Abiotic stress responses and microbe-mediated mitigation in plants: The omics strategies

Kamlesh K. Meena*, Ajay M. Sorty, Utkarsh M. Bitla, Khushboo Choudhary, Priyanka Gupta, Ashwani Pareek, Dhananjaya P. Singh, Ratna Prabha, Pramod K. Sahu, Vijai K. Gupta, Harikesh B. Singh, Kishor K. Krishanani, Paramjit S. Minhas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

551 Citations (Scopus)


Abiotic stresses are the foremost limiting factors for agricultural productivity. Crop plants need to cope up adverse external pressure created by environmental and edaphic conditions with their intrinsic biological mechanisms, failing which their growth, development, and productivity suffer. Microorganisms, the most natural inhabitants of diverse environments exhibit enormous metabolic capabilities to mitigate abiotic stresses. Since microbial interactions with plants are an integral part of the living ecosystem, they are believed to be the natural partners that modulate local and systemic mechanisms in plants to offer defense under adverse external conditions. Plant– microbe interactions comprise complex mechanisms within the plant cellular system. Biochemical, molecular and physiological studies are paving the way in understanding the complex but integrated cellular processes. Under the continuous pressure of increasing climatic alterations, it now becomes more imperative to define and interpret plant–microbe relationships in terms of protection against abiotic stresses. At the same time, it also becomes essential to generate deeper insights into the stress-mitigating mechanisms in crop plants for their translation in higher productivity. Multi-omics approaches comprising genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics integrate studies on the interaction of plants with microbes and their external environment and generate multi-layered information that can answer what is happening in real-time within the cells. Integration, analysis and decipherization of the big-data can lead to a massive outcome that has significant chance for implementation in the fields. This review summarizes abiotic stresses responses in plants in-terms of biochemical and molecular mechanisms followed by the microbe-mediated stress mitigation phenomenon. We describe the role of multi-omics approaches in generating multi-pronged information to provide a better understanding of plant–microbe interactions that modulate cellular mechanisms in plants under extreme external conditions and help to optimize abiotic stresses. Vigilant amalgamation of these high-throughput approaches supports a higher level of knowledge generation about root-level mechanisms involved in the alleviation of abiotic stresses in organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPrint publication - 9 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Abiotic stress
  • Genomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbes
  • Multi-omics
  • Plant–microbe interactions


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