Research Topic

The Role of Light in Abiotic Stress Acclimation

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Worldwide, approximately 50-70 % of crop yield reduction is the estimated direct result of abiotic stressors, especially drought, high salinity, high or low temperatures. Climate change has also exacerbated the frequency and severity of many abiotic stresses, particularly water and/or temperature extremities. ...

Worldwide, approximately 50-70 % of crop yield reduction is the estimated direct result of abiotic stressors, especially drought, high salinity, high or low temperatures. Climate change has also exacerbated the frequency and severity of many abiotic stresses, particularly water and/or temperature extremities. The resistance of plants to various stress factors plays a vital role for their growth and development. One of the most important aims of agricultural plant breeding is to develop stress resistant cultivars from stress sensitive, high yielding crop plants. Breeding for tolerance to various environmental stresses needs deep understanding of physiological characteristics and natural variations. Therefore understanding of the mechanisms by which plants perceive environmental signals, transmit them to cellular machinery and activate adaptive responses is of fundamental importance from both theoretical and practical points of view.

Exposure of plants to sub-optimum, but non-lethal conditions may provide protection against a subsequent drastic stressor. This phenomenon is generally called acclimation. This promotion of stress tolerance is usually induced by the same type of stressors, for example low temperature hardening induces freezing tolerance; but cross-tolerance against another type of stressors may also occur.

Recent results show that environmental conditions may also substantially affect the effectiveness of acclimation processes. The influence of light during the acclimation period on the achievement of high level of stress tolerance may be at least as important as the genetic background of a given plant genotype. The importance of light can be deduced from the fact that cold hardening of various plant species, including winter cereals or Arabidopsis, is much less effective in the dark than under normal light conditions. However, the exact functions of light and the underlying molecular mechanism(s) associated with efficient acclimation are still poorly understood. There are still several open questions in this field. These, among others, include the signalling processes, such as light driven electron transport, which may induce stress tolerance; the involvement of phytochrome system in the abiotic stress acclimation processes; or the effects of UV irradiance on the stress tolerance in plants.

This Research Topic welcomes the submission of all types of articles, with a preference for original research, reviews, and opinions, addressing the following:
• Effects of visible light on acclimation processes to abiotic stressors in plants .
• Effects of UV-B on plant acclimation processes to abiotic stressors.
• Effects of light quality on plant acclimation processes to abiotic stressors.


Keywords: Abiotic Stress, Acclimation, Crop Plants, UV-B, Light


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