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.
Raffaella Balestrini, Walter Chitarra, Andrea Ghirardo, Andrea Nardini, Luca Nerva