Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 459-474

First online:

Glutathione, photosynthesis and the redox regulation of stress-responsive gene expression

  • Philip M. MullineauxAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Essex Email author 
  • , Thomas RauschAffiliated withHeidelberg Institute of Plant Sciences (HIP), Ruprecht-Karls-University

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The ubiquitous antioxidant thiol tripeptide glutathione is present in millimolar concentrations in plant tissues and is regarded as one of the major determinants of cellular redox homeostasis. Recent research has highlighted a regulatory role for glutathione in influencing the expression of many genes important in plants' responses to both abiotic and biotic stress. Therefore, it becomes important to consider how glutathione levels and its redox state are influenced by environmental factors, how glutathione is integrated into primary metabolism and precisely how it can influence the functioning of signal transduction pathways by modulating cellular redox state. This review draws on a number of recent important observations and papers to present a unified view of how the responsiveness of glutathione to changes in photosynthesis may be one means of linking changes in nuclear gene expression to changes in the plant's external environment.


abiotic stress glutathione pathogens photosynthesis redox regulation of gene expression signalling