Glycine betaine : a versatile compound with great potential for gene pyramiding to improve crop plant performance against environmental stresses

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Title
Glycine betaine : a versatile compound with great potential for gene pyramiding to improve crop plant performance against environmental stresses
Author(s)
R Ahmad; Chan Ju Lim; Suk Yoon Kwon
Bibliographic Citation
Plant Biotechnology Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 49-57
Publication Year
2013
Abstract
Plants are frequently exposed to a plethora of environmental stresses. Being sessile creatures, they have to tolerate any stresses by altering their metabolism. To achieve tolerance, plants synthesize compatible compounds such as glycine betaine (GB). Continuous research over the years has increased our understanding about the mechanisms of stress protection by GB, which range from an osmolyte to a chaperone and from maintenance of reactive oxygen species to gene expression inducer. Various crop plants have also been transformed to synthesize GB along with model plants by introducing bacterial or plant genes. The GB-synthesizing crop plants exhibit enhanced tolerance to various abiotic stresses and out-yield wild-type plants in stressful conditions. GB has also been utilized to improve enhanced stress tolerance by utilizing it in gene stacking experiments due to its synergistic and stabilizing effects. It is reviewed here (along with comparative analysis of GB synthesis pathways and its mechanism to improve tolerance) showing that gene stacking by using GB as one component provides substantial protection. This synergistic role of GB leads us to hypothesize that it can be utilized in virtually any kind of gene stacking experiments to develop crop plants to be grown in arable and marginal lands for better tolerance to ever-changing environmental conditions and to ensure food security in underdeveloped regions of the world.
Keyword
Crop plantsEnhanced toleranceEnvironmental stressesGene pyramidingGlycine betaine
ISSN
1863-5466
Publisher
Springer
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11816-012-0266-8
Type
Article
Appears in Collections:
1. Journal Articles > Journal Articles
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