Omics Technologies in Unraveling Plant Stress Responses; Using Sorghum as a Model Crop, How Far Have We Gone?
Owe to sedentary and sessile nature of plants, they require efficient innate mechanisms that will allow them to adapt to various sudden environmental changes that pose harmful conditions. Moreover, as animals; more importantly human survival on earth depends largely on plants survival, there is therefore an immense pressure for production of agricultural crops with higher yields and adaptive strategies to environmental stresses. There is therefore need to focus attention to more effective and efficient means that will provide applicable information to improve plants adaptation mechanisms towards their survival in this era of uncertain climatic change. The whole genome sequencing of cereal crops such as maize, rice, wheat, barley, sorghum genomes together with the use of omics approaches such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics have created a platform for further research in establishing networks of interaction between genes, proteins and metabolites that are involved in stress response mechanisms. This review thus highlights these omics approaches employed in understanding potential roles of these signaling molecules and metabolic pathways using Sorghum; a naturally stress tolerant crop as a model, towards optimum development and/or improvement of other economic crops that are often susceptible to diverse environmental stresses.