Special issue: “A stressful life: how plants cope with multiple biotic and abiotic adverse factors”

Dr. Raffaella Balestrini, Researcher at the Turin Unit of IPSP, is Guest Editor of the call for paper “A stressful life: how plants cope with multiple biotic and abiotic adverse factors” available online at https://www.journals.elsevier.com/plant-stress/call-for-papers/how-plants-cope-with-multiple-biotic.

In natural and agricultural ecosystems, plants quickly respond to abiotic and biotic stress factors, alone or in their conjunctions, by complex acclimatization processes and in the long-term by evolving adaptation strategies. Future climate extremes are expected to exacerbate the effects of (a)biotic stresses on plants and further increase the virulence and diffusion of the existing pests, negatively impacting crop yields and plant survival. Therefore, understanding plants’ resistance and resilience mechanisms to the effects of climate change are urgently needed. Among the developed and variegated range of plant responses able to adjust the physiological and phenotypic traits, plants can shape their own microbiome establishing commensal or even mutualistic relationships. The importance of plants and their ecto- and endophytes acting as a unique organism (the so-called holobiont) and interacting with the surrounding environment to withstand stressful conditions has been increasingly recognized.

Understanding the complex interactions between plants, the environment, and the associated microbes is challenging. Thanks to the newly available ´omics approaches, recently, such complex interactions have finally started to be uncovered. In the next future, a mechanistic understanding of the processes underlying the plant-microbe response to climate change and a combination of a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary approach will be crucial for developing successful climate mitigation strategies to reduce chemical, water, and energy consumption. The unraveled beneficial plant-microbe interactions and holobiont responses to climate challenges will open new options to sustain agriculture and recover natural ecosystems under threat.

We welcome submissions containing original findings, from cell to whole plants, related to the proposed Special issue. We recommend a multidisciplinary approach, for instance, using different techniques of molecular biology, proteomics, metabolomics, biochemistry, agronomic, physiology, and ecophysiology. Articles such as original research papers, methods, reviews, mini-reviews, hypotheses & theories, perspectives, and opinions will be considered. In particular, we encourage the submission of contributions to cover a broad audience and be useful tools for students, trainees, and scientists.