Global climatic changes and the temperature-associated fluctuations in drought, soil and water salinization and flooding have resulted in huge pressure on crop plants for their optimum yield potential. These challenges have to be met through innovative scientific technologies. Recent advances in the “Omics” approaches such as transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics offer new dimensions for understanding plant responses to drought and salt stresses and identification of major genes/QTLs for generation of resistant germplasm. Most importantly, the proteomics coupled with bioinformatics tools have accelerated the proteins characterization at the organ, tissue, organelle and membrane levels. Here we present an update on the progress of “Omics” approaches to understand plant responses to drought and salt stress particularly in the last decade. Future challenges and solution efforts are also discussed in the ways of omics approaches. The need for research involving integrated omics technologies with advanced tools and to meet the future challenges toward practical implementation of these technologies for crop improvement against drought and salinity stresses is also discussed.
Part of the book: Transgenic Crops
The global temperature is constantly increasing due to the phenomenon of climate change. Plants have developed various mechanisms to defend themselves against environmental stresses including drought stress. Apart from indigenous biochemical, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of adaptation to stress, the plant-associated microbes may also play a crucial role in plant drought tolerance. The endophytic and rhizospheric microbes perform various functions and produce different enzymes and compounds that play an important role in plants’ adaptation to various environmental stresses including drought stress. Some of the key mechanisms include production of growth hormones, siderophores, organic acids, induction of the ROS scavenging system, phosphate solubilization, and nitrogen fixation. However, the production of ACC deaminase in the plant-associated microbes has vital roles in reduction of ethylene levels under drought stress, resulting in improved plant growth and stress tolerance. Owing to the complex nature of drought tolerance, a multi-pronged approach would have to be adapted to further enhance the microbial-mediated drought tolerance in plants.
Part of the book: Abiotic Stress in Plants