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International Journal of Molecular Sciences







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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Tolerance to abiotic stresses caused by environmental conditions can prevent yield loss in crops for sustaining agricultural productivity [1]. Resistance to biotic stresses caused by diseases and insects can prevent or reduce yield loss in crops [2]. For each crop or plant species, there are many abiotic threats, such as changes in temperature, soil salinity/alkalinity, water shortage, and soil contaminants, as well as biotic challenges from pathogens (bacteria, viruses, and fungi), insects, and nematodes. Plants need to possess genes conferring tolerance to these abiotic stresses to adapt to the changing environment, due to global climate changes, in which they are growing. Due to the coevolution of plants and stress-causing organisms [3], plants need to possess multiple resistance genes to deal with the rise of new virulence in stress-causing organisms. Plant breeders are constantly looking for new resistance genes to combat evolving organisms that pose a threat to susceptible crops. As a result, plant geneticists have identified many resistance genes in various crops, and molecular geneticists have developed molecular markers for most of those genes. Similarly, researchers are investigating plant mechanisms and underlying genetic systems involved in plant tolerance to abiotic stresses, hoping to breed crops resilient to adverse environmental conditions.

With the advent of whole-genome sequencing in many important crops, it is time to map the detailed chromosomal locations of known genes that are involved in tolerance to various abiotic stresses as well as in the resistance to biotic stresses in important plant species. In the Special Issue, "Mapping Abiotic Stress-Tolerance Genes in Plants" of International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21 papers, including two reviews and 19 research articles, were published [4–24]. Eleven research articles [3,25–34] were published in the Special Issue “Mapping Plant Genes that Confer Resistance to Biotic Stress.”

In this editorial, I firstly express my appreciation to all authors for their contribution to the two Special Issues. Secondly, I will compare the chromosomal distribution patterns of genes for the two types of stresses that plants faced (Tables 1 and 2). The evidence obtained supports my long-held hypothesis that genes conferring resistance to biotic stresses are more likely to be located in the distal portion of chromosomes than the proximal portion in order to adapt to the host-pest coevolution. On the other hand, abiotic-stress tolerance genes should have a lower ratio of distal to proximal distribution than that for biotic stresses to maintain the stability of genes regulating plant growth and development. Knowing the relationship between gene functions and their chromosomal distribution patterns, plant breeders can select the most appropriate and efficient method to improve crops for withstanding stresses and ensuring productivity and food security.