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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Tolerance to Environmental Constraints in Grain and Forage Legumes

Bargaz, Adnane; Zaman-Allah, Mainassara; Farissi, Mohamed; Lazali, Mohamed; Drevon, Jean-Jacques; Maougal, Rim T.; Carlsson, Georg


Despite the agronomical and environmental advantages of the cultivation of legumes, their production is limited by various environmental constraints such as water or nutrient limitation, frost or heat stress and soil salinity, which may be the result of pedoclimatic conditions, intensive use of agricultural lands, decline in soil fertility and environmental degradation. The development of more sustainable agroecosystems that are resilient to environmental constraints will therefore require better understanding of the key mechanisms underlying plant tolerance to abiotic constraints. This review provides highlights of legume tolerance to abiotic constraints with a focus on soil nutrient deficiencies, drought, and salinity. More specifically, recent advances in the physiological and molecular levels of the adaptation of grain and forage legumes to abiotic constraints are discussed. Such adaptation involves complex multigene controlled-traits which also involve multiple sub-traits that are likely regulated under the control of a number of candidate genes. This multi-genetic control of tolerance traits might also be multifunctional, with extended action in response to a number of abiotic constraints. Thus, concrete efforts are required to breed for multifunctional candidate genes in order to boost plant stability under various abiotic constraints.


abiotic constraints; drought; legume; phosphorus; salinity

Published in

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
2015, volume: 16, number: 8, pages: 18976-19008

Authors' information

Bargaz, Adnane
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Zaman-Allah, Mainassara
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Farissi, Mohamed
Sultan Moulay Sliman University
Lazali, Mohamed
University of Khemis Miliana
Drevon, Jean-Jacques
National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA)
Maougal, Rim T.
Université des frères Mentouri
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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