Submitted to: Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 17, 2012
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Citation: Bassett, C.L. 2013. Identifying genes associated with water use and drought response in cultivated and wild apple. In: Vahdati, K. and Leslie, C., editors. Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants. InTech, Rijeka, Coratia. p. 249-276. Technical Abstract: Water is the most limiting resource affecting plant growth and crop production, and global climate change may contribute to its increasing scarcity. The problem for fruit production is that many of our agronomically important fruit trees are derived from a rather narrow genetic base. To provide methods for enhancing apple germplasm resistance to drought and other dehydrative abiotic stresses, it is imperative that we identify those genes that contribute to drought survival. A major source of drought resistant genes lies with wild apple species that have adapted to dry environments. Comparisons between cultivated and wild apples during water deficit treatment should lead to the identification of genes which respond to drought or which enhance water use efficiency. Once these genes have been identified and characterized, they can be used in marker assisted selection strategies or altered by genetic engineering to provide tree fruit varieties with superior survival ability during drought episodes or with better water use to reduce irrigation requirements.