Use of biostimulant in agriculture to improve plant performance and crop quality

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Biostimulant use in agriculture is a "hot topic”, since its use has increased tremendously in the last 2 decades with a prediction of a turnover of 2 billion US $ within 2018 (Calvo et al., 2014). Biostimulants include several compounds used in agriculture with the aim to regulate and/or improve crop physiology and hence increase plant yield. Biostimulants may act in several ways including improvement of: nutrient uptake efficiency, carbon fixation, growth rate, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance; however, their effect cannot be confused with nutrient supply, so that the biostimulating effect does not depend on application of nutrients. The opinions about the scientific merits of many of the biostimulants differ and a lot of conflicting information exists. This presents an opportunity to publish a special issue that, among other things, addresses the topic of "the truth and myth about biostimulants in agriculture", presents new compounds with biostimulant effect and clarifies chemical, biochemical, and physiological mechanism of action.

The above brief presentation for this special edition of AIMS Agriculture and Food invites contributors to submit articles that address the topic of use of biostimulants in agriculture from all the points of view. The fields of interest include, among others, disciplines of agronomists, biotechnologists, crop physiologists, soil scientists, that are thus invited to contribute with original papers and review articles about using biostimulants in crop management and their effect on productivity, food composition, root-soil interactions. Potential topics include, but not limited to:

 Characterization of different types of biostimulants for agricultural applications;
 Opportunities and challenges with biostimulants on agriculture;
 Soil-root interaction: rizhosphere modification by biostimulant application;
 Microbiological and biological response of soil under biostimulant applications;
 Fractions and accumulation of macro and micro nutrients in plant tissues;
 Mechanisms of action of biostimulants;
 Effects of biostimulants on plant physiology;
 Effect on plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses;
 Crop productivity and impact on food quality;
 Environmental aspects of biostimulants applications.

Abstract due: February 28, 2017
Manuscript due: May 31, 2017

Lead Guest Editor
Moreno Toselli, Prof. of Horticulture, Department of Agricultural Sciences, research area of University of Bologna, Viale Fanin 46, 40127, Bologna, Italy
Luciano Cavani, Prof. of Soil Chemistry, Department of Agricultural Sciences, research area of University of Bologna, Viale Fanin 40, 40127, Bologna, Italy
Gustavo Brunetto, Prof. of Soil Sciences, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Bairro Camobi, Brazil
Holly Little, PhD Director, Global Commercial Science, Plant Health Division, Acadian Seaplants Limited T: 530-219-5415

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