Improving drought and salinity tolerance in wheat

Faïçal Brini, Inès Yakoubi, Habib Khoudi, Moez Hanin, Khaled Masmoudi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Drought and salinity are major constraints on crop production and food security, and adversely affect entire countries over several years and result in serious social, economic, and environmental cost. Wheat production in the Mediterranean region is limited mainly by the availability of water resources. Water-deficit stress caused by drought and soil salinization adversely affects plant growth and crop productivity. This situation is compounded firstly by the predicted change in climate with increased temperatures and decreased precipitation as a result of global warming and secondly by the narrowness of genetic diversity of modern wheat cultivars due to domestication, selection and conventional breeding programs that minimizes plant tolerance to such stresses. The challenge of the majority of breeding programs, which are in continuous profit from the development of biotechnology, genetic engineering and genomic-based approaches, is the release of improved wheat cultivars able to withstand these adverse conditions. The identification of genes that control discrete agronomic traits, the mapping of QTLs (Quantitative Trait Loci) affecting tolerance to drought and salinity in model species and crops are powerful support for the development of functional markers, which will assist selection in the breeding process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWheat
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics, Crops and Food Production
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781612093079
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Drought
  • Functional genomics
  • Genetic engineering
  • Marker-assisted selection
  • QTL
  • Salinity
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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