Special Issue "Interaction Between Abiotic and Biotic Stresses in Plants"

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A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Sylvie Renault

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, W479 Duff Roblin Bldg, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2, Canada
Interests: plant stress physiology; salinity tolerance of northern woody plants and medicinal plants; cross tolerance (salinity and cold; salinity and herbivory); revegetation of mine tailings
Guest Editor
Dr. Germán Avila Sakar

Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg, 599 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2G3, Canada
Fax: +1 204 774 2401
Interests: plant-animal interactions; herbivory; tolerance; resistance; resource allocation; sexual systems of plants; dioecy; monoecy; pollination; evolution of plant responses to herbivores; evolution of plant mating systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants are continually facing a host of environmental challenges that alter to varying degrees their capacity to survive, grow, and reproduce. Commonly, studies of abiotic stress in plants leave out the possible effects of biotic interactions. Conversely, studies of biotic interactions neglect the possible role of abiotic stress. Salinity and herbivores are two common environmental challenges encountered by many plants. While most salinity studies are done from a physiological perspective, studies of herbivory  tend to take  an ecological or evolutionary perspective.  Recently, more researchers have started to focus on the interaction between the responses of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses. This approach has forced researchers to juxtapose the eco-evolutionary and the physiological frameworks both conceptually and methodologically. Some of the biotic and abiotic factors that have been studied simultaneously include drought, flooding, frost, heavy metals and wind as abiotic factors, and infection by plant pathogens (rusts, wilts, smuts, viruses, etc.), herbivores (including miners, gallers, aphids, chewers, seed parasites), and pollinators as biotic factors. We have found fewer studies addressing the simultaneous effects of salinity and herbivory, so we are seeking authors who wish to publish recent results in this area. Any other studies that address the interaction between biotic and abiotic stress factors in plants are also welcome, particularly those studies that combine the eco-evolutionary and physiological frameworks. Given the relatively larger number of published studies on pathogens, we would prefer studies including herbivores or pollinators.

Dr. Sylvie Renault,
Dr. Germán Avila-Sakar
Guest Editors

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants 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 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • plant stress interaction
  • biotic and abiotic stresses
  • plant response to multiple stresses
  • cross tolerance

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Calmodulin Gene Expression in Response to Mechanical Wounding and Botrytis cinerea Infection in Tomato Fruit
Plants 2014, 3(3), 427-441; doi:10.3390/plants3030427
Received: 2 May 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 20 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Calmodulin, a ubiquitous calcium sensor, plays an important role in decoding stress-triggered intracellular calcium changes and regulates the functions of numerous target proteins involved in various plant physiological responses. To determine the functions of calmodulin in fleshy fruit, expression studies were performed [...] Read more.
Calmodulin, a ubiquitous calcium sensor, plays an important role in decoding stress-triggered intracellular calcium changes and regulates the functions of numerous target proteins involved in various plant physiological responses. To determine the functions of calmodulin in fleshy fruit, expression studies were performed on a family of six calmodulin genes (SlCaMs) in mature-green stage tomato fruit in response to mechanical injury and Botrytis cinerea infection. Both wounding and pathogen inoculation triggered expression of all those genes, with SlCaM2 being the most responsive one to both treatments. Furthermore, all calmodulin genes were upregulated by salicylic acid and methyl jasmonate, two signaling molecules involved in plant immunity. In addition to SlCaM2, SlCaM1 was highly responsive to salicylic acid and methyl jasmonate. However, SlCaM2 exhibited a more rapid and stronger response than SlCaM1. Overexpression of SlCaM2 in tomato fruit enhanced resistance to Botrytis-induced decay, whereas reducing its expression resulted in increased lesion development. These results indicate that calmodulin is a positive regulator of plant defense in fruit by activating defense pathways including salicylate- and jasmonate-signaling pathways, and SlCaM2 is the major calmodulin gene responsible for this event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction Between Abiotic and Biotic Stresses in Plants)
Open AccessArticle Responses of African Grasses in the Genus Sporobolus to Defoliation and Sodium Stress: Tradeoffs, Cross-Tolerance, or Independent Responses?
Plants 2013, 2(4), 712-725; doi:10.3390/plants2040712
Received: 3 October 2013 / Revised: 30 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 8 November 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Serengeti ecosystem of East Africa, grazing ungulates prefer areas with elevated grass Na, suggesting that some grasses tolerate both high soil Na and defoliation. We performed a factorial Na-by-defoliation greenhouse study with five abundant Sporobolus congeners to explore whether Serengeti [...] Read more.
In the Serengeti ecosystem of East Africa, grazing ungulates prefer areas with elevated grass Na, suggesting that some grasses tolerate both high soil Na and defoliation. We performed a factorial Na-by-defoliation greenhouse study with five abundant Sporobolus congeners to explore whether Serengeti grasses possess traits which: (i) confer tolerance to both Na and defoliation (cross-tolerance); (ii) display a tradeoff; or (iii) act independently in their tolerances. Our expectation was that related grasses would exhibit cross-tolerance when simultaneously subjected to Na and defoliation. Instead, we found that physiological tolerances and growth responses to Na and defoliation did not correlate but instead acted independently: species characterized by intense grazing in the field showed no growth or photosynthetic compensation for combined Na and defoliation. Additionally, in all but the highest Na dosage, mortality was higher when species were exposed to both Na and defoliation together. Across species, mortality rates were greater in short-statured species which occur on sodic soils in heavily grazed areas. Mortality among species was positively correlated with specific leaf area, specific root length, and relative growth rate, suggesting that rapidly growing species which invest in low cost tissues have higher rates of mortality when exposed to multiple stressors. We speculate that the prevalence of these species in areas of high Na and disturbance is explained by alternative strategies, such as high fecundity, a wide range of germination conditions, or further dispersal, to compensate for the lack of additional tolerance mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction Between Abiotic and Biotic Stresses in Plants)
Open AccessArticle Verbesina alternifolia Tolerance to the Holoparasite Cuscuta gronovii and the Impact of Drought
Plants 2013, 2(4), 635-649; doi:10.3390/plants2040635
Received: 6 August 2013 / Revised: 25 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 18 October 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Holoparasites are nonphotosynthetic plants that acquire all resources from hosts. The holoparasite Cuscuta gronovii is native to much of the US with a broad host range including Verbesina alternifolia, an understory perennial. Both species grow in moderate to moist soils and [...] Read more.
Holoparasites are nonphotosynthetic plants that acquire all resources from hosts. The holoparasite Cuscuta gronovii is native to much of the US with a broad host range including Verbesina alternifolia, an understory perennial. Both species grow in moderate to moist soils and occur in habitats that may experience prolonged or episodic drought. We applied the Wise-Abrahamson Limiting Resource Model (LRM) developed for plant-herbivore relations to examine the effects of pattern of drought stress on tolerance of V. alternifolia to parasitism by C. gronovii. Individual plants were assigned one of six treatments that were combinations of parasite (none or addition of parasite) and drought stress (well-watered, continuously-stressed, or pulse-stressed). After pulse-stressed plants had experienced two wet-dry cycles all plants were harvested. Parasitism strongly reduced both shoot and root mass and well-watered hosts exhibited the greatest decline, indicating reduced tolerance to parasitism when water was readily available. This is consistent with the LRM if parasitism limits photosynthates available to the host. However, parasitism increased allocation to shoot and this effect did not differ between well-watered and drought-stressed plants, indicating equal tolerance. This outcome is in accord with an alternative prediction of the LRM if hosts are not carbon limited. Total pot productivity was reduced by parasitism and drought stress, and this effect was greater for pulse-stressed than for continuously-stressed hosts. We discuss the applicability of the LRM for understanding the effects of drought on tolerance to parasitism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction Between Abiotic and Biotic Stresses in Plants)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Plant Responses to Simultaneous Biotic and Abiotic Stress: Molecular Mechanisms
Plants 2014, 3(4), 458-475; doi:10.3390/plants3040458
Received: 13 May 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 October 2014 / Published: 15 October 2014
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (482 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plants are constantly confronted to both abiotic and biotic stresses that seriously reduce their productivity. Plant responses to these stresses are complex and involve numerous physiological, molecular, and cellular adaptations. Recent evidence shows that a combination of abiotic and biotic stress can [...] Read more.
Plants are constantly confronted to both abiotic and biotic stresses that seriously reduce their productivity. Plant responses to these stresses are complex and involve numerous physiological, molecular, and cellular adaptations. Recent evidence shows that a combination of abiotic and biotic stress can have a positive effect on plant performance by reducing the susceptibility to biotic stress. Such an interaction between both types of stress points to a crosstalk between their respective signaling pathways. This crosstalk may be synergistic and/or antagonistic and include among others the involvement of phytohormones, transcription factors, kinase cascades, and reactive oxygen species (ROS). In certain cases, such crosstalk can lead to a cross-tolerance and enhancement of a plant’s resistance against pathogens. This review aims at giving an insight into cross-tolerance between abiotic and biotic stress, focusing on the molecular level and regulatory pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction Between Abiotic and Biotic Stresses in Plants)

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