Identification and characterisation of sorghum bicolor heme oxygenase-1 (sbho1) gene and its role in conferring biotic and abiotic stress tolerance to plants
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Biotic and abiotic stresses such as herbivore attack, pathogen infection, salinity, drought, cold, heat and UV radiation, are unfavourable conditions that affect plant growth and productivity globally (Fedoroff et al., 2010). Agricultural productivity and food security are severely limited by salinity, drought and temperature. These environmental factors occur as a result of climate change, which is predicted to cause an increase in the occurrence of severe weather and may stimulate increased damage to plants (Zhu, 2016). Pathogen and herbivore attacks caused a 31 - 42 % loss in crop yield and about 6 - 20 % post-harvest loss (Tesfaw & Feyissa, 2014). Estimates have shown that over 50 % loss of crop yield worldwide is as a result of abiotic stresses (Lobell et al., 2011) and their severity would lead to an increase in loss of arable land yearly. Population growth and migration to these arable lands further increases the issue of land desiccation and by 2050, food production will have to be increased by at least 70 % to meet the growing demand for quality, nutritious and sustainable food. Various biotic and abiotic stresses lead to the increased production of reactive oxidative species (ROS) in plants that cause damage to proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, resulting in cell death (Choudhury et al., 2017).