These can be defined as external conditions which negatively impact on physiology to prevent the maximization of the plant’s full potential for growth and reproduction.
An important metabolic pathway that has been linked to abiotic stress tolerance in plants is the trehalose biosynthetic pathway. The discovery of trehalose metabolism in the recent years has pointed out the importance of trehalose biosynthesis in stress responses in plants.
Objective of the proposed project is to uncover how trehalose metabolism is involved in the tomato response to abiotic stresses. This will identify and functionally characterize novel components of stress signal transduction and acclimation in this important horticultural species. A long term goal of the project is to utilize this knowledge to improve tomato stress tolerance by manipulating trehalose metabolism or the expression of its associated genes. A particular focus will be on those genes whose expression are regulated in response to abiotic stress conditions and/or have no characterized enzymatic activity.