2021 Zenda Revisiting Sulphur – The Once Neglected Nutrient Its Roles in Plant Growth Metabolism Stress Tolerance and
Sulphur plays crucial roles in plant growth and development, with its functions ranging from being a structural constituent of macro-biomolecules to modulating several physiological processes and tolerance to abiotic stresses. In spite of these numerous sulphur roles being well acknowledged, agriculture has paid scant regard for sulphur nutrition, until only recently. Serious problems related to soil sulphur deﬁciencies have emerged and the intensiﬁcation of food, ﬁber, and animal production is escalating to feed the ever-increasing human population. In the wake of huge demand for high quality cereal and vegetable diets, sulphur can play a key role in augmenting the production, productivity, and quality of crops. Additionally, in light of the emerging problems of soil fertility exhaustion and climate change-exacerbated environmental stresses, sulphur assumes special importance in crop production, particularly under intensively cropped areas. Here, citing several relevant examples, we highlight, in addition to its plant biological and metabolism functions, how sulphur can signiﬁcantly enhance crop productivity and quality, as well as acclimation to abiotic stresses. By this appraisal, we also aim to stimulate readers interests in crop sulphur research by providing priorities for future pursuance, including bettering our understanding of the molecular processes and dynamics of sulphur availability and utilization in plants, dissecting the role of soil rhizospherical microbes in plant sulphur transformations, enhancing plant phenotyping and diagnosis for nutrient deﬁciencies, and matching site-speciﬁc crop sulphur demands with fertilizer amendments in order to reduce nutrient use inefﬁciencies in both crop and livestock production systems. This will facilitate the proper utilization of sulphur in crop production and eventually enhance sustainable and environmentally friend food production.