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Trends Plant Sci. 2006 Jan;11(1):15-9. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

Abiotic stress, the field environment and stress combination.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Mail Stop 200, Reno, NV 89557, USA.


Farmers and breeders have long known that often it is the simultaneous occurrence of several abiotic stresses, rather than a particular stress condition, that is most lethal to crops. Surprisingly, the co-occurrence of different stresses is rarely addressed by molecular biologists that study plant acclimation. Recent studies have revealed that the response of plants to a combination of two different abiotic stresses is unique and cannot be directly extrapolated from the response of plants to each of the different stresses applied individually. Tolerance to a combination of different stress conditions, particularly those that mimic the field environment, should be the focus of future research programs aimed at developing transgenic crops and plants with enhanced tolerance to naturally occurring environmental conditions.

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