African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 718

Review

Assessment of drought stress tolerance in root and tuber crops

Placide Rukundo*
  • Placide Rukundo*
  • Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), P.O. Box 5016, Kigali, Rwanda.
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Hirut Getinet Betaw
  • Hirut Getinet Betaw
  • Amhara Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 527 code 100, Bahidar, Ethiopia.
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Stephan Ngailo
  • Stephan Ngailo
  • Sugarcane Research Institute, P.O. Box 30031, Kibaha, Coast Region, Tanzania.
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Fekadu Balcha
  • Fekadu Balcha
  • Southern Agricultural Research Institute, Hawassa Research Centre, P.O. Box 6, Hawassa, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 24 February 2014
  •  Accepted: 03 April 2014
  •  Published: 30 April 2014

Abstract

Plant growth and productivity is adversely affected by environmental abiotic and biotic stresses. Drought is one of abiotic stresses that cause serious damage to plants. Therefore, understanding the extent of drought stress and assessing the mechanisms of drought tolerance in plants is very crucial to devise different coping mechanisms with the stresses. Brief discussions have been given on some of the terminologies such as drought tolerance vs. resistance; potential yield vs. yield potential, and water use efficiency. Mechanisms of adaptation to drought stress, inheritance of drought tolerance and the contribution of biotechnology to develop methods of coping up with the problems have been discussed. Finally, methods of screening for drought tolerance have been outlined. The integration of both agricultural practices and conventional and contemporary breeding strategies are necessary in developing crop varieties that are tolerant to abiotic stresses including drought.

Key words: Drought stress, resistance, root and tuber crops, tolerance.