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Title: Functional Genomics of Drought Tolerance in Bioenergy Crops

With the predicted trends in climate change, drought will increasingly impose a grand challenge to biomass production. Most of the bioenergy crops have some degree of drought susceptibility with low water-use efficiency (WUE). It is imperative to improve drought tolerance and WUE in bioenergy crops for sustainable biomass production in arid and semi-arid regions with minimal water input. Genetics and functional genomics can play a critical role in generating knowledge to inform and aid genetic improvement of drought tolerance in bioenergy crops. The molecular aspect of drought response has been extensively investigated in model plants like Arabidopsis, yet our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying drought tolerance in bioenergy crops are limited. Crops exhibit various responses to drought stress depending on species and genotype. A rational strategy for studying drought tolerance in bioenergy crops is to translate the knowledge from model plants and pinpoint the unique features associated with individual species and genotypes. In this review, we summarize the general knowledge about drought responsive pathways in plants, with a focus on the identification of commonality and specialty in drought responsive mechanisms among different species and/or genotypes. We describe the genomic resources developed for bioenergy crops and discuss genetic and epigeneticmore » regulation of drought responses. We also examine comparative and evolutionary genomics to leverage the ever-increasing genomics resources and provide new insights beyond what has been known from studies on individual species. Finally, we outline future exploration of drought tolerance using the emerging new technologies.« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 2-3
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL LDRD Director's R&D; SC USDOE - Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States