Current issue: 56(4)
Abiotic stress is one of the major factors in reducing plant growth, development, and yield production by interfering with various physiological, biochemical, and molecular functions. In particular, abiotic stress such as salt, low temperature, heat, drought, UV-radiation, elevated CO2, ozone, and heavy metals stress is the most frequent study in Betula platyphylla Sukaczev. Betula platyphylla is one of the most valuable tree species in East Asia facing abiotic stress during its life cycle. Using transgenic plants is a powerful tool to increase the B. platyphylla abiotic stress tolerance. Generally, abiotic stress reduces leaves water content, plant height, fresh and dry weight, and enhances shed leaves as well. In the physiological aspect, salt, heavy metal, and osmotic stress disturbs seed germination, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content, and photosynthesis. In the biochemical aspect, salt, drought, cold, heat, osmotic, UV-B radiation, and heavy metal stress increases the ROS production of B. platyphylla cells, resulting in the enhancement of enzymatic antioxidant (SOD and POD) and non-enzymatic antioxidant (proline and AsA) to reduce the ROS accumulation. Meanwhile, B. platyphylla upregulates various genes, as well as proteins to participate in abiotic stress tolerance. Based on recent studies, several transcription factors contribute to increasing abiotic stress tolerance in B. platyphylla, including BplMYB46, BpMYB102, BpERF13, BpERF2, BpHOX2, BpHMG6, BpHSP9, BpUVR8, BpBZR1, BplERD15, and BpNACs. These transcription factors bind to different cis-acting elements to upregulate abiotic stress-related genes, resulting in the enhancement of salt, drought, cold, heat, osmotic, UV-B radiation, and heavy metal tolerance. These genes along with phytohormones mitigate the abiotic stress. This review also highlights the candidate genes from another Betulacea family member that might be contributing to increasing B. platyphylla abiotic stress tolerance.