21. Make Your Best – MYB Transcription Factors for Improving Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crops

  1. Dr. Narendra Tuteja2,3,
  2. Dr. Sarvajeet Singh Gill2,4,
  3. Prof. Antonio F. Tiburcio5 and
  4. Dr. Renu Tuteja2
  1. Andrea Pitzschke

Published Online: 30 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch21

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

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

How to Cite

Pitzschke, A. (2012) Make Your Best – MYB Transcription Factors for Improving Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crops, 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.ch21

Editor Information

  1. 2

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

  2. 3

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

  3. 4

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

  4. 5

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

Author Information

  1. University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Department Applied Genetics and Cell Biology (DAGZ), Muthgasse 18, 1190 Vienna, Austria

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:

  • abscisic acid;
  • anthocyanins;
  • MAPK;
  • miRNAs;
  • MYB transcription factors;
  • SUMOylation

Summary

Too hot, too dry, too cold, and too bright. Field crops grow and reproduce in a dynamic and unpredictably changing environment. Adverse climate conditions severely impair plant growth and development. In the face of the growing world population and the climate change, humanity cannot take food production for granted. There is an increasing demand for crops with improved stress tolerance and yield. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that mediate stress adaptation and applying this knowledge to engineering stress-resistant crops is therefore a key to ensure world food security.

MYB domain-containing proteins form a family of transcription factors involved in a diversity of stress-related responses in plants. Interfering with the activity of individual family members often correlates with altered stress tolerance. MYB transcription factors have been thoroughly studied and functionally characterized not only in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana but also in other plant species. Heterologous expression approaches and phylogenetic analyses indicate a good degree of functional conservation.

This conservation will facilitate knowledge transfer, and thus tomorrow's farmers may benefit from today's discoveries in Arabidopsis. This chapter reviews the role of MYB transcription factors in abiotic stress signaling. While selected examples from Arabidopsis are described, emphasis is given to MYB proteins in field crops. The potentials and limitations of using heterologous expression approaches for genetic engineering of crops with improved stress tolerance are discussed. One part is devoted to mechanisms that regulate MYB protein abundance and activity. A list of valuable data resources (transcription factor databases, transcriptome studies) shall provide fast access to detailed information and bioinformatics tools for researchers interested in a particular plant species.