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Facing climate change: Biotechnology of iconic mediterranean woody crops

De Ollas C., Morillon R., Fotopoulos V., Puértolas J., Ollitrault P., Gómez-Cadenas A., Arbona V.. 2019. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10 : 23 p..

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00427

The Mediterranean basin is especially sensitive to the adverse outcomes of climate change and especially to variations in rainfall patterns and the incidence of extremely high temperatures. These two concurring adverse environmental conditions will surely have a detrimental effect on crop performance and productivity that will be particularly severe on woody crops such as citrus, olive and grapevine that define the backbone of traditional Mediterranean agriculture. These woody species have been traditionally selected for traits such as improved fruit yield and quality or alteration in harvesting periods, leaving out traits related to plant field performance. This is currently a crucial aspect due to the progressive and imminent effects of global climate change. Although complete genome sequence exists for sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and clementine (Citrus clementina), olive tree (Olea europaea) and grapevine (Vitis vinifera), the development of biotechnological tools to improve stress tolerance still relies on the study of the available genetic resources including interspecific hybrids, naturally occurring (or induced) polyploids and wild relatives under field conditions. To this respect, post-genomic era studies including transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics provide a wide and unbiased view of plant physiology and biochemistry under adverse environmental conditions that, along with high-throughput phenotyping, could contribute to the characterization of plant genotypes exhibiting physiological and/or genetic traits that are correlated to abiotic stress tolerance. The ultimate goal of precision agriculture is to improve crop productivity, in terms of yield and quality, making a sustainable use of land and water resources under adverse environmental conditions using all available biotechnological tools and high-throughput phenotyping. This review focuses on the current state-of-the-art of biotechnological tools such as high throughput ¿omics and phenotyping on grapevine, citrus and olive and their contribution to plant breeding programs.

Mots-clés : changement climatique; agriculture de précision; biotechnologie végétale; vitis vinifera; olea europaea; citrus; sécheresse; zone méditerranéenne

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