Improving abiotic stress tolerance in crops (Invited Review)

Shabala identifies physiological mechanisms conferring salinity tolerance in halophytes that can be introduced into non-halophyte crop species to improve their performance under saline conditions.
Improving abiotic stress tolerance in crops (Invited Review)
Improving abiotic stress tolerance in crops (Invited Review)

Global annual losses in agricultural production from salt-affected land are in excess of US$12 billion and rising. Shabala identifies physiological mechanisms conferring salinity tolerance in halophytes that can be introduced into non-halophyte crop species to improve their performance under saline conditions. The specific traits that are discussed and advocated include: manipulation of trichome shape, size and density to enable their use for external Na+ sequestration; increasing the efficiency of internal Na+ sequestration in vacuoles by the orchestrated regulation of tonoplast NHX exchangers and slow and fast vacuolar channels, combined with greater cytosolic K+ retention; controlling stomata aperture and optimizing water use efficiency by reducing stomata density; and efficient control of xylem ion loading.