Drought is the main abiotic stress that negatively affects the crop yield. Due to the rapid climate change, actual plant defence mechanisms may be less effective against increased drought stress and other related or co-occurring abiotic stresses such as salt and high temperature. Thus, genetic engineering approaches may be an important tool for improving drought tolerance in crops. This mini-review focuses on the responses to drought stress of the woody crop species Olea europaea and Citrus sp., selecting in particular five main strategies adopted by plants in response to drought stress: aquaporin (AQPs) expression, antioxidant activity, ABA signalling, and trehalose and proline accumulation. Transgenic studies on both the herbaceous Arabidopsis and woody Populus plant models showed an improvement in drought resistance with increasing expression of these drought-inducible genes. Outcomes from the present study suggest the overexpression of the gene families associated with AQPs and ABA biosynthesis, mainly involved in regulating water transport and in preventing water loss, respectively, as candidate targets for improving drought resistance; antioxidants-, trehalose- and proline-related genes remain valid candidates for resistance to a wider spectrum of abiotic stressors, including drought. However, the contribution of an increased stiffness of the modulus elasticity of leaf parenchyma cell walls to the rapid recovery of leaf water potential, delaying by this way the stress onset, is not a secondary aspect of the transgenic optimization, in particular for Olea cultivars.

Eligible strategies of drought response to improve drought resistance in woody crops: a mini-review

Di Iorio A.
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Drought is the main abiotic stress that negatively affects the crop yield. Due to the rapid climate change, actual plant defence mechanisms may be less effective against increased drought stress and other related or co-occurring abiotic stresses such as salt and high temperature. Thus, genetic engineering approaches may be an important tool for improving drought tolerance in crops. This mini-review focuses on the responses to drought stress of the woody crop species Olea europaea and Citrus sp., selecting in particular five main strategies adopted by plants in response to drought stress: aquaporin (AQPs) expression, antioxidant activity, ABA signalling, and trehalose and proline accumulation. Transgenic studies on both the herbaceous Arabidopsis and woody Populus plant models showed an improvement in drought resistance with increasing expression of these drought-inducible genes. Outcomes from the present study suggest the overexpression of the gene families associated with AQPs and ABA biosynthesis, mainly involved in regulating water transport and in preventing water loss, respectively, as candidate targets for improving drought resistance; antioxidants-, trehalose- and proline-related genes remain valid candidates for resistance to a wider spectrum of abiotic stressors, including drought. However, the contribution of an increased stiffness of the modulus elasticity of leaf parenchyma cell walls to the rapid recovery of leaf water potential, delaying by this way the stress onset, is not a secondary aspect of the transgenic optimization, in particular for Olea cultivars.
2022
2022
Citrus cultivars; Drought avoidance; Drought tolerance; Genetic engineering; Olea cultivars; Woody crops
Carraro, E.; Di Iorio, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2130372
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