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, 10 (8), 3547-82

A Focus on Natural Variation for Abiotic Constraints Response in the Model Species Arabidopsis Thaliana


A Focus on Natural Variation for Abiotic Constraints Response in the Model Species Arabidopsis Thaliana

Valérie Lefebvre et al. Int J Mol Sci.


Plants are particularly subject to environmental stress, as they cannot move from unfavourable surroundings. As a consequence they have to react in situ. In any case, plants have to sense the stress, then the signal has to be transduced to engage the appropriate response. Stress response is effected by regulating genes, by turning on molecular mechanisms to protect the whole organism and its components and/or to repair damage. Reactions vary depending on the type of stress and its intensity, but some are commonly turned on because some responses to different abiotic stresses are shared. In addition, there are multiple ways for plants to respond to environmental stress, depending on the species and life strategy, but also multiple ways within a species depending on plant variety or ecotype. It is regularly accepted that populations of a single species originating from diverse geographic origins and/or that have been subjected to different selective pressure, have evolved retaining the best alleles for completing their life cycle. Therefore, the study of natural variation in response to abiotic stress, can help unravel key genes and alleles for plants to cope with their unfavourable physical and chemical surroundings. This review is focusing on Arabidopsis thaliana which has been largely adopted by the global scientific community as a model organism. Also, tools and data that facilitate investigation of natural variation and abiotic stress encountered in the wild are set out. Characterization of accessions, QTLs detection and cloning of alleles responsible for variation are presented.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; QTL; abiotic stress; cold stress; drought; heavy metal stress; light spectrum; natural variation; nutrient deficiency; osmotic stress.


Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Theoretical graph of the effect of an abiotic stress on plant growth and development.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Phenoscope: this Arabidopsis culture system created at INRA-IJPB Versailles is able to grow and move 735 plants over the culture table, to adjust their water and nutrient status individually and to monitor their growth by image analysis.

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