46. Tobacco: A Model Plant for Understanding the Mechanism of Abiotic Stress Tolerance

  1. Dr. Narendra Tuteja2,3,
  2. Dr. Sarvajeet Singh Gill2,4,
  3. Prof. Antonio F. Tiburcio5 and
  4. Dr. Renu Tuteja2
  1. Scott Schaeffer,
  2. Tyson Koepke and
  3. Amit Dhingra

Published Online: 30 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch46

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

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

How to Cite

Schaeffer, S., Koepke, T. and Dhingra, A. (2012) Tobacco: A Model Plant for Understanding the Mechanism of Abiotic Stress Tolerance, 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.ch46

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. Washington State University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, P.O. Box 646414, Pullman, WA 99164, USA

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527328406

Online ISBN: 9783527632930



  • abiotic stress tolerance;
  • heat shock proteins;
  • osmoprotection;
  • ROS scavenging;
  • tobacco;
  • transcription factors


Agricultural productivity across the globe is threatened by environmental fluctuations. Years of human agronomic activity has further confounded the problem by increasing abiotic stress factors in the environment. There is an impending need for designer crops that can withstand an ever-increasing level and range of abiotic stresses to continue to support the food needs of a burgeoning population. Plants are also being explored as a source of fuel, which necessitates production of appropriate crops in nonarable lands. Thus, abiotic stress-resistant crops are relevant for both food and fuel needs in this century and beyond. Unlike biotic stresses, which are mostly monogenic traits and thus amenable to molecular breeding, abiotic stress resistance involves adjustments in morphological and physiological parameters. The multigenic nature of the trait makes it difficult, if not impossible, to breed crops in a timely manner that will be able to withstand the environmental fluctuations. This is particularly relevant for perennial crops. While annual crops can be bred in a matter of years, perennial crops stand to gain from directed biotechnological approaches. Several studies over the years in different plant species have identified various mechanisms and associated genes underlying abiotic stress resistance or tolerance. The scientific literature is replete with instances where these mechanisms were successfully unraveled in a heterologous host, tobacco that has long-served as surrogate for test of novel gene function. These studies underpin the fact that abiotic stress resistance mechanisms are shared within the plant kingdom. This chapter summarizes the current body of knowledge on our understanding of abiotic stress tolerance as deciphered from studies performed in tobacco.