Green Technologies to Improve the Yield and Storage of Seeds for Different Applications

A special issue of Seeds (ISSN 2674-1024).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 4940

Special Issue Editor

Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Hautcharage, L-4940 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Interests: plant molecular biology; transcriptomics; metabolomics; proteomics; cell suspension cultures; plant elicitors; plant (a)biotic stressors; fibre crops
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Seeds play an important role as commodities for the human diet (e.g., cereal grains) and as prominent sources of essential components due to their high content of starch, proteins, and fats. Furthermore, seeds produce a wide range of metabolites with antioxidant properties playing an important role in preserving health, in addition to their nutritive value. For instance, several studies have shown a high content of radical scavenging molecules, such as polyphenols and flavonoids in seed extracts, important for lowering the risk of various diseases and exerting health-promoting effects. Seeds are thus good examples of functional food.

In light of their economic importance, finding ways to improve seed/grain yield and preserve their organoleptic characteristics after harvest and during long-term storage are important scientific topics. Searching for innovative green solutions to improve production and shelf-life is important for sustainable agriculture. An example of such solutions is the use of modified atmosphere, priming agents (e.g., nanoparticles, biostimulants, as well as other compounds, such as silicon), and precision agriculture (e.g., field and yield mapping).

This Special Issue aims to gather the latest discoveries in the field of sustainable solutions for seed/grain production and preservation. Original research papers (full articles and short communications) centered on plant physiology, molecular biology (use of -omics), agronomy, field studies, as well as comprehensive reviews showing the current knowledge and future perspectives are welcome.

Dr. Roberto Berni
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Seeds is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 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

  • seeds
  • green technologies
  • grains
  • priming
  • molecular biology
  • biostimulants
  • shelf-life
  • metabolites
  • silicon

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 1070 KiB  
Article
Quality and Nutraceutical Features of Cicer arietinum L. Stored under Nitrogen Atmosphere
Seeds 2024, 3(1), 16-25; https://doi.org/10.3390/seeds3010002 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Cicer arietinum L. (chickpea, or garbanzo bean) is one of the most consumed legumes worldwide. It is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, minerals and vitamins with very low cholesterol. From a nutritional point of view, despite the low content of fats, [...] Read more.
Cicer arietinum L. (chickpea, or garbanzo bean) is one of the most consumed legumes worldwide. It is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, minerals and vitamins with very low cholesterol. From a nutritional point of view, despite the low content of fats, the seeds contain various unsaturated acids, such as linoleic and oleic acids, as well as bioactive compounds, like antioxidants, with reactive oxygen species-scavenging activities. It is known that long periods of storage can drastically affect the preservation of these compounds in seeds. For this reason, in the last few years, different methods have been tested with the aim of increasing the shelf life of economically relevant beans, seeds and cereals. A promising and eco-friendly alternative to traditional storage is the use of a controlled atmosphere, represented by N2-pressurized silos. The present study aims at evaluating the content of different compounds, e.g., fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and molecules of nutraceutical interest, in chickpeas stored at ambient temperature in N2-pressurized silos (98.5 ± 0.5% (v/v)) and control ones (standard storage) in long-term kinetics (1 year). The results show the stable content of most compounds during the kinetics. However, vitamin E decreased in samples stored under both standard and controlled atmosphere conditions, with a more pronounced and significant decrease under standard conditions as compared to the controlled atmosphere. Additionally, samples stored under a controlled atmosphere show a total higher content of quinic, indole butyric and benzoic acid, as well as their derivates. Full article
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13 pages, 1424 KiB  
Article
Seaweed Extract Components Are Correlated with the Seeds Germination and Growth of Tomato Seedlings
Seeds 2023, 2(4), 436-448; https://doi.org/10.3390/seeds2040033 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 769
Abstract
Seaweeds are used in traditional agriculture practices because of their beneficial effects. Recently, the rising demand for organically grown foods has amplified the use of organic fertilizers such as seaweed extracts. Despite their beneficial effects, few studies have reported information about compounds in [...] Read more.
Seaweeds are used in traditional agriculture practices because of their beneficial effects. Recently, the rising demand for organically grown foods has amplified the use of organic fertilizers such as seaweed extracts. Despite their beneficial effects, few studies have reported information about compounds in seaweed extracts that are responsible for these benefits. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the potential relationships between the components and secondary metabolites in four seaweed liquid extracts from Eisenia arborea, Macrocystis pyrifera, Padina caulescens, and Sargassum horridum and their biostimulant activity through changes in the germination, growth, and protein content of tomato seedlings (Solanum lycopersicum). The E. arborea and S. horridum extracts showed similar compositions (ash, organic carbon, bicarbonates, and chlorides), minerals (Ca, Fe, and Cu) and secondary metabolites (triterpenes and saponins), albeit with different component concentrations. The chemical composition of the P. caulescens extract was significantly different from those of the other extracts; it was characterized by high levels of total nitrogen, phenols, and carbohydrates. Almost all seaweed extracts had beneficial effects on seed germination and seedling length, except the S. horridum extract that inhibits germination. The hierarchical clustering plots and principal component analysis indicated that germination and protein content are related to the presence of sterol. Shoot length was closely related to mineral levels (K, Zn, B, Na) and the C:N ratio, whereas radicle length was closely related to the content of nitrogen, carbohydrates, phenols, and flavonoids in the seaweed extracts. However, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear and require further studies. Full article
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13 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Gibberellin (GA3) and Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate (CuSO4·5H2O) Reduce Seeds per Fruit and Increase Fruit Quality in Bac Son Mandarin Fruit
Seeds 2023, 2(3), 318-330; https://doi.org/10.3390/seeds2030024 - 03 Aug 2023
Viewed by 726
Abstract
The aim of this study was to find the optimal gibberellic acid (GA3) and copper sulfate (CuSO4·5H2O) concentrations to reduce the number of seeds and increase the quality of Bac Son mandarin fruit. In experiment 1, the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to find the optimal gibberellic acid (GA3) and copper sulfate (CuSO4·5H2O) concentrations to reduce the number of seeds and increase the quality of Bac Son mandarin fruit. In experiment 1, the control plants (without GA3) were sprayed with water, and the remaining plants were sprayed with different concentrations of GA3 (50, 75, 100, or 125 ppm). In experiment 2, the control plants (without CuSO4·5H2O) were sprayed with water, and the remaining plants were sprayed with different concentrations of CuSO4·5H2O (50, 75, 100, or 125 ppm). Spraying GA3 at 100 ppm in 2018 produced the lowest seed number and the highest theoretical yield. In 2019, spraying GA3 led to a lower seed number and a higher actual yield compared with the control. Similarly, spraying CuSO4·5H2O significantly reduced the number of seeds/fruit and significantly increased the theoretical yield in 2018. In 2019, the total number of seeds/fruit was significantly lower in the CuSO4·5H2O treatments than in the control. Importantly, both GA3 and CuSO4·5H2O treatments did not adversely affect the fruit’s biochemical parameters or yield. These findings demonstrate that spraying GA3 or CuSO4·5H2O at a certain concentration can effectively reduce the number of seeds per fruit in Bac Son mandarin without compromising fruit quality or yield. Full article
12 pages, 3475 KiB  
Article
Ectopic Expression of AtYUC8 Driven by GL2 and TT12 Promoters Affects the Vegetative Growth of Arabidopsis
Seeds 2023, 2(3), 278-289; https://doi.org/10.3390/seeds2030021 - 13 Jul 2023
Viewed by 779
Abstract
Auxin plays an essential role in regulating Arabidopsis growth and development. YUCCA (YUC) family genes encode flavin monooxygenases, which are rate-limiting enzymes in the auxin biosynthetic pathway. Previous studies showed that YUC8 overexpression (YUC8 OE), as well as ectopic expression [...] Read more.
Auxin plays an essential role in regulating Arabidopsis growth and development. YUCCA (YUC) family genes encode flavin monooxygenases, which are rate-limiting enzymes in the auxin biosynthetic pathway. Previous studies showed that YUC8 overexpression (YUC8 OE), as well as ectopic expression of YUC8 driven by GL2 (GLABRA 2) and TT12 (TRANSPARENT TESTA 12) promoters, which are specifically expressed in the epidermis and inner seed integument, respectively, produced larger seeds compared to the Col. However, the impact of these transgenic lines on the vegetative growth of Arabidopsis remains unclear. Here, we show that the GL2pro:YUC8-GFP and TT12pro:YUC8-GFP transgenic plants produce a moderate excessive auxin accumulation phenotype compared to the YUC8 OE. These two transgenic lines produced smaller rosette and leaf, higher plant height, fewer branches, and longer siliques. These data will provide a basis for the study of the relationship between the ectopic expression of auxin synthesis genes and crop yield. Full article
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Review

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20 pages, 2223 KiB  
Review
The Effects of Storage Conditions on Seed Deterioration and Ageing: How to Improve Seed Longevity
Seeds 2024, 3(1), 56-75; https://doi.org/10.3390/seeds3010005 - 09 Jan 2024
Viewed by 897
Abstract
Seeds are classified as either: orthodox, seeds that tolerate dehydration; recalcitrant, seeds that are high in moisture content and cannot withstand intensive desiccation; or intermediate, seeds that survive dehydration but die during dry storage at low temperatures. Seed lifespan depends on the seed [...] Read more.
Seeds are classified as either: orthodox, seeds that tolerate dehydration; recalcitrant, seeds that are high in moisture content and cannot withstand intensive desiccation; or intermediate, seeds that survive dehydration but die during dry storage at low temperatures. Seed lifespan depends on the seed category and also varies from one species to another. The rate of loss of vigor and viability of orthodox seeds depends mainly on temperature and seed moisture content (MC); the lower the MC and storage temperature, the longer the longevity. Ultimately, storage in liquid nitrogen or seed ultra-drying by well-adapted processes should allow for long-term storage. The ageing of orthodox seeds is associated with numerous forms of cellular and metabolic damage (membrane integrity, energy metabolism, and the impairment of DNA, RNA, and proteins) in which reactive oxygen species play a prominent role. Interestingly, priming treatment can reinvigorate aged seeds by restoring the antioxidant systems. The storage of recalcitrant seeds is very difficult since they must be placed in a wet medium to avoid dehydration and at temperatures low enough to prevent germination but warm enough to avoid chilling injury. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in ageing is necessary to identify markers in order to estimate seed longevity. Full article
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15 pages, 1351 KiB  
Review
The Utilization of Seed Priming as a Tool to Overcome Salt and Drought Stresses: Is Still a Long Way to Go?
Seeds 2023, 2(4), 406-420; https://doi.org/10.3390/seeds2040031 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Abiotic stresses, sometimes due to dramatic environmental changes, such as sudden and heavy rainfalls, or drought, increasing temperatures or soil salinization, deeply affect the growth and yield of plants. Progress in terms of improving the abiotic stress tolerance of plants can be obtained [...] Read more.
Abiotic stresses, sometimes due to dramatic environmental changes, such as sudden and heavy rainfalls, or drought, increasing temperatures or soil salinization, deeply affect the growth and yield of plants. Progress in terms of improving the abiotic stress tolerance of plants can be obtained via classical breeding and genetic engineering, which can be slow, or by practice, such as acclimation and seed priming. The latter can improve seedling performance, and it can be considered a short-term approach. Seed priming with different agents and biopriming may offer the possibility to improve stress tolerance, even though its beneficial effect depends on crop species, dose, and time of application. The aim of this review is to highlight some of the current research trends that may ultimately lead to strategies for stress-proofing crop species. The focus is on those abiotic stresses, e.g., drought and soil salinity, that are most often associated with climate change and poor agricultural practices and those crops that are most important for human nutrition. Comments are provided on the challenges and pros and cons of this methodology. Full article
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