17. A Systems-Based Molecular Biology Analysis of Resurrection Plants for Crop and Forage Improvement in Arid Environments

  1. Dr. Narendra Tuteja3,4,
  2. Dr. Sarvajeet Singh Gill3,5,
  3. Prof. Antonio F. Tiburcio6 and
  4. Dr. Renu Tuteja3
  1. John P. Moore1 and
  2. Jill M. Farrant2

Published Online: 30 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch17

Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2

Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2

How to Cite

Moore, J. P. and Farrant, J. M. (2012) A Systems-Based Molecular Biology Analysis of Resurrection Plants for Crop and Forage Improvement in Arid Environments, in Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2 (eds N. Tuteja, S. S. Gill, A. F. Tiburcio and R. Tuteja), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch17

Editor Information

  1. 3

    International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Plant Molecular Biology Group, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110 067, India

  2. 4

    MD University, Centre for Biotechnology, Rohtak 124 001, Haryana, India

  3. 5

    Aligarh Muslim University, Department of Botany, Aligarh 202 002, Uttar Pradesh, India

  4. 6

    Universitat de Barcelona, Unitat de Fisiologia Vegetal, Facultat de Farmàcia, Av. Joan XXIII, S/N, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Author Information

  1. 1

    Stellenbosch University, Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Matieland 7602, South Africa

  2. 2

    University of Cape Town, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 14 MAR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527328406

Online ISBN: 9783527632930

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Keywords:

  • anhydrobiosis;
  • desiccation tolerance;
  • resurrection plants;
  • small RNAs;
  • systems biology;
  • transcription factors

Summary

Resurrection plants represent a remarkable group of plants possessing vegetative tissue capable of surviving water loss to an air-dry state. Many of these species grow in semiarid and arid countries, and a rich diversity is found in Southern Africa. We review the mechanisms proposed to explain how they tolerate desiccation, highlighting the processes that protect them from metabolic disruption, oxidative damage, and mechanical stress during dehydration. Also reviewed are the molecular mechanisms associated with sensing water deficit and activating transcriptional processes associated with desiccation-induced gene expression in these species. Functional genes, which encode protective macromolecules and enzymes, and the systems approaches (transcriptomics and proteomics) utilized are also discussed. The application of resurrection plant studies in the molecular engineering of valuable crop plants and potentially providing new forages is highlighted.