Dr. Sara Izquierdo Zandalinas. Universitat Jaime I, Castellón.
“Plant responses to multiple abiotic stresses”
Each year, abiotic stress conditions such as drought, heat, salinity or high light intensity, together with the harsh soil conditions, and especially their different combinations, inflict a heavy toll on crop productivity worldwide. Stress-induced systemic signaling and systemic acquired acclimation (SAA) play a key role in optimizing growth and preventing damages associated with abiotic stressors. To be effective, SAA has to occur at a rapid rate and utilize rapid signaling pathways that transmit signals from affected tissues to all parts of the plant. Our studies reveal that the systemic stomatal and transcriptomic responses of plants to excess light are dependent on the respiratory burst oxidase homolog D (RBOHD) protein, and the function of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) wave. In addition, the impact of multiple stress conditions on plants was recently termed ‘multifactorial stress combination’ (MFSC) and defined as the occurrence of three or more stressors that impact plants simultaneously. We recently reported that with the increased number and complexity of different stressors, the growth and survival of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings declines, even if the level of each individual stress is low enough to have no significant effect on plant growth and survival. Our recent studies in different crop species (tomato, maize and rice) subjected to MFSC reveal that the impacts of MFSC are broad and severe, and that MFSC is likely to have a significant impact on agricultural productivity. Our future studies will determine the role of the different pathways identified by proteomics and transcriptomics analysis in augmenting the tolerance of different crops to MFSC in order to help in the development of crops with enhanced tolerance to different stress combinations.
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