Engineering salt tolerance in plants

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2002 Apr;13(2):146-50. doi: 10.1016/s0958-1669(02)00298-7.


Recent progress has been made in the identification and characterization of the mechanisms that allow plants to tolerate high salt concentrations. The understanding of metabolic fluxes and the main constraints for the production of compatible solutes (i.e. feedback inhibition and the limitation of substrate supply) open up the possibility of genetically engineering entire pathways that could lead to the production of osmoprotectants. This, together with the identification of the different sodium transporters (in particular vacuolar and plasma membrane Na(+)/H(+) antiporters) that could provide the needed ion homeostasis during salt stress, opens the possibility of engineering crop plants with improved salt tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Biotechnology / methods
  • Biotechnology / trends
  • Breeding / methods
  • Cytoprotection
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plants, Edible / drug effects
  • Plants, Edible / genetics*
  • Plants, Edible / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / drug effects
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Sodium Chloride / metabolism*
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology*


  • Sodium Chloride