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Sustainable Economic Systems Against Biotic and Abiotic Stress in Medicinal Plants: Aeroponics, Hydroponics, and Organoponics



Plants are sessile organisms and the constant monitoring of environmental changes is needed for them to modify, adjust, and adapt their development and metabolism accordingly. The response to these environmental stimuli requires a multi-integral mechanism where internal and external signals are detected and cause an appropriate reaction in the plant. According to the medium in which the roots develop, soilless cultivation systems are classified into three groups: cultivation in (1) substrate, (2) water (hydroponics), and (3) air (aeroponics). In particular, aeroponics is the most modern hydroponic system. The main advantage that aeroponics offers is the excellent aeration it provides to roots. Aeroponics has been used with great success in plant propagation and, more specifically, in the propagation of cuttings of herbaceous or woody species that are difficult to root. This is an agricultural production technique in which plants are grown without the use of soil and nutrients are delivered through a liquid solution. In soilless cultivation, soil is replaced by an inert substrate, and the nutrients needed by the plant to grow are delivered via irrigation. Organoponics is a form of urban agricultural production with one of the greatest impacts in terms of production volume per farm area. The variety of fresh vegetables and condiments at lower prices marketed based on supply and demand, together with the jobs generated and the productive use of otherwise wasted space, are key advantages that the use of this technique provides. On the other hand, this technology represents a form of intensive production based on the extensive use of organic fertilizers, which are applied in areas with infertile soils or with serious limitations for their exploitation, and even on artificial surfaces created specifically for this activity. Therefore, this chapter aims to (a) describe the background of aeroponics, hydroponics, and organoponics, (b) indicate the main medicinal plants that have been identified as candidates for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, and (c) understand how the incursion of sustainable economic systems are efficient and effective methods to counteract the effects of biotic and abiotic stress in medicinal plants.
Chapter 13
Sustainable Economic Systems Against
Biotic and Abiotic Stress in Medicinal
Plants: Aeroponics, Hydroponics,
and Organoponics
Luis Germán López-Valdez, Braulio Edgar Herrera-Cabrera,
Irma Vásquez-García, Jesús Antonio Salazar-Magallón,
Rafael Salgado-Garciglia, Jorge Montiel-Montoya,
Leticia Mónica Sánchez-Herrera, Victor Manuel Ocaño-Higuera,
and Hebert Jair Barrales-Cureño
Abstract Plants are sessile organisms and the constant monitoring of environmen-
tal changes is needed for them to modify, adjust, and adapt their development and
metabolism accordingly. The response to these environmental stimuli requires a
multi-integral mechanism where internal and external signals are detected and cause
an appropriate reaction in the plant. According to the medium in which the roots
develop, soilless cultivation systems are classied into three groups: cultivation in
(1) substrate, (2) water (hydroponics), and (3) air (aeroponics). In particular,
aeroponics is the most modern hydroponic system. The main advantage that
aeroponics offers is the excellent aeration it provides to roots. Aeroponics has
been used with great success in plant propagation and, more specically, in the
L. G. López-Valdez
Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Texcoco, Mexico
B. E. Herrera-Cabrera · J. A. Salazar-Magallón
Colegio de Postgraduados, Puebla, Mexico
I. Vásquez-García
Universidad Intercultural del Estado de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
R. Salgado-Garciglia · H. J. Barrales-Cureño (*)
Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás Hidalgo, Morelia, Mexico
J. Montiel-Montoya
Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Guasave,
L. M. Sánchez-Herrera
Universidad Autónoma de Nayarit, Tepic, Mexico
V. M. Ocaño-Higuera
Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico
©The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022
T. Aftab (ed.), Environmental Challenges and Medicinal Plants, Environmental
Challenges and Solutions,
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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Global warming contributes to higher temperatures and reduces rainfall for most areas worldwide. The concurrent incidence of extreme temperature and water shortage lead to temperature stress damage in plants. Seeking to imitate a more natural field situation and to figure out responses of specific stresses with regard to their combination, we investigated physiological, biochemical, and metabolomic variations following drought and heat stress imposition (alone and combined) and recovery, using Mentha piperita and Catharanthus roseus plants. Plants were exposed to drought and/or heat stress (35 °C) for seven and fourteen days. Plant height and weight (both fresh and dry weight) were significantly decreased by stress, and the effects more pronounced with a combined heat and drought treatment. Drought and/or heat stress triggered the accumulation of osmolytes (proline, sugars, glycine betaine, and sugar alcohols including inositol and mannitol), with maximum accumulation in response to the combined stress. Total phenol, flavonoid, and saponin contents decreased in response to drought and/or heat stress at seven and fourteen days; however, levels of other secondary metabolites, including tannins, terpenoids, and alkaloids, increased under stress in both plants, with maximal accumulation under the combined heat/drought stress. Extracts from leaves of both species significantly inhibited the growth of pathogenic fungi and bacteria, as well as two human cancer cell lines. Drought and heat stress significantly reduced the antimicrobial and anticancer activities of plants. The increased accumulation of secondary metabolites observed in response to drought and/or heat stress suggests that imposition of abiotic stress may be a strategy for increasing the content of the therapeutic secondary metabolites associated with these plants.
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Trade-offs between plant growth and defense depend on environmental resource availability. Plants are predicted to prioritize growth when environmental resources are abundant and defense when environmental resources are scarce. Nevertheless, such predictions lack a whole-plant perspective—they do not account for potential differences in plant allocation above- and belowground. Such accounting is important because leaves and roots, though both critical to plant survival and fitness, differ in their resource-uptake roles and, often, in their vulnerability to herbivores. Here we aimed to determine how water availability affects plant allocation to multiple metabolic components of growth and defense in both leaves and roots. To do this, we conducted a meta-analysis of data from experimental studies in the literature. We assessed plant metabolic responses to experimentally reduced water availability, including changes in growth, nutrients, physical defenses, primary metabolites, hormones, and other secondary metabolites. Both above- and belowground, reduced water availability reduced plant biomass but increased the concentrations of primary metabolites and hormones. Importantly, however, reduced water had opposite effects in different organs on the concentrations of other secondary metabolites: reduced water increased carbon-based secondary metabolites in leaves but reduced them in roots. In addition, plants suffering from co-occurring drought and herbivory stresses exhibited dampened metabolic responses, suggesting a metabolic cost of multiple stresses. Our study highlights the needs for additional empirical studies of whole-plant metabolic responses under multiple stresses and for refinement of existing plant growth-defense theory in the context of whole plants.
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Water availability is considered as a determinant factor that affects plant growth. The commercial medicinal values of an aromatic plant rely on the presence of secondary metabolites that are affected under water shortage. Two-year-old Thymus citriodorus plants were subjected to different polyethylene glycol (PEG-6000) levels (0, 2%, and 4%) under greenhouse condition. PEG treatment lasted for 15 days. Thyme plant showed a morphological drought avoidance mechanism by maintaining the root system development through shoot fresh weight reduction resulting in promoted root absorption capacity and sustained plant growth. Moreover, stressed plants were able to maintain water use efficiency and root : shoot ratio suggesting a strong relation between root water uptake and water use saving strategies. Furthermore, thyme plants reduced tissue dehydration through stomatal closure and improved root water uptake. Content of volatile oil constituents of geraniol and diisobutyl phthalate increased upon drought stress while pseudophytol was reduced. Unexpectedly, thymol was not reported as a main oil element under either control or mild stress condition, while it was increased upon high drought stress in measure of 4.4%. Finally, carvacrol significantly accumulated under high drought stress (+31.7%) as compared to control plants.
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Plants, because of their sessile nature, are the foremost organisms which always face several environmental stresses such as extreme temperatures, drought, water logging, salinity, and heavy metals, which severely affect crop production. Growth, yield, and quality of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) have been reported to be influenced by these environmental constraints. Salinity is one of the major causes of decrease in agricultural productivity worldwide. An excess of soluble salts in the soil causes osmotic stress, specific ion toxicity, and ionic imbalances that lead to plant death or considerable yield losses both in the MAPs and other crop plants. Soil salinity has a remarkable negative impact on economy, particularly in the case of fundamentally agrarian nation. Salinity has been reported to affect growth, mineral nutrition, and the yield and composition of essential oil of marjoram (Origanum majorana), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), and peppermint (Mentha piperata). Further, increasing salinity and sodicity stresses caused a reduction, both in shoots and root yield of citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), and vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) plants. Drought is a common and serious problem to plants in arid or semi-arid areas. Plants have developed different morphological, physiological, and biochemical mechanisms (photosynthesis, transpiration, transport of water, nutrients and photosynthates, etc.) to withstand drought stress. Evidences from different lines of research suggest that drought stress, by generating AOS (active oxygen species), can induce oxidative stress in plants. Under a drought environment, an imbalance between the generation and elimination of AOS in plants is created, causing an accumulation of AOS. These accumulated AOS destroy the cell membrane system and cause turbulence for a series of metabolic responses. Plants have the capacity to regulate the balance between the generation and elimination of AOS within the limit of the plant-tolerance range to adverse environments. A good deal of scientific literature regarding effects of water stress on the MAPs is, however, still lacking. Adverse effects of water stress have been observed on the growth, yield, and quality of various MAPs including mint (Mentha arvensis), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), chicory (Cichorium intybus), calendula (Calendula officinalis), balm (Melissa officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), etc. For example, the water deficit has been found to reduce the plant height, leaf length, leaf area, fresh and dry weight, moisture content, and the percentage of essential oil content of lemongrasses (Cymbopogon nardus). Water deficit may also cause the alterations in the yield and composition of essential oils of various MAPs. Among the mineral nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium (Ca) are considered to be of prime importance as they are required by plants in large quantities. Out of the macro nutrient elements mentioned above, structural and physiological roles of calcium are specific in plants. Calcium also plays the role of second messenger, controlling the growth and differentiation of cells and tissues in plants. Further, calcium is highly required by medicinal legumes during nitrogen fixation processes. It is involved in the regulation of plant responses to various abiotic stresses by contributing either directly or indirectly in plant defense mechanisms. Other targets of Ca2+ ameliorative effects on salt-stress damages are intracellular processes. The SOS (salt overly sensitive) stress-signaling pathway is a pivotal regulator of plant ion homeostasis under salinity. This pathway also emphasizes the significance of Ca2+ signals in resuming cellular ion homeostasis. SOS3, a Ca2+ sensor, transduces the signal downstream after interacting with the SOS2 protein kinase. This SOS3/SOS2 complex activates the Na+/H+ antiporter activity of SOS1, thereby reestablishing cellular ion homeostasis. Calcium stimulation of the SOS3/SOS2 pathway also appears to enhance vacuolar Na+ sequestration by the vacuolar Na+/H+ antiporters. Exogenously applied Ca alleviates salt, heat, drought, high temperature, and cold stresses by regulation of antioxidant activities. In several plant cell-elicitor systems, some evidences have been obtained indicating that the activation of defense responses depends on the presence of extracellular Ca. Thus, the growth, yield, and quality of the MAPs could be improved under abiotic stress by supplying the plants with sufficient calcium nutrient.
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The effects of vitamin C and vitamin E with selenium on acid-base balance and some stress hormones were evaluated during heat stress in goats. Goats, 1.5 years of age, were divided into control, heat stress and antioxidant treatment groups 1, 2 and 3. Except for the control, all groups were exposed to a temperature of with a relative humidity of 30% for 5 h/d for 21 days in a psychrometric chamber. Rectal temperature and respiratory rates were recorded daily post exposure. Blood samples were collected on every 3rd day for estimation of plasma vitamins C and E, total antioxidant activity and hormones, and separate blood samples were taken to estimate acid-base status. The rectal temperature and respiratory rates were increased (p
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Responses of Atriplex portulacoides upon 40-day-long exposure to salinity (0–1,000 mM NaCl) were investigated. Mother plants originated from a sabkha located in a semi-arid region of Tunisia. The plant relative growth rate and leaf expansion increased significantly at 200 mM NaCl but decreased at higher salinities. Interestingly, the plants survived salinity as high as 1,000 mM NaCl without displaying salt-induced toxicity symptoms. Despite significant increase in leaf Na+ and Cl− concentrations upon salt treatment, no significant effect on leaf relative water content was registered. Chlorophyll contents and the gas exchange parameters showed a significant stimulation at the optimal salinity (200 mM NaCl) followed by a decline at higher salinities. Extreme salinity hardly impacted the maximal efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry (F v/F m), but a marked decrease in the relative quantum yield of photosystem II (ФPSII) was observed, along with a significant increase in non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). Leaf malondialdehyde and carotenoid contents were generally unaffected following salt exposure, whereas those of anthocyanins, polyphenols, and proline increased significantly, being maximal at 1,000 mM NaCl. Leaf superoxide dismutase (EC, ascorbate peroxidase (EC, and glutathione reductase (EC activities were significantly stimulated by salinity, whereas catalase (EC activity was maximal in the 0–400 mM NaCl range. As a whole, protecting the photosynthetic machinery from salt-induced photodamage together with the sustained antioxidant activity may account for the performance of A. portulacoides under high salinity.
The present investigation was performed to valorize paddy straw (PS) based silica (Si) rich Spent Mushroom Substrate (SMS) of Pleurotus ostreatus for Plant Nutrient and Disease Management in wilt (caused by F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici) susceptible tomato plant F1 Hybrid King 180. Raw PS and SMS generated by P. ostreatus cultivated on PS only, and PS amended with 5% soybean cake (SC) were bio-fortified with Trichoderma asperellum (TA). SMS (PS+ 5% SC) was found supporting the growth of T. asperellum to an extent of 12.37 × 10¹³ conidia/g substrate. GC-MS analysis of SMS detected several bioactive metabolites like Palmitic acid, Oleic acid, Methyl linoleate, Stigmasterol, etc., known for plant health management. Bioformulations were developed employing Press Mud (PM) and Talcum Powder (TP) as carrier materials. Among the different bioformulations tested in pots study; SMS (PS+ 5% SC) SiTAPM, collectively named as TF-I, provided improved levels of morpho-biochemical and nutritional parameters, i.e., Plant Biomass (2.27 folds), Root Volume (1.75 folds), Chlorophyll (2.66 folds), Carotenoids (2.42 folds), Number of Fruits (1.76 folds), Fruit Biomass (2.02 folds), Total Soluble Sugars (2.32 folds), Total Soluble Proteins (1.70 folds), and nutraceutical parameters as Lycopene (1.42 folds), β-carotene (2.65 folds) and Ascorbic Acid (1.54 folds), along with significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the Disease Severity Index (84.34%–21.23%), over the pathogen affected plant taken as control. The fruits and leaves garnered under TF-I displayed Total Polyphenol Content (TPC) of 74.5 and 126.9 mg g⁻¹ gallic acid, respectively, with 83.73% DPPH and 72.25% FRAP activity, indicating the elicitation of antioxidant properties in tomato fruits. EDS analyses showed 21.53% Si in SMS, and plant mapping investigation indicated a substantial accumulation of Si, which is well conceded to promote growth, disease resistance, and antioxidant parameters. The study also endorsed the use of PM over TP, as TF-I recorded an acceptable conidial count (2.22 × 10⁸ cfu/g) towards the end of six months storage period over other bioformulations. Overall, the study envisages the development and application of innovative methodology (TF-I), offering an eco-friendly alternative for producing quality crops and a sustainable solution to waste management, thus delivering a holistic contribution towards the circular economy.
In hydroponic culture, an important factor influencing yield and tomato fruit quality is, by no doubt, the nutrient solution composition, but mainly, its relative Ca concentration. The objective of the present study was to determine the influence of Ca concentration in the nutrient solution, on yield and fruit quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) 'Cayman'. The study was carried out under greenhouse conditions. Seedlings were established in hydroponic system with bottom irrigation and irrigated with Steiner's solution during seven weeks after transplanting time. After that, during the next 23 weeks, six Ca concentrations were applied: 2.25, 4.50, 6.75, 9.00, 11.25 and 13.25 me/L. Electric conductivity of the different Ca concentrations was 2.0 dS/m; while their pH was kept between 5.5 and 6.0. Leaf nitrogen concentration was higher in treatments with Ca concentrations equal or higher than 6.75 me/L, but statistically different only to 2.25 me/L Ca concentration. Leaf concentration of Ca, Mg, K and Na showed statistical differences among all treatments showing a direct relation to Ca concentration. Regarding to leaf concentration of micronutrients: Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu, statistical differences were also found among all treatments; although when Ca concentrations were equal or higher to 6.75 me/L, leaf Fe content showed a considerable decrease. Regarding to number, weight and fruit quality, no statistical differences were found among treatments, but only on its chemical components.
Predicted global warming would make it more difficult for farmers to achieve the increases in crop productivity needed to meet expected increases in demand for food during this century—because an increase in temperature of 1 °C has been shown to decrease grain production of some annual crop species by about 10 %. In considering strategies for breeding heat-resistant cultivars that have greater yield than current cultivars under hot conditions, high-temperature effects on germination, vegetative growth, reproductive development, and yield are reviewed. For several annual crop species, pollen development and seed or fruit set have been shown to be particularly sensitive to high temperatures occurring in the late-night to early-morning period. The few studies that have been conducted indicated that elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration will not enable plants to overcome this problem. For a few crop species, heat-resistant cultivars have been bred by conventional hybridization and selection for heat tolerance during reproductive development and/or yield. The progress that has been made in breeding for heat resistance in cowpea, common bean, cotton, tomato, rice, and wheat are reviewed. The successes achieved in breeding with these crops using conventional hybridization and selection provide guidelines whereby further progress can be made in increasing the heat resistance of these and other crop species. For the future, DNA markers for what appear to be major genes conferring heat tolerance during reproductive development would be valuable because their use in selection could substantially enhance the efficiency whereby heat-resistant cultivars are bred. More upstream research on the development of crops with facultative apomictic breeding systems is warranted. Cultivars with an appropriate type of apomixis could have tolerance to the many stresses that damage reproductive development including chilling and drought, in addition to heat, because these cultivars do not require pollen development to achieve seed production. Apomictic cultivars have additional values including the ability of hybrids to produce true-breeding seed permitting the development of hybrid cultivars for crop species where it currently is not economically feasible.