All Stressed Out and Nowhere to Run: Plant Tolerance and Survival
Plants are “stuck;” they cannot run away from environmental or biological stressors. Survival in harsh conditions, whether natural or man-made, demands that plants have clever and various means to avoid or tolerate stress. Whether there are severe droughts or ravaging floods, sweltering or freezing temperatures, polluted air or soil, devastating pathogens or insect pests, plants have evolved various ways to survive. Scientists are determined to understand these tolerance mechanisms with the goal of reducing the adverse effects of stress on plant growth and crop productivity, which is of paramount importance as we move forward to address issues of global food security.