48. Sesame: Overcoming the Abiotic Stresses in the Queen of Oilseed Crops

  1. Dr. Narendra Tuteja4,5,
  2. Dr. Sarvajeet Singh Gill4,6,
  3. Prof. Antonio F. Tiburcio7 and
  4. Dr. Renu Tuteja4
  1. Suman Lakhanpaul1,
  2. Vibhuti Singh1,
  3. Sachin Kumar1,
  4. Deepak Bhardwaj1,2 and
  5. Kangila Venkataramana Bhat3

Published Online: 30 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch48

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

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

How to Cite

Lakhanpaul, S., Singh, V., Kumar, S., Bhardwaj, D. and Bhat, K. V. (2012) Sesame: Overcoming the Abiotic Stresses in the Queen of Oilseed 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.ch48

Editor Information

  1. 4

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

  2. 5

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

  3. 6

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

  4. 7

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

Author Information

  1. 1

    Delhi University, Botany Department, Delhi 110 007, India

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, NRC on DNA Fingerprinting Pusa Campus, New Delhi 110 012, India

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;
  • association genetics;
  • lipid transfer proteins;
  • metallothioneins;
  • sesame


Sesame, one of the important oilseed crops, is valued for its high quality oil rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and thus offers excellent health benefits. The oil also has unique antioxidative property that increases its keeping quality by preventing oxidative rancidity. However, the research efforts for developing improved sesame cultivars having tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses have been rather meager so far. Sesame is largely cultivated in marginal lands by resource-poor farmers and is thereby prone to several abiotic stresses. The crop possesses effective tolerance to drought due to its extensive root system. Preliminary studies have been carried out in sesame regarding salt, drought, and heavy metal stress. Parameters such as root and shoot morphology, cuticle thickness, antioxidative enzymes, malondialdehyde, proline content, and so on have been assessed under stressed and control conditions. Role of stress-associated genes and their products such as lipid transfer proteins, caleosins, steroid dehydrogenase, phytostatins, γ-aminobutyric acid, metallothioneins involved in diverse stresses are under investigation. The presence of phenylpropanoid compounds, namely, lignans, an innate nonenzymatic antioxidant defense mechanism against reactive oxygen species in sesame, is a special area being researched. However, the areas that still remain untouched include waterlogging and chilling stress, both of which are highly detrimental to the crop survival. Inspite of huge repertoire of germplasm collection, limited research efforts on the use of conventional and biotechnological methodologies have resulted in minimal success in developing abiotic stress-tolerant cultivars. The absence of efficient in vitro regeneration protocols further compounds challenges for development of desired novel genotypes. The possible strategies that could be helpful in incorporating abiotic stress tolerance in plants have been discussed here along with the fundamental studies dealing with different stresses and their effects on sesame, followed by information on stress-related genes under focus in sesame.