Topic Editors

Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria (CREA), Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Corso degli Inglesi 508, 18038 Sanremo, Italy
CREA Research Centre for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Via dei Fiori 8, 51012 Pescia, Italy

Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume

Abstract submission deadline
30 September 2025
Manuscript submission deadline
31 December 2025
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9003

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following the successful completion of Volume I of “Plant–Soil Interactions” and the great interest in this research topic, we are pleased to announce the launch of Volume II. Biological fertilizers are substances that contain microorganisms that, when applied to seeds, plant surfaces, or soil, colonize the rhizosphere and promote plant growth by increasing the supply of primary nutrients to the host plant. Research has shown that biofertilizers have different effects in various environments, and even within the same one. A number of scientists have been working on solving this problem, but no perfect solution has yet been found. Despite their satisfactory effects in drier climates, biofertilizers are likely to be better controlled and regulated in all environments in the future. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance knowledge on this subject. The aim of this Special Issue is therefore to promote research surrounding the use of microorganisms in improving plant growth and protection against biotic and abiotic stresses.

Dr. Fernando Monroy
Dr. Domenico Prisa
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • soil ecology
  • rhizosphere
  • mycorrhiza soil-borne pathogens
  • sustainable agriculture

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.6 3.6 2011 17.7 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Agronomy
agronomy
3.7 5.2 2011 15.8 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Crops
crops
- - 2021 30.5 Days CHF 1000 Submit
Diversity
diversity
2.4 3.1 2009 17.8 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Plants
plants
4.5 5.4 2012 15.3 Days CHF 2700 Submit

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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16 pages, 1902 KiB  
Article
Warming Mitigates the Impacts of Degradation on Nitrogen Allocation between Soil Microbes and Plants in Alpine Meadow
by Zhe Pang, Guoqi Wen, Lili Jiang, Xiaowei Nie, Zongsong Wang, Rui Pang, Wenjing Liu, Meirong Chen, Weiwai Zhao, Li Tang, Biao Zhang, Linfeng Li, Shutong Zhou, Xingliang Xu, Yanbin Hao, Xiaoyong Cui, Shiping Wang and Yanfen Wang
Agronomy 2024, 14(3), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14030508 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 614
Abstract
In alpine meadows, plants and soil microbes typically engage in competition for nitrogen (N) under N-deficient conditions. However, the acquisition and distribution of N among soil microbes and plants under alpine meadow degradation and climate warming induced by global climate change are still [...] Read more.
In alpine meadows, plants and soil microbes typically engage in competition for nitrogen (N) under N-deficient conditions. However, the acquisition and distribution of N among soil microbes and plants under alpine meadow degradation and climate warming induced by global climate change are still uncharacterized. In this study, we isotope labeled inorganic (NH4+-15N, NO3-15N) and organic (glycine-15N) N in both degraded and non-degraded plots by using open-top chambers (OTC) to mimic increasing air temperatures. After 6 h, the 15N contents in soil microbes and plants were measured to investigate the effects of degradation and rising air temperature on N allocations in the ecosystems studied. Results showed that alpine meadow degradation significantly reduced soil microbial N accumulation by 52% compared to those in non-degraded plots. In non-degraded plots, warming significantly lowered the organic N levels of soil microbes by 49%, whereas in degraded ones, it reduced both NH4+-15N and NO3-15N recovery by 80% and 45% on average but increased glycine-15N recovery by 653%. Meanwhile, warming decreased the plant recovery of NH4+-15N and NO3-15N by 75% and 45% but increased the recovery of glycine-15N by 45% in non-degraded plots. Conversely, in degraded plots, warming markedly lowered NH4+-15N recovery by 40% but increased glycine-15N recovery by 114%. Warming mitigates the effects of alpine meadow degradation on nitrogen allocation among soil microbes and plants. In unwarmed plots, degradation significantly elevated the total 15N recovery ratio of soil microbes to plants by 60%. However, in warmed plots, the impact of degradation on this ratio was reduced. The responses of the 15N recovery ratio of soil microbes and plants to rising temperatures were closely related to alpine meadow quality. In non-degraded areas, warming enhanced the recovery ratio for NH4+-15N by 165% but reduced it for glycine-15N by 66%. Conversely, in degraded plots, warming decreased the recovery ratio for NH4+-15N by 66% but increased it for glycine-15N by 232%. This indicates that warming can increase carbon limitation for soil microbes in degraded alpine meadows, and the restoration of degraded alpine meadows should prioritize restoring carbon accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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18 pages, 9407 KiB  
Article
Effects of Root–Root Interactions on the Physiological Characteristics of Haloxylon ammodendron Seedlings
by Huifang Yang, Suwan Ji, Deyan Wu, Menghao Zhu and Guanghui Lv
Plants 2024, 13(5), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050683 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The root traits and response strategies of plants play crucial roles in mediating interactions between plant root systems. Current research on the role of root exudates as underground chemical signals mediating these interactions has focused mainly on crops, with less attention given to [...] Read more.
The root traits and response strategies of plants play crucial roles in mediating interactions between plant root systems. Current research on the role of root exudates as underground chemical signals mediating these interactions has focused mainly on crops, with less attention given to desert plants in arid regions. In this study, we focused on the typical desert plant Haloxylon ammodendron and conducted a pot experiment using three root isolation methods (plastic film separation, nylon mesh separation, and no separation). We found that (1) as the degree of isolation increased, plant biomass significantly increased (p < 0.05), while root organic carbon content exhibited the opposite trend; (2) soil electrical conductivity (EC), soil total nitrogen (STN), soil total phosphorus (STP), and soil organic carbon (SOC) were significantly greater in the plastic film and nylon mesh separation treatments than in the no separation treatment (p < 0.05), and the abundance of Proteobacteria and Actinobacteriota was significantly greater in the plastic film separation treatment than in the no separation treatment (p < 0.05); (3) both plastic film and nylon mesh separations increased the secretion of alkaloids derived from tryptophan and phenylalanine in the plant root system compared with that in the no separation treatment; and (4) Pseudomonas, Proteobacteria, sesquiterpenes, triterpenes, and coumarins showed positive correlations, while both pseudomonas and proteobacteria were significantly positively correlated with soil EC, STN, STP, and SOC (p < 0.05). Aurachin D was negatively correlated with Gemmatimonadota and Proteobacteria, and both were significantly correlated with soil pH, EC, STN, STP, and SOC. The present study revealed strong negative interactions between the root systems of H. ammodendron seedlings, in which sesquiterpenoids, triterpenoids, coumarins, and alkaloids released by the roots played an important role in the subterranean competitive relationship. This study provides a deeper understanding of intraspecific interactions in the desert plant H. ammodendron and offers some guidance for future cultivation of this species in the northwestern region of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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15 pages, 1999 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Different Rotations of Beans, Maize, and Cabbage on Soil Moisture and Economic Benefits
by Xiaojuan Wang, Tianle Wang, Lei Wang and Enke Liu
Agronomy 2024, 14(3), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14030479 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 481
Abstract
The article investigates the effects of different cropping rotations on soil moisture and economic benefit. Cabbage–maize–cabbage (CMC), beans–maize–cabbage (BMC), and cabbage–cabbage–cabbage (CCC) treatments were set up to study the effects of different crop rotation combinations on soil water storage, evapotranspiration (ET), water use [...] Read more.
The article investigates the effects of different cropping rotations on soil moisture and economic benefit. Cabbage–maize–cabbage (CMC), beans–maize–cabbage (BMC), and cabbage–cabbage–cabbage (CCC) treatments were set up to study the effects of different crop rotation combinations on soil water storage, evapotranspiration (ET), water use efficiency (WUE), and economic benefit. The results showed that the average soil moisture content decreased initially and then increased with crop rotation, whereas it continued to decrease with continuous cabbage cropping as the crop grew. CMC reduced ET, whereas BMC increased ET from the nodulation to maturation stages of cabbage compared with CCC in the third experimental year. WUE of different crops showed that cabbage > maize > beans. The economic benefit of the CMC was higher than the other treatments in the third planting year. Therefore, the best crop rotation combination in this area is cabbage–maize–cabbage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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26 pages, 4175 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategies for the Occurrence of Continuous Cropping Obstacles of Legumes in China
by Lei Ma, Shaoying Ma, Guiping Chen, Xu Lu, Qiang Chai and Sheng Li
Agronomy 2024, 14(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14010104 - 31 Dec 2023
Viewed by 867
Abstract
Legumes have important nutritional and economic values, but their production faces continuous cropping obstacles that seriously affect their yield formation. In order to reduce the negative impact of the continuous cropping obstacles of legumes, it is necessary to understand the response mechanisms of [...] Read more.
Legumes have important nutritional and economic values, but their production faces continuous cropping obstacles that seriously affect their yield formation. In order to reduce the negative impact of the continuous cropping obstacles of legumes, it is necessary to understand the response mechanisms of legumes to continuous cropping, the causes of continuous cropping obstacles and the measures to alleviate continuous cropping obstacles. This review aimed to identify the current knowledge gap in the field of continuous cropping obstacles of legumes and provide direction and focus for future research. The continuous cropping obstacles of legumes start with soil degradation, leading to oxidative stress in the plants. This triggers the expression of plant-hormone- and signal-molecule-related genes, activating the defense system and causing continuous cropping obstacles. Although there has been progress in researching these challenges in legume crops, many questions remain. We believe that the exploration of molecular mechanisms of legume crops responding to continuous cropping, rhizosphere signal exchange and soil environment repair mechanisms after long-term continuous cropping of soybean, and the excavation of candidate genes and functional loci related to continuous cropping obstacles in legume crops are breakthroughs for proposing effective continuous cropping obstacle management strategies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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20 pages, 3244 KiB  
Article
What Do Cross-Range Germination, Growth, and Interaction Studies Reveal about the Behaviour of an Expansive Plant Species?
by Krishan Kaushik, Robert W. Pal, Katalin Somfalvi-Tóth, Riyazuddin Riyazuddin, Kinga Rudolf and Tamás Morschhauser
Agriculture 2023, 13(11), 2171; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13112171 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 908
Abstract
Understanding the invasion potential of any plant species is crucial for early detection in habitat conservation, particularly when observing their expansion within their native region. As a test species, we utilised Allium ursinum L., a dominant clonal species in early spring forest floors. [...] Read more.
Understanding the invasion potential of any plant species is crucial for early detection in habitat conservation, particularly when observing their expansion within their native region. As a test species, we utilised Allium ursinum L., a dominant clonal species in early spring forest floors. We compared the species’ germination capacity in native (Hungarian) and non-native (North American) soils, its seedling growth, and competing performances with two co-occurring dominant species, Melica uniflora Retz. and Carex pilosa Scop., in ten soil types and three soil compositions, respectively. Additionally, the competitive interactions of A. ursinum with Convallaria majalis L., a species already introduced in North America, were assessed under three moisture conditions. The results revealed that A. ursinum exhibited enhanced germination in non-native soils, while its shoot growth was most vigorous in control soil. When grown in soils with different co-dominant species, A. ursinum seedlings exhibited varying growth rates, significantly influenced by solar radiation intensity. A. ursinum shoots displayed superior growth in soil collected from C. pilosa stands compared to soil originating from its own stands. Notably, A. ursinum effectively competed against C. majalis in moderate soil moisture conditions. Furthermore, increasing sand content improved the competitive ability of A. ursinum against C. pilosa and M. uniflora. Based on our findings, A. ursinum possesses an invasion potential for particular North American habitats. However, the extent of its potential is dependent upon soil and climatic conditions. Under medium moisture regime, A. ursinum might outcompete the already established C. majalis from its habitats. Additionally, it can potentially displace native species with comparable ecological characteristics, such as C. pilosa and M. uniflora, especially in loose soils. Similar cross-range seed germination, growth, and paired competition experiments with potential competitor species are highly recommended as these can not only elucidate its native range expansion but also various growth scenarios for its agricultural cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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19 pages, 4573 KiB  
Article
Effect of Enhanced Organic Material Addition during Reductive Soil Disinfestation on Disease Resistance, Yield Increase, and Microbial Community in Flue-Cured Tobacco
by Chaosheng Luo, Huiqiong Ding, Yuanyuan Li, Taiqin Liu and Yan Dong
Agronomy 2023, 13(10), 2458; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13102458 - 22 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
The addition of organic materials is pivotal for the efficacy of reductive soil disinfestation (RSD). However, data on the influence of varying amounts of organic matter during RSD on soil-borne disease mitigation, yield increase, and rhizosphere microecological health in the current flue-cured tobacco [...] Read more.
The addition of organic materials is pivotal for the efficacy of reductive soil disinfestation (RSD). However, data on the influence of varying amounts of organic matter during RSD on soil-borne disease mitigation, yield increase, and rhizosphere microecological health in the current flue-cured tobacco season remain limited. This study analyzed various organic material addition rates (CK, G0.8, G1.0, and G1.2) at two experimental sites (K and Y). The results indicated that increasing the application of organic material improved the soil physicochemical properties (pH, AN, AP, AK, OM, and C/N), mitigated the severity of black shank and Fusarium root rot, and amplified the tobacco yield. The K/YG1.2 treatment significantly reduced the Shannon and Sobs fungal indices across both sites, and enhanced the relative abundance of the bacteria Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, and Acidobacteriota, while decreasing the relative abundance of Ascomycota. The bacterial genera were predominantly represented by Sphingomonas and Bacillus, whereas the fungal genera were represented by Saitozyma, Mortierella, and Fusarium. The addition of organic materials during RSD substantially decreased the relative abundance of Mortierella and Fusarium. Using FUNGGuild and Tax4Fun to evaluate the application of adding organic matter during the RSD process, we identified that rhizosphere fungi in high application rates of flue-cured tobacco were primarily saprophytic or pathogenic saprophytes, which were mainly involved in the metabolism, environmental information processing, genetic information processing, and cellular processes. The results of the two experimental sites indicate that applying 15 t·ha−1 (K/YG1.2) of solid residues such as vegetables during RSD emerges as the optimal choice. This strategy is highly effective in guaranteeing the sterilization and pest control effect of the RSD process, facilitating the reconstruction of microbial community diversity, lowering pathogen abundance, managing soil-borne diseases that are prevalent in the current flue-cured tobacco season, and leading to an increase in tobacco yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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18 pages, 1048 KiB  
Review
Microbial Biofertilisers in Plant Production and Resistance: A Review
by Domenico Prisa, Roberto Fresco and Damiano Spagnuolo
Agriculture 2023, 13(9), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13091666 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2250
Abstract
In sustainable agriculture, plant nutrients are the most important elements. Biofertilisers introduce microorganisms that improve the nutrient status of plants and increase their accessibility to crops. To meet the demands of a growing population, it is necessary to produce healthy crops using the [...] Read more.
In sustainable agriculture, plant nutrients are the most important elements. Biofertilisers introduce microorganisms that improve the nutrient status of plants and increase their accessibility to crops. To meet the demands of a growing population, it is necessary to produce healthy crops using the right type of fertilisers to provide them with all the key nutrients they need. However, the increasing dependence on chemical fertilisers is destroying the environment and negatively affecting human health. Therefore, it is believed that the use of microbes as bioinoculants, used together with chemical fertilisers, is the best strategy to increase plant growth and soil fertility. In sustainable agriculture, these microbes bring significant benefits to crops. In addition to colonising plant systems (epiphytes, endophytes and rhizospheres), beneficial microbes play a key role in the uptake of nutrients from surrounding ecosystems. Microorganisms, especially fungi, also play a protective function in plants, enhancing the responses of defence systems, and play a key role in situations related to soil iron deficiency or phosphorous solubilisation. Plant-associated microbes can thus promote plant growth regardless of natural and extreme conditions. The most frequently used strategies for growth-promoting microorganisms are nitrogen fixation, the production of growth hormones, siderophores, HCN, various hydrolytic enzymes and the solubilisation of potassium, zinc and phosphorous. Research on biofertilisers has been extensive and available, demonstrating how these microbes can provide crops with sufficient nutrients to increase yields. This review examines in detail the direct and indirect mechanisms of PGPR action and their interactions in plant growth and resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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30 pages, 5171 KiB  
Article
Influence of Mulching on Replantation Disease in Sour Cherry Orchard
by Krzysztof Rutkowski and Grzegorz P. Łysiak
Agriculture 2023, 13(8), 1587; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081587 - 09 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 840
Abstract
Increasingly, in orchards around the world that are planted one after another, disturbances are observed, and these issues with growth and development are called replantation disease. It is manifested mainly by poor tree growth after planting and poor ripening. One way to reduce [...] Read more.
Increasingly, in orchards around the world that are planted one after another, disturbances are observed, and these issues with growth and development are called replantation disease. It is manifested mainly by poor tree growth after planting and poor ripening. One way to reduce replantation disease is to improve soil fertility after many years of fruit tree cultivation. The aim of the work was to evaluate the growth and yield of cherries after replantation and to compare this with a site where fruit trees had not grown before. The trees were planted at two sites: after the replantation of the cherry orchard (OR1) and in a site where fruit trees had not been cultivated before (OR2). Two combinations were used in each orchard: boiler without mulching (C), mulch—after planting mulching with a substrate after growing mushrooms (M). The trees at the site after replantation grew and bore less fruit than in the position where fruit trees had not grown before. The disease also affected some of the quality characteristics of the fruit. This resulted in an increase in fruit weight and a darker color (L*) and a higher value of hue fruit color. Mulching, which is often recommended in orchards planted after previous cultivation, did not provide the expected improvement. It did not significantly affect tree growth and yield. Only an effect on the content of components in the soil was observed, but it affected the condition of the trees. In addition, we analyzed how experimental combinations responded to climatic conditions by calculating the correlations between the SAT (sum of active temperatures) and the stages of tree development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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17 pages, 2158 KiB  
Article
Growth and Physiological Characteristics of Sour Jujube Seedlings in Different Substrate Formulations
by Ying Zhu, Yanjun Duan, Zhiguo Liu, Mengjun Liu and Ping Liu
Agronomy 2023, 13(7), 1797; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13071797 - 05 Jul 2023
Viewed by 846
Abstract
The raising of container seedlings with light substrates has become an important method of seedling raising, without delaying the seedling period. In order to reduce reliance on non-renewable peat and to promote the reuse of organic waste, this study compared the growth of [...] Read more.
The raising of container seedlings with light substrates has become an important method of seedling raising, without delaying the seedling period. In order to reduce reliance on non-renewable peat and to promote the reuse of organic waste, this study compared the growth of sour jujube seedlings in different substrate formulations (i.e., different proportions of vermicompost instead of peat), using a semi-subterranean placement of root control bags, and explored the application of vermicompost in the raising of sour jujube seedlings. The results showed that there were significant differences in the growth and the physiological and photosynthetic characteristics of sour jujube seedlings treated with different substrates, among which substrates A2 (peat: vermicompost: vermiculite: garden soil = 0.5:0.5:1:1) and A3 (peat: vermiculite: garden soil = 1:2:1) were suitable for sour jujube seedling raising. The seedling height, the seedling ground diameter, the number of secondary branches, the length of the longest secondary branch, the total fresh weight, the aboveground fresh weight, the total root length, the root projection area, and the root surface area were all significantly greater than those of jujube seedlings grown on other substrates. Especially in A3, vermicompost can replace peat as the nursery substrate for sour jujube seedlings, removing dependence on non-renewable peat resources, reducing costs, and providing more prospects for application. The suitable substrate conditions for sour jujube seedlings were as follows: soil porosity 44.0–54.0%, electric conductivity (EC) value 0.2 mS/cm, organic matter 40.39~54.05 g·kg−1, total nitrogen and total phosphorus of 1.67~1.91 g·kg−1 and 0.95~1.20 g·kg−1, respectively, alkali-hydrolyzed nitrogen 139.75~154.69 mg·kg−1, and available phosphorus 137~224 mg·kg−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions, 2nd Volume)
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