Research Topic

Construction of Regulatory Networks in Plant Abiotic Stress Responses

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Abiotic stresses are serious factors affecting crop growth and productivity worldwide. Plants respond to abiotic stresses thanks to a broad range of molecular mechanisms, which involve a large number of genes and proteins as well as their interactions and post-translational modifications. QTL analysis and ...

Abiotic stresses are serious factors affecting crop growth and productivity worldwide. Plants respond to abiotic stresses thanks to a broad range of molecular mechanisms, which involve a large number of genes and proteins as well as their interactions and post-translational modifications. QTL analysis and genome-wide association analysis are forward means to identify critical genes responsible for stress tolerance in plants. Other omics technologies, including next generation sequencing for mRNA or small RNA, quantitative proteomics, and metabolomics are leading to the identification of an increasing number of genes, proteins and molecular modifications related to abiotic stress responses in model plants and crops in a reverse genetics manner. It is important to use the data generated from both forward and reverse genetics studies to understand the mechanisms and build the regulatory networks involved in plant abiotic stress responses. These findings could contribute to the design of novel molecular breeding strategies.

Several pathways involved in abiotic stress have been described in Arabidopsis and other plant species. These include the MAPK Signaling Pathway, the CBF/DREB pathway, the ABF/bZIP pathway, the SOS pathway and many others proposed. Moreover, the signal transduction mediated by phytohormones and other signal molecules, including abscisic acid, gibberellins, brassinosteroids and ethylene, plays a critical role in abiotic stress responses. Additionally, the post-transcriptional and post-translational regulations mediated by small RNAs, long non-coding RNAs and proteasome pathway were recently found to have functions in stress tolerance. Although several regulatory mechanisms for these pathways have been described, the molecular regulations and the interactions among these pathways remain poorly understood, and additional molecular players need to be identified. Taken together, these mechanisms form a very complex and efficient network that regulates stress responses in plants.

Since large scale of omics data are deposited in public databases, we encourage the use of these data for the constructions of regulatory networks for plant stress responses. In this Research Topic, we welcome reviews summarizing such networks and their interactions with various signaling pathways. We also welcome research articles expanding our knowledge of these regulatory networks and describing new networks and their interactions in plant responses to salt, cold or drought stress through experimental and/or computational biology approaches. Submitted research articles should include extensive datasets from the plant system for gene regulation studies (RNA-Seq, microarrays, etc) that allow for robust predictions and network construction. Studies that do not comply with this requirement will not be considered for review.


Keywords: Salt Stress, Molecular Mechanisms, Regulatory Networks, Genetic Engineering


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