12(7), 1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12071496 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is the most widely distributed bamboo species in the subtropical regions of China. Due to the fast-growing characteristics of P. edulis, its growth requires high nutrients, including phosphorus. Previous studies have shown that SPX proteins play [...] Read more.
Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is the most widely distributed bamboo species in the subtropical regions of China. Due to the fast-growing characteristics of P. edulis, its growth requires high nutrients, including phosphorus. Previous studies have shown that SPX proteins play key roles in phosphorus signaling and homeostasis. However, the systematic identification, molecular characterization, and functional characterization of the SPX gene family have rarely been reported in P. edulis. In this study, 23 SPXs were identified and phylogenetic analysis showed that they were classified into three groups and distributed on 13 chromosomes. The analysis of conserved domains indicated that there was a high similarity between PeSPXs among SPX proteins in other species. RNA sequencing and qRT-PCR analysis indicated that PeSPX6 and PeSPX-MFS2, which were highly expressed in roots, were clearly upregulated under low phosphorus. Co-expression network analysis and a dual luciferase experiment in tobacco showed that PeWRKY6 positively regulated the PeSPX6 expression, while PeCIGR1-2, PeMYB20, PeWRKY6, and PeWRKY53 positively regulated the PeSPX-MFS2 expression. Overall, these results provide a basis for the identification of SPX genes in P. edulis and further exploration of their functions in mediating low phosphorus responses. Full article
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21 pages, 4667 KiB  
Article
Ecophysiology of Endangered Plant Species Saussurea esthonica: Effect of Mineral Nutrient Availability and Soil Moisture
by Agnese Gailite, Una Andersone-Ozola, Ineta Samsone, Andis Karlsons and Gederts Ievinsh
Plants 2023, 12(4), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12040888 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Saussurea esthonica is an endangered plant species typical for wet inland habitats such as calcareous fens. Due to its limited population size and distribution, non-invasive sampling of is important in the research of S. esthonica. The aim of the present study was [...] Read more.
Saussurea esthonica is an endangered plant species typical for wet inland habitats such as calcareous fens. Due to its limited population size and distribution, non-invasive sampling of is important in the research of S. esthonica. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of mineral nutrient availability and substrate moisture on the growth, physiological status, and mineral nutrition of S. esthonica. The non-destructive measurement of physiological parameters was performed in native habitats during three vegetative seasons, followed by two experiments in controlled conditions. Soil at the two Estonian sites had a relatively larger similarity in the composition of plant-available mineral nutrients in comparison to the two Latvian sites. The chlorophyll a fluorescence parameter Performance Index correlated with the total precipitation in the respective month before measurement, but no significant relationship with other environmental variables was found. For mineral nutrient experiments, plants were grown in four substrates with different mineral nutrient composition, resembling that of soil at different S. esthonica sites. Plant growth and physiological indices were significantly affected by the mineral composition of the substrate. Differences in leaf and root mineral nutrient concentrations of S. esthonica plants in part reflected differences in substrate mineral concentration. To evaluate the effect of soil moisture on growth and photosynthesis-associated parameters of S. esthonica, plants were cultivated in “Pope+” substrate at four different moisture treatments (dry, normal, wet, and waterlodged). The most intense growth of S. esthonica plants was evident in waterlodged conditions, which decreased with a decrease in soil moisture. The biomass of leaves increased by 106% and that of the roots increased by 72% as soil moisture increased from dry to normal. For waterlodged plants, leaf biomass increased by 263% and root biomass increased by 566%, in comparison to that for plants cultivated in dry substrate. Substrate drying had a more negative effect on the growth of S. esthonica plants in comparison to that of waterlodging, and this can be directly linked to prevalent hydrological conditions of an alkaline fen habitat native to the species. Therefore, the preservation of the natural water regime in natural habitats is critical to the conservation of the species. Full article
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15 pages, 1592 KiB  
Article
Effect of Soil Composition on Secondary Metabolites of Moroccan Saffron (Crocus sativus L.)
by Soukaina Chaouqi, Natalia Moratalla-López, Gonzalo L. Alonso, Cándida Lorenzo, Abdelmjid Zouahri, Nazha Asserar, El Mehdi Haidar and Taoufiq Guedira
Plants 2023, 12(4), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12040711 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1437
Abstract
Climate and soil are important factors that affect the quality of saffron. Saffron quality is determined by the marked content of secondary metabolites. The objective of this work was to study the effect of soil physicochemical properties on the secondary metabolites of saffron. [...] Read more.
Climate and soil are important factors that affect the quality of saffron. Saffron quality is determined by the marked content of secondary metabolites. The objective of this work was to study the effect of soil physicochemical properties on the secondary metabolites of saffron. Our study concerned the analysis of saffron samples by high-performance liquid chromatography-detection by diode array (HPLC-DAD). Soil samples were analyzed by physicochemical methods, ED-XRF fluorescence and X-ray diffraction to determine the different types of clays. Saffron samples grown in loam–clay–sand soils contained high values of crocins and kaempferol 3-sophoroside 7-glucoside but low values of safranal. In addition, saffron samples grown in soils rich in organic matter, phosphorus and potassium contained high values of crocins and kaempferol 3-sophoroside 7-glucoside but low values of safranal. This original approach was carried out for the first time in our study, both by ED-XRF fluorescence and by X-ray diffraction, to determine what elements affect the quality of saffron. Thus, we concluded that clays containing low amounts of iron could have a positive effect on the coloring strength of saffron. Full article
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21 pages, 6213 KiB  
Article
Phosphorous Supplementation Alleviates Drought-Induced Physio-Biochemical Damages in Calligonum mongolicum
by Abd Ullah, Akash Tariq, Fanjiang Zeng, Jordi Sardans, Corina Graciano, Sami Ullah, Xutian Chai, Zhihao Zhang, Maierdang Keyimu, Muhammad Ahsan Asghar, Hafiz Hassan Javed and Josep Peñuelas
Plants 2022, 11(22), 3054; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11223054 - 11 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1103
Abstract
Calligonum mongolicum is a phreatophyte playing an important role in sand dune fixation, but little is known about its responses to drought and P fertilization. In the present study, we performed a pot experiment to investigate the effects of P fertilization under drought [...] Read more.
Calligonum mongolicum is a phreatophyte playing an important role in sand dune fixation, but little is known about its responses to drought and P fertilization. In the present study, we performed a pot experiment to investigate the effects of P fertilization under drought or well-watered conditions on multiple morpho-physio-biochemical attributes of C. mongolicum seedlings. Drought stress leads to a higher production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA), leading to impaired growth and metabolism. However, C. mongolicum exhibited effective drought tolerance strategies, including a higher accumulation of soluble sugars, starch, soluble protein, proline, and significantly higheractivities of peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) enzymes. P fertilization increased the productivity of drought-stressed seedlings by increasing their growth, assimilative shoots relative water content, photosynthetic pigments, osmolytes accumulation, mineral nutrition, N assimilation, and reduced lipid peroxidation. Our findings suggest the presence of soil high P depletion and C. mongolicum high P requirements during the initial growth stage. Thus, P can be utilized as a fertilizer to enhance the growth and productivity of Calligonum vegetation and to reduce the fragility of the hyper-arid desert of Taklamakan in the context of future climate change. Full article
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21 pages, 4701 KiB  
Article
Magnetic Iron–Improved Growth, Leaf Chemical Content, Yield, and Fruit Quality of Chinese Mandarin Trees Grown under Soil Salinity Stress
by Khadiga Alharbi, Khalid S. Alshallash, Ashraf E. Hamdy, Sobhy M. Khalifa, Hosny F. Abdel-Aziz, Ahmed Sharaf and Walid F. Abobatta
Plants 2022, 11(21), 2839; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11212839 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1484
Abstract
Chinese mandarin fruits are an inexpensive and rich source of vitamin C. They have potential benefits in treating acute respiratory infections and mitigating inflammation in critical patients with COVID-19. In Egypt, citrus is the most important fruit tree but is sensitive to salinity [...] Read more.
Chinese mandarin fruits are an inexpensive and rich source of vitamin C. They have potential benefits in treating acute respiratory infections and mitigating inflammation in critical patients with COVID-19. In Egypt, citrus is the most important fruit tree but is sensitive to salinity stress, resulting in poor vegetative tree growth and reductions in productivity and fruit quality. Magnetic iron has emerged as a promising approach in the citrus tree industry, since it improves vegetative growth, yield, and fruit quality and alleviates salinity stress in Chinese mandarin trees grown in soils suffering from high salt stress. This research is aimed at studying the influence of adding magnetic iron (as soil treatment) on tree canopy growth, yield, and fruit quality of ‘Chinese’ mandarin trees. Therefore, the treatments were as follows: 0, 250, 500, and or 750 g of magnetic iron.tree−1. Our results indicated that all applications of magnetic iron significantly improved tree canopy volume, leaf total chlorophyll, relative water content, yield (kg.tree−1), and the fruit physical and chemical characteristics of Chinese mandarin. In contrast, leaf Na and Cl content, (%), proline, and total phenolic content were decreased by magnetic iron soil treatments. In respect to vegetative growth, our results indicated that adding magnetic iron at the concentration 750 g.tree−1 caused the best values of tree canopy volume. A similar trend was noticed regarding yield. The increase in yield attained was nearly 19%; the best values were obtained when magnetic iron were used at 750 g.tree−1. In conclusion, the application of magnetic iron can lead to improved fruit production and fruit quality of Chinese mandarin trees grown in salinity stress conditions. Full article
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13 pages, 1989 KiB  
Article
Detection of Superior Rice Genotypes and Yield Stability under Different Nitrogen Levels Using AMMI Model and Stability Statistics
by Mohamed Abdelrahman, Khadiga Alharbi, Medhat E. El-Denary, Taher Abd El-Megeed, El-Sayed Naeem, Samah Monir, Najla A. Al-Shaye, Megahed H. Ammar, Kotb Attia, Said A. Dora and Abdel-Salam E. Draz
Plants 2022, 11(20), 2775; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11202775 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Sustainable agriculture is a prerequisite for food and environmental security. Chemical fertilization, especially nitrogenous fertilization, is considered the most consumed for field crops. In rice crops, plants consume much less than half of the applied N-fertilizer. In the current investigation, multiple N environments [...] Read more.
Sustainable agriculture is a prerequisite for food and environmental security. Chemical fertilization, especially nitrogenous fertilization, is considered the most consumed for field crops. In rice crops, plants consume much less than half of the applied N-fertilizer. In the current investigation, multiple N environments were generated by applying different N doses of urea fertilizer to a permanent transplanted field for two successive summer growing seasons at the rice research and training center, Kafrelsheikh, Egypt. A set of 55 genotypes consisting of 25 Jabonica, 4 Tropical Japonica, 20 Indica, and 6 Indica/Japonica were transplanted under no N (0N), Low N (LN), medium N (MN), and High N (HN) (i.e., 0, 48, 96, and 165 Kg N ha−1, respectively). Highly significant differences were detected among the tested genotypes. AMMI analysis of variance revealed the existence of the genotype via nitrogen interaction (GNI) on yield performance. The GNI principal components (IPCA); IPCA1 and IPCA2 scores were significant and contributed values of 71.1 and 21.7%, respectively. The highest-ranked genotypes were MTU1010, IR22, SK2046, SK2058, IR66, and Yabani LuLu based on their grain yield means (30.7, 29.9, 29.5, 29.3, 28.8, and 28.5 g plant−1). These genotypes were grouped into the same subcluster (SCL) according to the stability analysis ranking matrix. Based on AMMI analysis and biplots, MTU1010 and Yabani LuLu showed yield stability across environments. Meanwhile, the which-won-where biplot showed that IR22 was superior under unfavorable N-levels and MTU1010 was stable across the different environments. These findings are considered to be of great importance to breeders for initiating low-nitrogen-input breeding programs for sustainable agriculture. Full article
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18 pages, 1348 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Changes in Paspalum fasciculatum Leaves Exposed to Cd Stress
by Manuel Salas-Moreno, María Ángeles Castillejo, Erika Rodríguez-Cavallo, José Marrugo-Negrete, Darío Méndez-Cuadro and Jesús Jorrín-Novo
Plants 2022, 11(19), 2455; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11192455 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
(1) Background: Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that is widely distributed in water, soil, and air. It is present in agrochemicals, wastewater, battery waste, and volcanic eruptions. Thus, it can be absorbed by plants and enter the trophic chain. P. fasciculatum is [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that is widely distributed in water, soil, and air. It is present in agrochemicals, wastewater, battery waste, and volcanic eruptions. Thus, it can be absorbed by plants and enter the trophic chain. P. fasciculatum is a plant with phytoremediation capacity that can tolerate Cd stress, but changes in its proteome related to this tolerance have not yet been identified. (2) Methods: We conducted a quantitative analysis of the proteins present in P. fasciculatum leaves cultivated under greenhouse conditions in mining soils doped with 0 mg kg−1 (control), 30 mg kg−1, or 50 mg kg−1. This was carried out using the label-free shotgun proteomics technique. In this way, we determined the changes in the proteomes of the leaves of these plants, which allowed us to propose some tolerance mechanisms involved in the response to Cd stress. (3) Results: In total, 329 variable proteins were identified between treatments, which were classified into those associated with carbohydrate and energy metabolism; photosynthesis; structure, transport, and metabolism of proteins; antioxidant stress and defense; RNA and DNA processing; and signal transduction. (4) Conclusions: Based on changes in the differences in the leaf protein profiles between treatments, we hypothesize that some proteins associated with signal transduction (Ras-related protein RABA1e), HSPs (heat shock cognate 70 kDa protein 2), growth (actin-7), and cellular development (actin-1) are part of the tolerance response to Cd stress. Full article
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