Plants face variable environmental stresses that negatively affect plant growth and productivity. The multiplicity of responses is an important aspect of the complexity of stress signalling. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a broad-spectrum phytohormone involved not only in regulating stomatal opening, growth and development but also in coordinating various stress signal transduction pathways in plants during abiotic stresses. The both ABA-dependent and ABA-independent signal transduction pathways from stress signal perception to gene expression involve different transcription factors such as DREB, MYC/MYB, AREB/ABF, NAM, ATAF1,2, CUC and their corresponding cis-acting elements DRE, MYCRS/MYBRS, ABRE, NACRS. Genetic analysis of ABA mutants has given insight that ABA-dependent and ABA-independent pathways for osmotic stress and cold stress interact and converge. This review focuses on ABA-dependent and ABA-independent transcriptional components and cascades, their specificity and crosstalk in stress gene regulation.
Mangroves are woody plants which form the dominant vegetation in tidal, saline wetlands along tropical and subtropical coasts. The current knowledge concerning the most striking feature of mangroves i.e., their unique ability to tolerate high salinity is summarized in the present review. In this review, we shall discuss recent studies that have focused on morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic attributes associated with the response to salinity, some of which presumably function to mediate salt tolerance in the mangroves. Here we shall also review the major advances recently made at both the genetic and the genomic levels in mangroves. Salinity tolerance in mangroves depends on a range of adaptations, including ion compartmentation, osmoregulation, selective transport and uptake of ions, maintenance of a balance between the supply of ions to the shoot, and capacity to accommodate the salt influx. The tolerance of mangroves to a high saline environment is also tightly linked to the regulation of gene expression. By integrating the information from mangroves and performing comparisons among species of mangroves and non-mangroves, we could give a general picture of salt tolerance mechanisms of mangroves, thus providing a new avenue for development of salt tolerance in crop plants through effective breeding strategies and genetic engineering techniques.
Genetic engineering of plants for abiotic stress tolerance is a challenging task because of its multifarious nature. Comprehensive studies for developing abiotic stress tolerance are in progress, involving genes from different pathways including osmolyte synthesis, ion homeostasis, antioxidative pathways, and regulatory genes. In the last decade, several attempts have been made to substantiate the role of "single-function" gene(s) as well as transcription factor(s) for abiotic stress tolerance. Since, the abiotic stress tolerance is multigenic in nature, therefore, the recent trend is shifting towards genetic transformation of multiple genes or transcription factors. A large number of crop plants are being engineered by abiotic stress tolerant genes and have shown the stress tolerance mostly at laboratory level. This review presents a mechanistic view of different pathways and emphasizes the function of different genes in conferring salt tolerance by genetic engineering approach. It also highlights the details of successes achieved in developing salt tolerance in plants thus far.
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