Jitender Giri, Swarup K. Parida, Saurabh Raghuvanshi and Akhilesh K. Tyagi* Pages 16 - 25 ( 10 )
Rice occupies a pre-eminent position as a food crop in the world. Its production, however, entails up to 3000 liters of water per kilogram of grain produced. Such high demand makes rice prone to drought easily. Sustainable rice cultivation with limited water resources requires the deployment of a suitable strategy for better water use efficiency and improved drought tolerance. Several drought-related genes have been evaluated in rice for their mode of action in conferring drought tolerance. Manipulation of components of abscisic acid signal transduction, stomatal density, deposition of cuticular wax, and protein modification pathways are emerging as priority targets. Gene reprogramming by microRNAs is also being explored to achieve drought tolerance. Genetically dissected Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) and their constituent genes are being deployed to develop drought-tolerant rice varieties. Progressive research and challenges include a better understanding of crucial components of drought response and search for new targets and the deployment of improved varieties in the field.
Drought, microRNAs, molecular breeding, rice, transgenics, water-deficit.
National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi South Campus, Benito Juarez Road, New Delhi 110021, Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi South Campus, Benito Juarez Road, New Delhi 110021