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IBBR publication #2869

Salt tolerance: Placing advances in molecular genetics into a physiological and agronomic context

Maggio A, Bressan AR, Ruggiero C, Xiong L, Grillo S

In: “Abiotic Stress in plants”. KLUWER ACADEMIC PUBL, DORDRECHT, pp. 53-69. (2003)
doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-0255-3_3

In recent years the study of the functional biology of salinity tolerance in plants has largely focused on six major areas of research: ion homeostasis, water homeostasis, osmolyte production, ROS scavenging, growth regulatory processes, and signal transduction. Genetic engineering and mutation analyses have both significantly contributed to advance our understanding of the fundamental biology underlying salt stress adaptation. Many biochemical and metabolic components of salinity tolerance have been thoroughly described and directly and/or indirectly implicated in salt stress adaptation at cellular level. In contrast, morphological and anatomical features that also may have important functions during whole plant stress adaptation have been overlooked. Mutants with altered responses to salinity in agriculturally important species are increasingly, and represent an important resource for plant physiologists and agronomists that are interested in understanding salinity tolerance at a whole plant level. The results obtained so far suggest that a greater connection between molecular genetic and physiological analyses would greatly benefit the functional assessment of plant salt stress tolerance.. Keywords: plant physiology, abiotic stresses, salt stress, plant breeding, tolerance genes

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