Understanding the complex nature of salinity and drought-stress response in cereals using proteomics technologies


  • Rudo Ngara,

    1. Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa
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  • Bongani K. Ndimba

    Corresponding author
    1. Proteomics Research Group, Department of Biotechnology, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
    2. Proteomics Research and Services Unit, Agricultural Research Council, Infruitec Campus, Stellenbosch, South Africa
    • Correspondence: Dr. Bongani Kaiser, Ndimba Proteomics Research Group, Department of Biotechnology, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, South Africa

      E-mail: NdimbaB@arc.agric.za

      Fax: +27 21 959 1551

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Worldwide, crop productivity is drastically reduced by drought and salinity stresses. In order to develop food crops with increased productivity in marginal areas, it is important to first understand the nature of plant stress response mechanisms. In the past decade, proteomics tools have been extensively used in the study of plants’ proteome responses under experimental conditions mimicking drought and salinity stresses. A lot of proteomic data have been generated using different experimental designs. However, the precise roles of these proteins in stress tolerance are yet to be elucidated. This review summarises the applications of proteomics in understanding the complex nature of drought and salinity stress effects on plants, particularly cereals and also highlights the usefulness of sorghum as the next logical model crop for use in understanding drought and salinity tolerance in cereals. With the vast amount of proteomic data that have been generated to date, a call for integrated efforts across the agricultural, biotechnology, and molecular biology sectors is also highlighted in an effort to translate proteomics data into increased food productivity for the world's growing population.