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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Physiological and molecular insights into drought tolerance

Sagadevan G Mundree, Bienyameen Baker, Shaheen Mowla, Shaun Peters, Saberi Marais, Clare Vander Willigen, Kershini Govender, Alice Maredza, Samson Muyanga, Jill M Farrant, Jennifer A Thomson

Abstract


Water is a major limiting factor in world agriculture. In general, most crop plants are highly sensitive to even a mild dehydration stress. There are however, a few genera of plants unique to Southern Africa, called "resurrection plants" which can tolerate extreme water loss or desiccation. We have used Xerophyta viscosa, a representative of the monocotyledonous resurrection plants to isolate genes that are associated with osmotic stress tolerance. Several genes that are differentially expressed, and that confer functional sufficiency to osmotically-stressed Escherichia coli are being studied at the molecular and biochemical levels. In this review, we use this as a basis to discuss the physiological and molecular insights into drought tolerance.


(African Journal of Biotechnology: 2002 1(2): 28-38)



http://dx.doi.org/10.5897/AJB2002.000-006
AJOL African Journals Online