I have strong memories of hypoglycemia anxiety from my early days of living with Type 1 diabetes.
I counsel people with Type 1 diabetes, and one of the most stressful parts of diabetes for many people is the experience of being hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia anxiety can diminish their quality of life, and often results in an ongoing elevated blood glucose level that causes other health issues. Anxiety becomes problematic when we overestimate the dangers that surround us, and underestimate our ability to cope.  We can reduce anxiety by developing a more realistic perception of the dangers we face, and of our ability to cope with them. I have had many patients describe feeling “low” when their blood glucose readings are actually in the normal range.  Many believe this is because they are on their way to a low and will just keep dropping.
For those with high levels of anxiety, it can be helpful to develop a hierarchy (list) of fears.
The nursing student starts to look at factual evidence to challenge her belief she will go low and die. If you are struggling with anxiety, or someone you care about who has diabetes is struggling with anxiety, maybe you can try some of the techniques described here. If your hypoglycaemia anxiety is so high that these ideas seem out of reach for you, then please consider accessing professional support. Michelle Sorensen is a member of the Ontario College of Psychologists and has a private practice in Clinical Psychology in Ottawa. Having had T1D for 64 years and literally thousands of lows i was not anxious about having them.
The Diabetes Media Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit media organization devoted to informing, educating, and generating community around living a healthy life with diabetes. Normal blood sugar levels chart for adults, This simple chart shows target blood sugar levels for before and after meals, after fasting, before exercise, and at bedtime, as well as an a1c target.. When your “normal” blood sugar isn’t normal (part 1), In the next two articles we’re going to discuss the concept of “normal” blood sugar. Blood glucose levels : testing and normal range, A blood glucose test measures the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood. Blood sugar levels and diabetes – bootswebmd – health, Blood glucose levels, often called blood sugar levels, are an important part of checking that diabetes is well managed. Governments here and abroad have been cautioning the public for decades on the dangers of high fat diets.
One of the problems is that there is consistent inverse association in the percentage of energy coming from fats and sugars.
That's no surprise as previous studies such as a two-year dietary study published in the journal Diabetologia showed that food with a lot of fat and few carbohydrates has a better effect on blood sugar levels and blood lipids. Research from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem shows that a carefully scheduled high-fat diet can lead to a reduction in body weight and a unique metabolism in which ingested fats are not stored, but rather used for energy at times when no food is available.
Professor David Lawrence, an expert in nutrition and obesity data analysis, said recently in the journal BMC Medicine that the idea the idea of all calories being equal is flawed and based 'on an outdated understanding of the science'.
Calories from different sources have different effects on the body, with calories from carbohydrates more likely to encourage weight gain. Calories from different sources have different effects on the body, with calories from carbohydrates more likely to encourage weight gain. Not only is the calorie theory under attack, but evidence is also emerging to show that lowering fat might not cut heart-disease risk after all. A major study published in the authoritative New England Journal of Medicine compared the clinical benefits of a conventional low-fat diet with two types of Mediterranean diet, which are naturally considerably higher in fat. The study had to be stopped early because the heart attack and stroke rate in the Mediterranean options was so much lower it was deemed irresponsible to keep patients on the conventional diet. A study led by Cara Ebbeling, PhD, associate director and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children's Hospital, found diets that reduce the surge in blood sugar after a meal--either low-glycemic index or very-low carbohydrate-may be preferable to a low-fat diet for those trying to achieve lasting weight loss. Weight re-gain is often attributed to a decline in motivation or adherence to diet and exercise, but biology also plays an important role. The study suggests that a low-glycemic load diet is more effective than conventional approaches at burning calories (and keeping energy expenditure) at a higher rate after weight loss.
Faced with mounting evidence, Swedish dietary experts recently made a dramatic U-turn, recommending a low-carb, rather than low-fat, diet for weight loss. The bombshell came from the Council on Health Technology Assessment, which advises the Swedish government.
The most important of these hormones, and the one that's crucial for weight loss, is insulin.
A low-carb and high-fat diet means less insulin, making it easier to lose weight because less fat is then stored. Dramatic new evidence for this has come from a unique experiment conducted by a personal trainer. Now, according to the conventional wisdom, the weight gain would be the same on both regimens. Sam, who survived childhood cancer (Hodgkin's lymphoma), wondered if his usual low-carb diet was the key, and set about his experiment to find out. For the low-carb, high-fat part of the experiment, Sam got his 5,000 calories from foods such as eggs, mackerel (which is very fatty), steak, green veg and coconut oil, interspersed with three snacks of nuts - walnuts, pecans or almonds (which are naturally high in fat). While 72 percent of his total calorie intake came from fats, 22 percent came from protein and just 5.9 percent from carbs. With the high-carb diet, most of his calories (63 percent) came from carbohydrates, 13 percent from protein, and 22 percent from fat. He ate garlic bread, low-fat lasagna, crumpets, low-fat yogurts and rice pudding, chocolate muffins and wholewheat bread. Admittedly the types of fat on his high-fat diet weren't your usual fatty foods, such as cream and butter.
While Sam's experiment was by no means a scientific one, as well as the weight gain, what was even more striking was what an unhealthy effect the high carbohydrate regimen had on standard markers for heart health.
For when Sam had his blood tested after his three weeks on high carbs, 'the diet effectively gave him metabolic syndrome which is a precursor to heart disease and diabetes. Particularly worrying was that his triglycerides (fats in his blood) had gone up four times, while his so-called 'good' (HDL) cholesterol had dropped. What's more, a level of inflammation in his liver had doubled, which is also linked with diabetes and heart disease. Did the fact that, as a personal trainer, Sam was obviously very fit at the start of his trial make a difference?
Research has already shown that if you are eating a high-carb diet, and so have high levels of insulin, you are likely to have more fat in your blood than someone on a high-fat diet.
He argues that - as seen with Sam - a high-carb diet tends to lower the good HDL cholesterol that helps keep arteries clear. At the same time, as glucose from carbs is turned into fat for storage in the body, fatty acids are also produced.
Recent research supports the idea that warning about saturated fat in the diet has probably been a mistake. Demonizing fat and encouraging people to eat more carbs can be harmful to people with heart disease, says Dr Malhotra. Those eating low-carb these days are much more flexible about the amount of fat they get. Western governments have yet to acknowledge the Swedish style U-turn in healthy eating advice. We are spending billions trying to cope with metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and obesity and the emphasis on low-fat diets is only promoting the metabolic pathways which encourage these diseases.
The bottom line is to commit to educating yourself on the healthiest nutritional strategies for your health and not follow any recommendations by government, unless perhaps if you live in Sweden.
Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. Grand mal seizures or tonic-clonic seizures, according to MayoClinic website, is characterized by a sudden loss of consciousness and followed by severe involuntary muscle contractions. Grand Mal Seizures occur due to a generalized, abnormal electrical activity, and unregulated impulses throughout the whole brain. Hypoglycemia is the condition wherein there is a sudden drop in the blood glucose levels, which can be caused by several factors, such as too high insulin dose, fasting, and many more.
During hypoglycemia, sudden drop of blood glucose levels can have bad effects to the brain. Science, Technology and Medicine open access publisher.Publish, read and share novel research. Water Stress and AgricultureSonia Marli Zingaretti1, Marielle Cascaes Inacio2, Livia de Matos Pereira2, Tiago Antunes Paz2 and Suzelei de Castro Franca1[1] Universidade de Ribeirao Preto, Brazil[2] Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil1. Patients in my practice with very high blood glucose levels have learned to look at the evidence and develop more balanced thoughts about the likelihood of a dangerous low.
This allowed her to keep her BG levels in a normal range for longer periods of time, without giving in to the impulse to snack and boost them higher to get rid of the hypoglycemia anxiety she felt. This can be helpful when patients are becoming accustomed to a healthier range of blood glucose levels after having lived with higher readings due to the fear of hypoglycemia. For example, take some deep breaths every time you sit down to eat a meal or to catch up on email. I have met patients who have underlying worries about the long-term effects of their high blood sugar, but it just never seems like the right time to change their way of coping.
Start with the most intense sources of anxiety at the top of the list and the least feared situations, events or people at the bottom.  Work your way up the list gradually, gathering evidence about your ability to confront yours fears until you are able to tackle the most intense ones on the list. Of course, all of these techniques need to be used in conjunction with support from family and health care professionals.
It is a good idea to speak to your diabetes educator or endocrinologist for support and possibly referral information. My simple advice would always be avoid panic, keep packets of sugar with you always, take medicine and meals regularly, regular exercise and visit a doc monthly or quarterly.
I experienced this anxiety when first diagnosed (at 32 of T1D) partly because I had seen my mother (also T1D) have low blood sugars at a young age, when I didn’t really understand what was happening.
I could have used that a few years ago ?? I really appreciate the frankness of the article, thank you! Now that i am older i get very anxious after them for an hour or so but understanding what is happening to your body helps. Research published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition shows why people find it hard to follow government guidelines to cut their fat and sugar intake at the same time -- a phenomenon known as the sugar-fat seesaw.
Despite the increased fat intake with a larger portion of saturated fatty acids, their lipoproteins did not get worse. Furthermore, the study found that the low-glycemic index diet had similar metabolic benefits to the very low-carb diet without negative effects of stress and inflammation as seen by participants consuming the very low-carb diet. After weight loss, the rate at which people burn calories (known as energy expenditure) decreases, reflecting slower metabolism. Based on a review of 16,000 studies, it said the best sorts of food for losing weight were high fat foods which could include anything oils like olive and coconut.


A high-carb diet increases the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, which in turn means you produce more insulin. For three weeks he got these calories from a low-fat, high-carb diet; for another three, he ate more fat and cut right back on carbs.
I've personally been on many of these public policy and procurement programs investing hundreds of hours of my time trying to convince officials that food pyramids have to be thrown out the window along with many recommended foods they hold praise to. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany. Tonic clonic seizures are usually associated with epilepsy, however, there are instances that people who are not epileptic can experience from a single attack of  generalized seizures during their lifetime. As blood glucose levels rapidly drop, brain cells and different organs in the body are deprived with ATP, the energy source of all cellular functions in the body.
IntroductionClimate changes and water availability cause an important impact in agriculture, food disposal and consequently in human health. If they note that accurate carbohydrate counting and insulin dosing keeps them in safe range, coupled with testing BG regularly and carrying sources of sugar for lows, then they become more willing to gradually reduce their blood glucose levels.
You can use imagery to imagine feared events beforehand, and prepare yourself to confront them by using cognitive restructuring or relaxation methods. Unfortunately, I cannot tell her that I know for sure she is wrong.  But I can suggest we explore her underlying assumptions and figure out if this belief is very realistic.
It is important to develop confidence in her ability to cope with hypoglycemia… yes, it is best to prevent lows when possible, but she can treat the lows quickly and recover from them.
If you choose to see a psychologist or social worker, I recommend someone who practices CBT, which is an evidence-based clinical approach. That pervaded into my own experience and my coping mechanism in my school life was to keep my sugars a bit higher than they should have been.
Enjoyed the article but T1D is different for each person, take the time to understand what is happening to your body, it do s help with anxiaty.
You'll still see this on most food pyramids regulated by government policy on diet and nutrition. Lower energy expenditure adds to the difficulty of weight maintenance and helps explain why people tend to re-gain lost weight. I was really surprised that the damaging changes had happened so quickly," stated Dr. All content on this site may be copied, without permission, whether reproduced digitally or in print, provided copyright, reference and source information are intact and use is strictly for not-for-profit purposes. For people who are suffering from frequent seizures, daily doses of anti-seizure medications may be prescribed to help in controlling severity and the occurrence of seizures.
During hypoglycemia, the brain’s supply of glucose is decreased, which can cause dizziness, fatigue, sudden weakness, headaches, shorter attention span, confusion, changes in the mental function, and worst, it can cause seizures and coma. This can be done in conversation with a therapist or by writing down negative thoughts and challenging the thoughts using thought records (see Mind over Mood by Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger for a patient’s guide to cognitive behavioral therapy).
I work on gathering evidence to develop new, more balanced beliefs with patients who are overcome with anxiety about hypoglycemia. I have seen patients reduce their levels of anxiety and greatly improve their quality of life.  It is absolutely worth the effort.
When the body is exposed to a high-carb low-fat meal, the pancreas works hard at overshooting the secretion of insulin which then causes the excess to be stored as fat. Generalized convulsive seizures may be life-threatening when it occurs in certain situations, since it can cause sudden loss of consciousness.
Brain is one of the first organs that can be affected with low levels of glucose, since the brain has only a limited glucose reserve.
Census Bureau, the total population of the World is now over 7,032 billion, and all growth projections for developed and undeveloped countries show that a total of 9 million of inhabitants will be reached before 2050. I don’t care about using another test strip it if means my blood sugars are better controlled! However, most people suffering from it can feel an aura that they can recognize for an impending seizure attack. Diabetics who are taking daily insulin shots or other diabetic medications should be cautious, since they are at higher risk for grand mal seizures. How agriculture will move on to guarantee continuous provision of food for all inhabitants of the planet?
The fact is, contrary to official advice by our diet dictocrats, high-fat diets lower blood sugar, improve blood lipids, and reduce obesity.
As a consequence of the population growth the scenario has changed and an increase of urban areas has occurred in the last decades.
From the 50th?s urban population increased from 4 to 11% in Africa, 33 to 52% in Asia, 9 to13% in Latin America, and decreased from 38 to 15% in Europe, from 15 to 6% in Northern America. Croplands are not expanding in the same rate as population in the last half a century and salinity and desertification have also contributed to the fact that less useful areas remain proper for agriculture. According to FAO about 12% of globe?s land surface is used for crop production and most of remaining world agricultural land are covered by forest and protect by environmental laws. Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo retain 90% of accessible agricultural land [1]. In other words their effects on agriculture will induce changes in production and prices, altering economic system, crop mix, production, food demand and consumption. Unfortunately those changes are already occurring and the projections on annual mean temperature for the next 20 to 30 years point to great economic losses due to decline in productivity for cereals like maize, wheat and rice as well. It is well known that most of our important crops will decrease yield with temperature above 30°C, as they growth faster in high temperature they have less time to accumulate carbohydrates, proteins and oil. Increasing temperature will perhaps make some areas available for agriculture, but will it be enough to replace the areas that will certainly be lost? Recently, it was discussed the physical and economic consequences of climate changes considering temperature rising in Europe over four different factors such as agriculture, river floods, coastal systems and tourism [3]. Yield change (%) would affect Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria) more than any other region with temperature increase. Northern Europe (Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) instead would benefit from positive yield changes.
River floods are natural disasters anywhere it happens, resulting in very large economic losses due to properties and agriculture damage. As a consequence of increasing temperature river floods would affect 250,000-400,000 additional people in Europe in the 2080s, specially Western Europe, British Isle and Central Europe regions. According to bed night’s percentage measures the effects will be a decrease in Southern Europe and an increase in all other areas such as Central and Northern Europe.
But not only temperature would have importance to agriculture, fluctuation in seasonal precipitation is also extremely relevant and as well as increasing evaporation rates [3].
The effects of climate change on rainfed and irrigated crops for developing and developed countries were also discussed [2]. Percentage change in yield for irrigated and rainfed crops like maize, rice and wheat were analyzed using Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop-simulation model with and without CO2 fertilization in 2050 scenario. The observed effects on rainfed were attributed to changes in temperature and precipitation index, while for irrigated areas the effects were only related to temperature variation. In general, yields in developed countries were less affected than those in developing countries, where for most crops without CO2 fertilization the yield declines. The stress imposed by climate changes on agriculture will certainly intensify the disparities among regions.
Nevertheless, prices for major grain crops like rice, wheat, maize and soybean will increase up to 60 to 70 %, over the next few years, even without climate changes.
Bearing in mind the predicted weather changes an additional of 32 to 37% for rice, 52 to 55% for maize, 94 to 111% for wheat and 11 to 14% for soybean can be expected [2].
Physiological aspects of water stress It is well known that plant growth and development can be affected by abiotic agents such as salinity, high temperatures, radiation, flood and water deficit. Exacerbate action of those environmental conditions can led to great losses in productivity due to crop stress. When subjected to water deficit plants go through a cascade of metabolic alterations started with reduction in photosynthetic pigments concentration. Photosynthetic responses One of the significant alterations responsible for reduction in crop productivity is low photosynthetic ability.
The water stress may cause decrease in CO2 assimilation in the leaves, the amount of ATP and the level of ribulose bisphosphate [5-8].
Stomatal closure limiting diffusion through stomata and mesophyll is one of the first events in plants response under water deficit situation with consequent increase of the Rubisco enzyme, responsible for CO2 fixation, e in order to overcome the low conductance [9-13].
However, some species (Gossypium barbadense, Hypericum balearicum) show, instead, a decrease in Rubisco activity [13-15]. Furthermore the decrease in CO2 concentration will induce a reduction in the dynamic of the carboxylation process [8]. The electron transport in thylakoids and the use of trioses phosphates are also reduced in the stress biochemical control therefore, the net photosynthetic rate tends to be lower. It has been proved that in plants subjected to water stress the photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) and quantum generation is reduced [6, 15-17]. Alterations in the level of photosynthetic pigment were also detected in water stressed plants; showing reduced or even no pigmentation.
Both chlorophyll a and b declines in stressed plants and this directly affect plant biomass production.
The reduction of photosynthetic pigments will drive a cut down in energy consumption and carbon demand for chlorophyll synthesis [8, 11, 17, 18]. Other pigments such as carotenoids, which play essential role in the antioxidant defense system under stress conditions, can function as an accessory pigment for photosynthesis although, their concentration can also be reduced as part of plant response [8, 17, 19, 20]. Sugar and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) protection Changes in the content of carbohydrates such as sucrose and raffinose, together with the unbalanced of plant hormones function as a signal that plant response to stress should be initiated [21].
Raffinose has been correlated to a plant tolerance to desiccation, possibly involved in the protection against ROS that are responsible for loss of membrane integrity and cellular death [22, 23].
Hormonal regulationIt is well known that hormones play a special role in plant reaction to water stress conditions.
Plants exposed to drought substantially increase the level of ABA in shoots and roots [24-26], and the ABA positive regulators induce plant response as G protein activation, ROS production, increase in cytosolic Ca2+, protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation events and immediate stomatal closure [27, 28].
Actually the balance of positive and negative ABA regulators actions command the resistance or sensitivity to water scarcity situation. However, the regulation of stomatal closure occurs not only due the action of ABA, but by the integrated hormonal balance between ABA, Auxin (Ax) and Cytokinin (Ck) [21]. The high concentration of ABA possibly prevents excessive accumulation of ethylene (ET), thus indirectly maintaining the growth of roots and shoots [31, 32].ABA seems to be also involved in remobilize carbon to accelerate grains filling in rice and wheat [29, 30, 33].
The ABA increased level also induce ROS production and in order to prevent the oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR) are immediately activated [34, 35]. The importance of regulating ABA contents as a stress signaling was also observed in rice leaves when, after a water stress period, plants were rehydrated; decreasing ABA content occurred a reduction on ROS, CAT and SOD [36]. Wheat and maize plants submitted to a moderate water deficit exhibit an increase in ET concentration [27, 37] that would be partly responsible for decreasing growth rates.


In contrast for beans, cotton and miniature rose it has been shown that the rate of ethylene production is not affected during progressive drought [27]. ET is also involved in ROS production and antioxidant enzymes synthesis [23].Cytokinins are generally involved in root and shoot development, but it has been shown an increased cytokinin concentration in leaves, from roots translocation, in plants submitted to water deficit [24, 29, 38].
Bentgrass transgenic plants expressing the enzyme adenine isopentenyl phosphotransferase for Ck synthesis ligated to a senescence-activated promoter (SAG12), resulted in increases in Ck accumulation in the leaves and roots and in the overall plant tolerance to water stress [39].The gibberellins (GA), Ax and brassinosteroids (BR) do not seem to have a direct involvement with water stress, however, the accumulation of GA in some dicots has been reported and also the BR along with ABA regulate the development and function of stomata [27].
In contrast in monocots such as maize, there is a decrease in the levels of GA in leaves [25, 27]. The Ax content in plants seems to decrease in roots and leaves under stress, but the importance of auxin in water stress response remains inconclusive [24, 25, 27, 40].
In citrus plants, for example, drought causes an increase of JA concentration in roots with subsequent increase in the concentration of ABA. One can conclude that JA is possibly the precursor in the signal transduction cascade in case of drought stress, providing increased levels of ABA which, in turn, induce later responses [41]. Morphological and anatomical modificationsAll the known morphological changes that occur in plants under water deficit can be associated to hormone actions.
The increase of apoplastic pH in the elongation of leaf area could be the responsible for the foliar reduction [44].
Although in the oxidative stress the production of hydrogen peroxide seems to be higher in C3 plants, the C4 plants are much more sensitive to water stress mainly due to stomatal closure and non-stomatal factors such as decreased activity of photosynthesis enzymes, the induction of premature senescence and changes in leaf anatomy [48-50].3. Protective role of secondary metabolites in the plant response and tolerance to water stressPlant defense response and tolerance to drought and salinity involves the perception of signal stress by receptors at the membrane level followed by signaling transduction in the cell, inducting a multiplicity of biochemical mechanisms involved in the protective role of secondary metabolites. Water stress reduces plant growth, so the carbon fixed during photosynthesis could be used to form secondary metabolites as established in several studies. Restrictions of water supply to plant bring about the production of a complex variety of secondary metabolites which level can be modulated through biochemical and genetic manipulation. Water stress induce the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), resulting in oxidative stress in the plant cells.
Volatile isoprenoids accumulated in Hevea brasiliensis were thought to be involved in scavenging ROS and potentially in protecting this species against oxidative stress [51]. Similarly, drought stress markedly enhanced the total concentrations of monoterpenes and resin acids in the main stem wood of Scots Pine and Norway Spruce Seedlings [52]. Results of investigations conducted on the effect of water deficit imposed to potted Prunella vulgaris L. Drought also caused increased accumulation of phenolic compounds (ferulic acid) in the leaves of triticale seedlings [54] and enhancement of total phenolic contents of Trachyspermum ammi leaves [55].
The major PAs occurring in plant cells are the diamine putrescine (PUT), triamine spermidine (SPD) and tetramine spermine (SPM). Among the important roles attributed to those plant polyamines are: membrane stabilization and free radicals scavenger action.
Polyamine mediated regulation of the water deficit stress response of soybean seedlings was investigated using exogenous applications of polyamines and their biosynthetic inhibitors.
The exogenous supply of PUT, SPD and SPM to soybean seedlings resulted in reduction of the stress injury in roots which showed increased length and water content over non-treated stressed controls.
Moreover, up to 40% increase of shoot growth was observed in seedlings supplemented PUT, SPD and SPM in comparison with controls. In contrast, in the presence of polyamines inhibitors the stress injury intensified, growth was severely inhibited, and water content of roots was significantly decreased.
Overall results suggested that polyamines are potentially useful to overcome the detrimental effects of drought [56].Water stress is also known to increase the secondary metabolite production in a variety of medicinal plants.
Increase of hypericin and betulinic acid levels upon Hypericum brasiliense Choisy exposure to drought represents an antioxidant response to ROS production [57, 58].
Artemisia annua plants tolerate well water deficit treatments showing increased accumulation of artemisinin, a potent anti-parasitic drug, as proved in greenhouse experiments.
Pharmacologically active terpene indole alkaloids production is stimulated in Apocynaceae species in response to water deficit.
Comparing Catharanthus roseus drought stress plants with well watered controls it was observed significant enrichment in the antihypertensive drug ajmalicine suggesting that the production of this class of secondary metabolite can be upgraded during drought stress C.
Oilseed crops: Biofuel productionRecently, considerable attention has been given to biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels and the challenge is to find oil bearing plants that produce non-edible oils as the feedstock for biodiesel production. Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) popularly known in Brazil as “pinhao manso” is a drought resistant perennial tree widespread in arid, semi-arid and tropical regions of the world and requires a minimum rainfall of 250 mm [61].
Native grown in marginal and waste lands is one of the potential plant species to be exploited as a new source of oil for biodiesel production. Jatropha represents great promise to the energy economy of developing, as well as developed countries. It has been reported that new and large markets for biodiesel demand are expected to emerge in China, India and Brazil [62]. The Jatropha seed is particularly suitable for biodiesel production because it can be harvested in the third year of plantation five or six times annually.
Quinoa populations display a high degree of genetic distancing, and variable tolerance to salinity. Cultivars of quinoa can be adapted to growth from sea level to an altitude of 4,000 m, from 40°S to 2°N latitude, and from the cold highland climate to subtropical conditions, i.e. The plasticity of quinoa biochemical response to a wide range of environmental conditions makes it possible to select, adapt, and breed cultivars [67]. Studies have shown that quinoa is a very good source of antioxidants and it can be a substitute for common cereals [68, 69]. The content of total phenolic compounds and the correlated radical scavenging activity of quinoa varieties have been analyzed.
There were significant differences between the varieties and the content of total polyphenols [70]. CottonPolyphenols and carotenoids compounds with reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging ability biosynthesized in drought tolerance Cotton genotypes were correlated to the drought tolerance of this important crop [71].4.
What have been done?In order to cope with the major environmental problems that affect crops such as drought, salinity, cold and heat shock, genetic engineering and breeding techniques have become fundamental tools, as they have been for decades regarding biotic stresses, pests and diseases resistance. Breeding cropsConsidering all climate changes that the planet is going through it is vital the development of crops with high efficiency in water recovery and consequently tolerance to water stress, higher temperatures, salinity and desertification. Over the past 50 years genetic improvement have been carried out empirically, however, this type of traditional selection has not presented significant efficiency in terms of productivity, requiring the support of indirect selection [73]. The selection of genotypes with promising agronomic characteristics and tolerant to abiotic stresses demands successive seasonal evaluations of field cultures conducted in different locations, and under influence of stress agents, requesting arduous and extensive work.Furthermore, it is important to highlight that the low heritability of complex traits have limited the development of tolerant cultivars due to significant G x E interaction and the QTL-by-environment interaction (QTL x E), and the trivial understanding of the physiological parameters related to the genetic yield potential in dry environments [73].
Which genes are involved in plant responses?Lately, much has been done to identify and isolate drought-induced genes in order to investigate the role those gene products play and the paths for induction of those genes [75, 76]. Gene expression in response to water stress can enhance the plant's ability to respond appropriately to the deleterious effect of drought, stimulating its aptitude to survive desertification [77].
However, the expression patterns of those genes are complex, with some genes responding very quickly to water deficit while others answer very slowly after the accumulation of ABA (abscisic acid) [80].The differential gene expression analysis of two sugar cane cultivars, tolerant and sensitive to drought, showed that the number of genes expressed in the sensitive cultivar increased with the severity of the drought.
Comparing the gene expression profiles 91 common genes were found among both cultivars, most of them drought-induced genes that are still unknown. Moreover, genes of important pathways related to drought stress were suppressed in sensitive plants. It was evidenced that plants submitted to the same water conditions responded differently to stress.
Morphological changes occurred, but some genes may represent the difference between tolerance and sensitivity, as the S-adenosylmethionein decarboxylase (SAMDC) and induced cinnamoyl-CoA reductase (CCR) in resistant cultivars or lipid transfer protein that have been repressed, as well as other genes [81].The expression of some sugarcane water-stress related genes and their association with sucrose accumulation was also investigated and a group of stress-induced genes that could be associated with sucrose accumulation were identified, showing that genes associated with the synthesis of proline are associated with stress and sucrose accumulation.
Stress-related transcription factors and sugar transporter also play a role in sucrose accumulation [82].For better understanding the processes and genes involved in water deficit tolerance it is required a full knowledge of the molecular principles that regulate plant responses to stress conditions. Thus, studies with model plants stand for and will continue to represent a relevant strategy for the elucidation of signaling and transcription processes using molecular genetics techniques [79, 83].Genes isolated from several cultured species have been the focus of researches using gene expression in model plants with the objective of elucidating their direct effect on abiotic stress tolerance. Genetic transformation of plants in order to increase resistance is often based on the manipulation of genes to preserve the function and structure of cellular components [84]. In this context, the genetic engineering techniques for pest and herbicide resistance differ from the procedures for abiotic stress tolerance, since the first is a monogenic trait, more easily manipulated.
In contrast, tolerance to environmental stresses may associate more than one of the genes involved in different signaling pathways.The expression of SPCP2 that encodes the putative papain-like cysteine protease isolated from senescent leaves of sweet potato has been studied in transgenic Arabidopsis plants subjected to stress conditions and has shown very interesting results. Firstly, changes in phenotypic characteristics were noted, such as alterations in the development of seeds and silique resulting in greater incompatibility and lower production and seed germination. Furthermore, SPCP2 gene expression caused early transition from vegetative to reproductive stage and foliar senescence, indicating that the gene is associated with senescence. Results also indicated that the gene expression was induced by darkness, ethephon, abiscisc acid (ABA) and jasmonic acid (JA).
Transgenic sugarcane plants overexpressing heterologous P5CS genes, responsible for the production of proline a protein commonly induced under stress conditions, revealed tolerance to severe water deficit, not as a mediator of osmotic adjustment, but as a component of the antioxidant defense system [89].In the same way, after detecting the up-regulated expression of two maize putatives PIS in response to drought, one of them, the ZmPIS gene was over-expressed in tobacco plants showing to enhance drought tolerance, since it increased the membrane integrity and decreased the solute loss. The PIS gene is involved on the synthesis of phosphatidylinositol, an important lipid that functions as a key membrane constituent [90]. Remarkable results were observed with the Arabidopsis vacuolar pyrophosphatase gene (AVP1) over-expressed in cotton, which improved drought and salt tolerance in greenhouse conditions, and also increased fiber yield in dry land field conditions.
Transcriptional factors genesTranscription factors (TFs) have been extensively studied and have shown to be important in the regulation of stress tolerance in plants. The TFs are proteins that play a role in physiological and biological processes such as growth, development and responses to environmental stresses acting as key regulators involved in early stages of expression, gene regulation, signal transduction [92].The TF MYB15, a member of the Arabidopsis R2R3 MYB family showed interesting results in studies carried out with Arabidopsis transgenic plants over-expressing the gene. It was found that the MYB15 positively regulated tolerance to drought and salinity, inversely to what was observed in studies of freezing tolerance.
Furthermore, the MYB15 gene was found to be induced by treatment with ABA and salinity and drought conditions [83].In Oriza sativa [93] reported that the gene TSRF1 TF, a protein ERF (ethylene-responsive factor), when overexpressed increased drought and osmotic tolerance of transgenic rice plants, without affecting plant development. It also increased the sensitivity to ABA treatment, increased the content of proline and soluble sugars and the expression of genes related to responses to stress and photosynthesis. Curiously, in previous studies, the authors observed that TSRF1 increased resistance to pathogens in tomato and tobacco plants, but reduced osmotic tolerance in tobacco.The sodERF3 another sugarcane TF, was also characterized, after in silico analyses of sugarcane cDNA sequence and the similarity of its 201 aa encoded proteins of the superfamily of ERF transcription factors was confirmed. A bioassay revealed that transgenic tobacco plants expressing the gene sodERF3 showed to be tolerant to drought and osmotic stress. Furthermore, the gene expression was induced by salinity, desertification and treatments with salicylic acid (AS), ethylene (ET), JA and ABA. Thus, it is possible to assume that the GmERF3 transcription factor plays a role in the responses to biotic and abiotic stresses [95].It is evident the relevance of studying and elucidating the role of genes putatively related to water stress tolerance. Genetic modified crops using genetic engineering Currently private companies have invested heavily in biotechnological programs for liberation of cultivars tolerant to insects, herbicides and drought.
GMOs have been commercially cultivated since the 90’s, tolerance to herbicides and insects are the main features of GM crops, including maize, soybean, cotton, canola, rice, tomato, etc.
Some crops that has been transformed using genetic engineering technology to receive genes which metabolic function are related to water stress response are listed in Table 1.
Genes involved in osmoprotection, ABA responsive elements and Transcription factors have been used to generate more resistant plants.



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