African Journal of
Biotechnology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12485

Minireview

Physiological and molecular insights into drought tolerance

Sagadevan G Mundree*, Bienyameen Baker, Shaheen Mowla, Shaun Peters, Saberi Marais, Clare Vander Willigen, Kershini Govender, Alice Maredza, Samson Muyanga, Jill M Farrant and Jennifer A Thomson
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701 South Africa
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 November 2002
  •  Published: 30 December 2002

Abstract

 

Water is a major limiting factor in world agriculture. In general, most crop plants are highly sensitive to even a mild dehydration stress. There are however, a few genera of plants unique to Southern Africa, called “resurrection plants” which can tolerate extreme water loss or desiccation. We have used Xerophyta viscosa, a representative of the monocotyledonous resurrection plants to isolate genes that are associated with osmotic stress tolerance. Several genes that are differentially expressed, and that confer functional sufficiency to osmotically-stressed Escherichia coli are being studied at the molecular and biochemical levels. In this review, we use this as a basis to discuss the physiological and molecular insights into drought tolerance.

 

Key words: Drought stress, reactive oxygen species, osmoprotectants, abscisic acid, transcription factors.