Abiotic Stress

How plants survive (salt) stress

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Science  01 Aug 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6196, pp. 527
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6196.527-a

Foxtail millet survives in high salt conditions


Foxtail millet, a grain crop cultivated in China since the sixth century BC, tolerates high salt concentrations well. All land plants produce proteins called remorins, several of which help plants respond to abiotic (environmental) stress. To determine whether foxtail millet uses remorins to help protect it from excess salt, Yue et al. first identified 11 remorin genes in this plant. When the plants grew in salty soil, they produced a remorin called SiREM6. Engineering Arabidopsis plants to express SiREM6 allowed the plants to survive better in salty conditions. Their advantage increased with the salinity: While brackish water killed normal Arabidopsis plants, SiREM6-expressing plants survived.

PLOS ONE 9, e100772 (2014).

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