The constant rise in the global temperature and unpredictable shifts in precipitation patterns are two of the main effects of climate change. Therefore, there is an increasing amount of interest in the identification of tree species, provenances and genotypes capable of withstanding more arid conditions and tolerating drought stress. In the present review, we focus our attention on generally more susceptible conifers and describe the different strategies that plants adopt to respond to drought stress. We describe the main approaches taken in studies of conifer adaptations to low water availability, the advantages and limitations of each, and the main results obtained with each of these approaches in the recent years. Then we discuss how the increasing amount of morphological, physiological and genetic data may find practical applications in forest management, and in particular in next-generation breeding programs. Finally, we provide some recommendations for future research. In particular, we suggest extending future studies to a broader selection of species and genera, increasing the number of studies on adult plants, in particular those on gene expression, and distinguishing between the different types of drought stress that a tree can withstand during its life cycle. The integration of data coming from different disciplines and approaches will be a key factor to increasing our knowledge about a trait as complex as drought resistance.

Baldi, P.; La Porta, N. (2022). Toward the genetic improvement of drought tolerance in conifers: an integrated approach. FORESTS, 13 (12): 2016. doi: 10.3390/f13122016 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/77515

Toward the genetic improvement of drought tolerance in conifers: an integrated approach

Baldi, Paolo
Primo
;
La Porta, Nicola
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

The constant rise in the global temperature and unpredictable shifts in precipitation patterns are two of the main effects of climate change. Therefore, there is an increasing amount of interest in the identification of tree species, provenances and genotypes capable of withstanding more arid conditions and tolerating drought stress. In the present review, we focus our attention on generally more susceptible conifers and describe the different strategies that plants adopt to respond to drought stress. We describe the main approaches taken in studies of conifer adaptations to low water availability, the advantages and limitations of each, and the main results obtained with each of these approaches in the recent years. Then we discuss how the increasing amount of morphological, physiological and genetic data may find practical applications in forest management, and in particular in next-generation breeding programs. Finally, we provide some recommendations for future research. In particular, we suggest extending future studies to a broader selection of species and genera, increasing the number of studies on adult plants, in particular those on gene expression, and distinguishing between the different types of drought stress that a tree can withstand during its life cycle. The integration of data coming from different disciplines and approaches will be a key factor to increasing our knowledge about a trait as complex as drought resistance.
Gymnosperms
Molecular
Next-generation breeding
Water stress
Genetics
Genomic
Drought resistance
Picea
Abies
Pinus
Settore AGR/07 - GENETICA AGRARIA
2022
Baldi, P.; La Porta, N. (2022). Toward the genetic improvement of drought tolerance in conifers: an integrated approach. FORESTS, 13 (12): 2016. doi: 10.3390/f13122016 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/77515
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/77515
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