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FEBS Lett. 2001 Jun 8;498(2-3):187-9.

Role of AP2/EREBP transcription factors in gene regulation during abiotic stress.

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Departament de Genetica Molecular, IBMB, CSIC, 08034, Barcelona, Spain.


Crop plants are exposed to many types of abiotic stress during their life cycle. Water deficit derived from drought, low temperature or high salt concentration in the soil, is one of the most common environmental stresses that affects growth and development of plants through alterations in metabolism and gene expression. Adaptation to these conditions may involve passive tolerance or active homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining water balance. Active responses occur at different levels in the plant and may represent a concomitant protection against other types of stress such as pathogen attack. Many morphological and physiological adaptations to water stress are under the control of the plant hormone abscisic acid and involve specific activation of target genes that in one way or another protect cells against water deficit or participate in the regulation of the drought response. Here, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of drought adaptation mediated by specific changes in gene expression and the role of AP2/EREBP nuclear factors in these processes.

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