Submitted to: Proceedings on Sustainable Crop Production in the Acid Savannahs
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 7, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Over the past 10 years, research programs in a number of laboratories around the world have been initiated that are addressing the issue of acid soil-related limitations to crop productivity. Many of these programs have focused on the basic biology of aluminum toxicity and tolerance. The attention on fundamental mechanisms of aluminum tolerance has resulted in some significant progress in the identification of the underlying processe certain crop plant genotypes employ to tolerate toxic levels of Al3+ in acid soils. These findings will immediately be of assistance to plant breeders developing more Al tolerant genotypes. Furthermore, as we gain a better understanding of Al tolerance mechanisms in crops, this will greatly assist molecular efforts aimed at cloning Al tolerance genes. The development of crops with increased Al tolerance is an important component of an overall acid soil management strategy (which includes agronomic practices such as the careful use of N fertilizers and soil amendments to ameliorate soil acidity) that will increase crop productivity on acid soils and also minimize further soil acidification. This paper will review our current understanding of aluminum tolerance mechanisms in crop plants.