New approaches to improve crop tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
During the last years, a great effort has been dedicated at the development and employment of diverse approaches for achieving more stress-tolerant and climate-flexible crops and sustainable yield increases to meet the food and energy demands of the future. The ongoing climate change is in fact leading to more frequent extreme events with a negative impact on food production, such as increased temperatures, drought, and soil salinization as well as invasive arthropod pests and diseases. In this review, diverse "green strategies" (e.g., chemical priming, root-associated microorganisms), and advanced technologies (e.g., genome editing, high-throughput phenotyping) are described on the basis of the most recent research evidence. Particularly, attention has been focused on the potential use in a context of sustainable and climate-smart agriculture (the so called "next agriculture generation") to improve plant tolerance and resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses. In addition, the gap between the results obtained in controlled experiments and those from application of these technologies in real field conditions (lab to field step) is also discussed.