Plants affect human life both directly and indirectly every day, providing food, fiber, energy, shelter, and medicine. Therefore, it is essential to achieve sustainable cultivatio n of plants to meet society’s current and future needs. However, crop production and food safety have been challenged worldwide due to climate change, overpopulation, crop establishment failure, and new patterns of biotic and abiotic stresses. Climate change (abiotic and biotic stresses) in particular has a significant impact on crop productivity, creating food security problems. For instance, fruits and vegetables, which are important dietary component, have high rate of wastage among food crops, mainly at post-harvest level. The post-harvest deterioration of perishable fruits and vegetables limits transportation and storage, causing post-harvest losses of up to 50% of the total produce. To overcome these challenges, modern biotechnological and multi-omics tools can be useful for crop improvement programs in more sustainable and rational ways. Further, plants themselves are excellent hosts for producing various pharmaceuticals and high-value compounds. Therefore, taking advantage of plant biotechnological and omics tools, the capability of these systems can be drastically increased in more economical ways to ensure a food-secure world.
This Special Issue aims to address the recent developments in the above areas. We welcome original research, review articles, mini reviews, methods, and opinions within—but not limited to—the framework of the following research areas:
Transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics of crop and medicinal plants.
Plant genetic and genome engineering for crop improvement.
Crop adaptation to climate change and tools for improving plant stress tolerance.
Tools to reduce post-harvest loss of fruits, vegetables, and cereals.
Plant biotechnology for medicinal and industrial applications.
Dr. Mohammad Irfan
Dr. Ali Raza
Dr. Mohammed Wasim Siddiqui
Guest Editors ... [more]