Plants have a series of fine mechanisms for responding to environmental stresses. These mechanisms include perception of stress, molecular and physiological response to stress which may results into the adaptation to that stress. In all the stresses, salinity stress is a major concern in today’s agriculture. Recent experimentation with transgenic plants has led to increased understanding of salinity tolerance, with emphasis on the areas of ion homeostasis, osmotic regulation and antioxidant protection. A case study of the major challenges and opportunities to improve stress tolerance in plants under salinity is presented. As different abiotic stresses are inter-related (e.g. salinity and osmotic stress), our ability to improve crop performance may well be determined by combining different, apparently unrelated approaches for introducing several stress tolerance mechanisms into specific crop plants.
Keywords: antioxidants, antiporters, homeostasis, salt-overly-sensitive pathway, salinity stress, transgenics.