Soil salinity is one of the major abiotic stresses that adversely affects crop productivity and quality. Hence developing salt tolerant crops is essential for sustaining food production. Understanding of the molecular basis of salt stress signaling and tolerance mechanisms are essential for breeding and genetic engineering of salt tolerance in crop plants. The modern approaches being used to impart salt tolerance involves exploitation of natural genetic variations and/or the generation of transgenic plants. This review discusses the challenges and opportunities provided by recently developed molecular tools in the development of salt tolerant crops.
Key words: Soil salinity, plasma membrane antiporter (AtSOS1), AtHKT1, vacuolar antiporter (AtNHX1), compatible solutes, reactive oxygen species (ROS), antioxidants.