Co-overexpression of AVP1, PP2A-C5, and AtCLCc in Arabidopsis thaliana increases tolerance to salt and drought stresses

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2023-08

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Abstract

Abiotic stresses are an alarming challenge to agriculture, limiting crop productivity and sustainability worldwide. Soil salinization is a major abiotic stress that significantly threatens plant growth and development, causing physiological abnormalities that ultimately affect crop productivity. The saline condition arises from excessive salt concentrations in the soil due to natural and anthropogenic activities. Na⁺, Cl⁻, and related ions in excessive concentrations alter the plants' essential metabolic processes, such as seed germination, photosynthesis, and mineral uptake. To counteract the effects of salt stress, plants have evolved with various mechanisms, including ion homeostasis and compartmentalization, antioxidant machinery, and biosynthesis of osmoprotectants. The first chapter of the dissertation provides an overview of the impacts of salinity stress on plants, the underlying mechanisms of salt tolerance, and salt stress-responsive genes corresponding to these mechanisms. Apart from salinity stress, drought is another major abiotic stress that varies in intensity according to spatial and temporal patterns. Insufficient water near the root zone reduces nutrient uptake and limits plant growth, resulting in poor crop yield. Simultaneous exposure to salt and drought stress can exacerbate the adverse effects on crops. Genetically engineering beneficial genes will likely improve abiotic stress tolerance and crop productivity. In this context, this dissertation thoroughly discusses research on co-overexpressing AVP1, PP2A-C5, and AtCLCc and their combined benefits to increase salt and drought tolerance further. The research study compares the performance of the co-overexpression plants under salt, drought, and combined salt and drought stress with wild-type plants and single-gene overexpressing plants. The results demonstrate that co-overexpression of several well-chosen genes is an effective strategy for achieving greater abiotic stress tolerance and could potentially lead to higher crop yield, especially in the region where soil salinity is extreme and the precipitation is low. Overall, this dissertation aims to discuss recent advances in our understanding of salt stress tolerance mechanisms and manipulating beneficial genes to improve tolerance to both salinity and drought which could contribute to yield and quality enhancement.


Embargo status: Restricted until 09/2024. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.

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Keywords

Germination, Homeostasis, Osmoprotectants, Photosynthesis, Soil salinization

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