Plants as sessile organisms are continuously exposed to various stress (abiotic stresses and biotic stresses) that impose numerous detrimental effects and cause tremendous loss of yield. Adverse environmental factors such as drought, extreme temperatures, heavy metals and soil salinity are stressful for many agronomic traits. Each year, stresses on arable plants in different parts of the world disrupt agriculture and food supply with the final consequence. Factors controlling stress conditions alter the normal equilibrium and lead to a series of morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular changes in plants, which adversely affect their growth and productivity. Plants may experience physiological stress when an abiotic factor is excessive or deficient.
Plant growth regulators (PGRs)
PGRs play an important role in modern agriculture and proper application of certain PGRs improves agriculture and thereby benefits the environment. Recently, increasing interest has been developed in utilizing PGRs with multiple functions in agriculture management. PGRs could not only regulate plant growth but also enhance resistance to various environmental stresses. Various agronomic and physiological practices are applied to minimize the adverse effects of drought stress on plant growth. The exogenous application of plant growth regulators has been considered an effective method of enhancing plant drought tolerance during crop production. In natural habitat and field condition, plants live under the influence of multiple stress factors. To increase the productivity in stressful conditions there is a need to raise the crops which are more tolerant to stress. Priming of seeds and pre-sowing treatments are easy, low risk, effective and low cost to overcome the environmental stress problem in harvest plants. Elicitors protect crops from diseases, stress and damage. They are an alternative to conventional pesticides which are often harmful to the consumers, farmers and the environment and for which consumers are increasingly seeking safer alternatives. At lower concentration, the elicitors act as a signal compound and thus provide information for the plants to start the defence. The plants’ primary immune responses are activated by elicitors’ signal transduction mechanism. Elicitors reduce damage from pests, insects, fungi and herbivores. Elicitors reduce environmental hazard as they directly affect the crop plant and in comparison to pesticides these are less toxic to organisms. Elicitors treated plants tolerate lower ecological risks in comparison to genetically modified plants.
Yoganshi Sharma is a PhD Scholar, Dept. of Bioscience and Biotech at Banasthali Vidyapeeth