Research Topic

Recent advances in halophyte salinity tolerance

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Salinity stress is one of the most significant limiting factors in agricultural crop productivity. Hence, improving the salt tolerance in crops is essential for sustainable food production. Because halophytes can tolerate high salinity, they must potentially possess the unique genetic determinants for salt ...

Salinity stress is one of the most significant limiting factors in agricultural crop productivity. Hence, improving the salt tolerance in crops is essential for sustainable food production. Because halophytes can tolerate high salinity, they must potentially possess the unique genetic determinants for salt tolerance. Efforts have been made to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlay the salt tolerance in halophytes; however, the mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Well-characterized cellular processes in plant salt tolerance include the regulation of the production and transport of compatible solutes, the maintenance of ion homeostasis, and the production and activation of anti-oxidative enzymes, which are common to both halophytes and glycophytes. Halophyte specific means include the secretion of excess salt from salt glands on the leaf surface, the exclusion of salt at root surface, and the formation of a thick waxy cuticle to reduce water loss; however, the molecular mechanisms are not understood. There are only a few reports of successful identification of halophyte specific factors that regulate their salt tolerance. Mangrin encoding allene oxide cyclase from Bruguiera sexangula, in which an unusual 70-amino acid sequence was shown to be essential for the salt-tolerant phenotype, is such an example. Recently, innovative analytical platforms based on omics have been developed and used to clarify complex biological systems. These approaches have allowed us to address comprehensive analysis of unique properties of minor plants including halophytes.

The aim of this Research Topic is to review and discuss current knowledge of the mechanisms regulating salt tolerance in halophyte. This Research Topic will especially focus on basic and applied research on the salt tolerance in halophytes and answering the question that the knowledge from halophytes can be transferred to glycophytes. Omics analyses have identified halophyte specific transcripts, proteins and metabolites. Functional analyses of these molecules would answer the question whether halophytes have salt tolerant mechanisms specific to them. Furthermore, differential spatiotemporal biosynthetic-regulation of some genes or proteins as well as metabolites between halophytes and glycophytes might be responsible for difference in their salt tolerance. Therefore, this topic also covers studies of common factors affecting salt tolerance in halophytes and glycophytes.

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