Screening for abiotic stress tolerance in rice: Salt, cold, and drought

Diego M. Almeida, M. Cecília Almadanim, Tiago Lourenço, Isabel A. Abreu, Nelson J.M. Saibo, M. Margarida Oliveira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Rice (Oryza sativa) is the primary source of food for more than half of the world population. Most rice varieties are severely injured by abiotic stresses, with strong social and economic impact. Understanding rice responses to stress may help breeding for more tolerant varieties. However, papers dealing with stress experiments often describe very different experimental designs, thus making comparisons difficult. The use of identical setups is the only way to generate comparable data. This chapter is organized into three sections, describing the experimental conditions established at the Genomics of Plant Stress (GPlantS) unit of ITQB to assess the response of rice plants to three different abiotic stresses-high salinity, cold stress, and drought. All sections include a detailed description of the materials and methodology, as well as useful notes gathered from the GPlantS team’s experience. We use rice seedlings as plants at this stage show high sensitivity to abiotic stresses. For the salt and cold stress assays we use hydroponic cultures, while for the drought assay plants are grown in soil and subjected to water withholding. All setups enable visual score determination and are suitable for sample collection along the imposition of stress. The proposed methodologies are simple and affordable to implement in most labs, allowing the discrimination of several rice genotypes at the molecular and phenotypic level.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Abiotic stress
  • Cold stress
  • Drought
  • Hydroponic culture
  • Oryza sativa
  • Rice
  • Salt stress
  • Seedling stage


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