Ivica Djalovic

Leading Speaker for plant biology conference-Ivica Djalovic

Title: Aluminum and drought stress: physiological basis and genetic tools to improve crop resistance

Ivica Djalovic

Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Serbia


Dr Djalovic received his PhD at the University of Novi Sad, and has over 100 articles published in national and international journals. He participated in scientific meetings in the country and abroad. He received several national awards: the prof. dr. Lazar Stojkovic Award granted by Matica Srpska (2010) and the special award October Award of the City of Kraljevo, for outstanding results achieved in scientific research in the field of agriculture (2010). The main focus of his research includes crop rotation, root traits, nutrient uptake and ion toxicity in the soil–plant continuum, crop growth and physiology in stressed environments (drought, soil acidity), breeding crops for adaptation to environments with low nutrient avaliability, etc. 


Aluminium (Al) toxicity and drought stress are the two major constraints for crop production in the world. Aluminium toxicity is a major agronomic problem on acid soils due to increased Al solubility at low pH causing inhibition of root growth. Our understanding of the physiology and genetic basis of resistance to Al3+ (the dominant Al ionic species at low pH) in important crop plants has increased greatly over the past 20 years, largely due to the application of genetics and molecular biology. This review mainly focuses on the interaction of Al and drought regarding root development and crop growth and yield on acid soils. Furthermore, the review summarizes the possible physiological mechanisms and genetic strategies to improve Al resistance with examples from several case studies; it provides novel insights into breeding crops adapted to these combined abiotic stresses. The availability of genes associated with Al resistance provides new tools for QTL analyses and breeding aimed at improving Al resistance of cultivated plants. The better understanding of these mechanisms and strategies is essential for improving plant performance in Al-toxic soils.