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N Biotechnol. 2013 May 25;30(4):355-61. doi: 10.1016/j.nbt.2012.11.001. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Challenges and perspectives to improve crop drought and salinity tolerance.

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Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, CNR, Via E. Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy.


Drought and high salinity are two major abiotic stresses affecting crop productivity. Therefore, the development of crops better adapted to cope with these stresses represents a key goal to ensure global food security to an increasing world population. Although many genes involved in the response to these abiotic stresses have been extensively characterised and some stress tolerant plants developed, the success rate in producing stress-tolerant crops for field conditions has been thus far limited. In this review we discuss different factors hampering the successful transfer of beneficial genes from model species to crops, emphasizing some limitations in the phenotypic characterisation and definition of the stress tolerant plants developed so far. We also highlight some technological advances and different approaches that may help in developing cultivated stress tolerant plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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