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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2000 Apr;3(2):117-24.

Genomic approaches to plant stress tolerance.

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Department of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078, USA.


Past efforts to improve plant tolerance to drought, high salinity and low-temperature through breeding and genetic engineering have had limited success owing to the genetic complexity of stress responses. Progress is now anticipated through comparative genomics studies of an evolutionarily diverse set of model organisms, and through the use of techniques such as high-throughput analysis of expressed sequence tags, large-scale parallel analysis of gene expression, targeted or random mutagenesis, and gain-of-function or mutant complementation. The discovery of novel genes, determination of their expression patterns in response to abiotic stress, and an improved understanding of their roles in stress adaptation (obtained by the use of functional genomics) will provide the basis of effective engineering strategies leading to greater stress tolerance.

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