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AoB Plants. 2017 Jun 27;9(4):plx025. doi: 10.1093/aobpla/plx025. eCollection 2017 Jul.

Plant responses to environmental stresses-from gene to biotechnology.

Author information

1
School of Studies in Botany, Jiwaji University, Gwalior, MP 474011, India.
2
Department of Botany, Government College University, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan.
3
Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan.
4
Department of Botany & Microbiology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
5
Department of Botany, S.P. College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001, India.

Abstract

Increasing global population, urbanization and industrialization are increasing the rate of conversion of arable land into wasteland. Supplying food to an ever-increasing population is one of the biggest challenges that agriculturalists and plant scientists are currently confronting. Environmental stresses make this situation even graver. Despite the induction of several tolerance mechanisms, sensitive plants often fail to survive under environmental extremes. New technological approaches are imperative. Conventional breeding methods have a limited potential to improve plant genomes against environmental stress. Recently, genetic engineering has contributed enormously to the development of genetically modified varieties of different crops such as cotton, maize, rice, canola and soybean. The identification of stress-responsive genes and their subsequent introgression or overexpression within sensitive crop species are now being widely carried out by plant scientists. Engineering of important tolerance pathways, like antioxidant enzymes, osmolyte accumulation, membrane-localized transporters for efficient compartmentation of deleterious ions and accumulation of essential elements and resistance against pests or pathogens is also an area that has been intensively researched. In this review, the role of biotechnology and its successes, prospects and challenges in developing stress-tolerant crop cultivars are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Abiotic stresses; biotechnology; cold tolerance; ion transporters; pathogens; stress tolerance; transgenics

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