The identification and characterization of differential gene expression from tissues subjected to stress has gained much attention in plant research. The recognition of elements involved in the response to a particular stress enhances the possibility of promoting crop improvement through direct genetic modification. However, the performance of some of the 'first generation' of transgenic plants with the incorporation of a single gene has not always been as expected. These results have stimulated the development of new transgenic constructions introducing more than one gene and capable of modifying complex pathways. Several techniques are available to conduct the analysis of gene regulation, with such information providing the basis for novel constructs specifically designed to modify metabolism. This review deals with techniques that allow the identification and characterization of differentially-expressed genes and the use of molecular pathway information to produce transgenic plants
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