Research Topic

Regulatory Mechanisms of Leaf Senescence under Environmental Stresses

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The demand for food is increasing world-wide due to rapid population growth, while heavy yield losses are expected in crops due to the impacts of climate-related extreme events. For improving food security, it is urgently necessary to develop crops that are tolerant to environmental stresses such as drought, ...

The demand for food is increasing world-wide due to rapid population growth, while heavy yield losses are expected in crops due to the impacts of climate-related extreme events. For improving food security, it is urgently necessary to develop crops that are tolerant to environmental stresses such as drought, extreme temperature, and high salinity. Towards this goal of improving crops, the regulatory mechanisms of environmental stress responses have been extensively studied in the last few decades.

Leaf senescence is the final stage of leaf development, and this process is associated with extensive destabilization of intracellular organelles and decomposition of macromolecules, to relocate nutrients to actively developing tissues, such as buds, flowers, and seeds. The “stay-green” phenotype describes mutants or transgenic lines of plants that retain greenness (derived from chlorophyll pigments) much longer than wild-type plants and stay-green plants have been identified from various plant species, including many crops. A number of studies using stay-green plants led to the identification of many senescence associated genes (SAGs) and have provided insights into the molecular mechanism of leaf senescence. In addition, stay-green plants are considered to be one of the practical approaches to improve plant productivity because of the longer duration that plants are photosynthetically active.

Leaf senescence occurs autonomously in an age-dependent manner, controlled by internal factors, which include the development of reproductive structures, and the levels of phytohormones, sugar, and other metabolites. However, leaf senescence is also induced prematurely, when plants are exposed to unfavorable environmental stresses, such as light deprivation, extreme temperature, drought, high salinity, nutrient deficiency, and pathogen attacks. Stay-green is one of the most obvious traits, which indicates that plants maintain their leaves at the active photosynthetic level under environmental stress conditions. Indeed, several mutants or transgenic plants that show stay-green phenotypes are tolerant to particular environmental stresses. Thus, understanding the regulatory mechanisms of leaf senescence under environmental stress is important, towards generating crops that can adapt to environmental stresses and maintain an economic yield.

With this Research Topic, we seek to make a cohesive collection of the knowledge on the regulatory mechanisms of leaf senescence under environmental stress that may support the generation of crops with tolerance to environmental stresses. We aim for studies of any environmental stresses that induce leaf senescence, e.g. drought, high salinity, extreme light, extreme temperature, and nutrient deficiency.

We welcome submission of all types of articles, with a preference for Original Research, Reviews, and Opinions, focusing on the following:
- Investigations of cellular processes related with leaf senescence induced by environmental stresses.
- Studies on the gene regulatory network of leaf senescence induced by environmental stresses.
- Studies on the role of factors involved in environmental stress-induced leaf senescence.
- Investigation of stay-green or leaf yellowing phenotype (any plant species) under environmental stresses.

Note for authors: Descriptive studies using omics approaches will be considered for review only if they address further functional insights into leaf senescence processes. Before preparing your manuscript, please check the Scope of the Plant Abiotic Stress section that describes the requirements for reporting experimental studies and acceptance of manuscripts.


Keywords: Leaf Senescence, Abiotic Stress, Stay Green, Environmental Stress


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