Investigating Abiotic Stress Response Machinery in Plants: The Metabolomic Approach

  • Khalid Anwar
  • Nita Lakra
  • Sneh L. Singla-Pareek
  • Ashwani Pareek


Salinity is one of the major environmental factors which limit the rice production worldwide. Rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the major staple food crops for more than half of the world’s population in addition to one of the most salt-sensitive cereals. It is estimated that one fifth of the irrigated agriculture land is already affected by high soil salinity, which warrants innovations for the agricultural production in marginal saline lands. To overcome lower productivity, it is important to study the compounds which are the “by-products” of stress metabolism, stress signal transduction, or the molecules that are part of the acclimation response in crop plants. In this regard, “metabolomics” – the study of metabolites – may contribute significantly toward improving our understanding of the salinity stress response in plants. In the present chapter, we describe various targeted and nontargeted approaches as they have been used for the study of metabolites in various plant species in response to various abiotic stresses. One of the major conclusions, which can be drawn based on these studies, is that a large subset of sugars and amino acids are upregulated during salinity stress with a decrease in the levels of various organic acids. Under salinity stress, maintenance of cellular osmoticum by accumulation of a range of osmolytes seems to be a universal response in plants. We propose that the outcome of metabolomic studies in conjunction with other omics-based studies may pave way for dissecting out the complex traits such as salinity tolerance.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Drought Stress Salinity Stress Metabolite Profile Glycine Betaine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry


Fourier transform infrared


Gas chromatography mass spectrometry


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Reactive oxygen species



Financial support received from Department of Biotechnology and UPOE-II funds from JNU are thankfully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khalid Anwar
    • 1
  • Nita Lakra
    • 1
  • Sneh L. Singla-Pareek
    • 2
  • Ashwani Pareek
    • 1
  1. 1.Stress Physiology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, School of Life SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Plant Stress BiologyInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyNew DelhiIndia

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