Research Topic

Drought Tolerance in Crop Plants

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Drought is a major abiotic stress affecting many of the crops causing significant yield losses globally. The unpredictable climatic and obvious global warming consequences further add to the growing concern of limited water availability to agriculture. At the present time no effective broadly deployed ...

Drought is a major abiotic stress affecting many of the crops causing significant yield losses globally. The unpredictable climatic and obvious global warming consequences further add to the growing concern of limited water availability to agriculture. At the present time no effective broadly deployed tolerance is available for majority of the crops. Development of effective applicable gene based strategies for drought tolerance will help to mitigate this adverse abiotic stress. The effect of this stress on crop productivity depends on the stage of development and duration of drought. Due to complexity of drought and its consequences, development of tolerance requires critical understanding of the physiological and biochemical underpinning mechanisms and the genes that control and regulate these programs.

Because of the importance of drought, major efforts have been made to advance the physiological, biochemical and molecular understanding of the components associated with this stress response using model plant system Arabidopsis and crop plants like maize and rice. Additionally, these advances also include dissection of developmental and cellular aspects coordinated with hormonal and other signaling pathways. With collective insights coming from these, the stage now set to apply several of these key findings in a crop context, to develop new cultivars with built in adaptive response and recovery features when faced with water stress during the crop cycle.

The major goal of this Research Topic will be to capture the most recent advances in the rapidly advancing field of drought focused plant abiotic stress. These include reviews from research experts in the field focusing on the critical operational and mechanistic understanding of regulatory networks, genomics of drought and WUE; the complex environmental and physiological interactions and consequences in a crop context. This issue will also focus on relevant advances that have been made in major agriculture crops including the respective challenges. Together, the aim is to bring together the most recent advances in the form of reviews and research articles. The expected outcome of this initiative will benefit from this focused assembly of up to date information for the researchers working on both basic and applied aspects of drought stress in model and crop plants.


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