Systems Biology Approach Unfolds Unique Life-History Strategies in Response to Abiotic Stress Combinations

Lidor Shaar-Moshe, Zvi Peleg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Climate change increases the frequency and magnitude of extreme environmental events, such as extreme temperatures, unpredictable water availability, and ion imbalance, which limit crop productivity and jeopardize global food security. Traditionally, plant biologists have studied abiotic stresses by applying single stresses and analyzing the plant responses to each condition independently. However, under natural field conditions, plants are subjected to multiple environmental stresses simultaneously. Moreover, plant responses to a combination of environmental stresses differ from plant responses to the individually applied stresses. Thus, a considerable gap exists between the information gained by these studies and the knowledge needed to develop crops with enhanced tolerance to stress conditions in agronomic environments. Systems biology approaches aim to bridge this gap by investigating genomics, metabolic, and physiological acclimations to naturally co-occurring abiotic stresses. In response to stress combinations, transcriptional patterns shifted to antagonistic responses, which were also observed at the whole plant level for various morpho-physiological traits. The extent of metabolic and phenotypic plasticity together with the trade-off between traits shaped plants’ life-history strategies to better opt for the acclimation mechanisms that contribute to plant fitness under changing environments.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationMultiple Abiotic Stress Tolerances in Higher Plants
Subtitle of host publicationAddressing the Growing Challenges
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781000958225
ISBN (Print)9781032292410
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

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