Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 32, Issue 7, pp 1043–1052 | Cite as

Plant hormone signaling and modulation of DNA repair under stressful conditions

  • Mattia Donà
  • Anca Macovei
  • Matteo Faè
  • Daniela Carbonera
  • Alma Balestrazzi


The role played by phytohormone signaling in the modulation of DNA repair gene and the resulting effects on plant adaptation to genotoxic stress are poorly investigated. Information has been gathered using the Arabidopsis ABA (abscisic acid) overly sensitive mutant abo4-1, defective in the DNA polymerase ε function that is required for DNA repair and recombination. Similarly, phytohormone-mediated regulation of the Ku genes, encoding the Ku heterodimer protein involved in DNA repair, cell cycle control and telomere homeostasis has been demonstrated, highlighting a scenario in which hormones might affect genome stability by modulating the frequency of homologous recombination, favoring plant adaptation to genotoxic stress. Within this context, the characterisation of Arabidopsis AtKu mutants allowed disclosing novel connections between DNA repair and phytohormone networks. Another intriguing aspect deals with the emerging correlation between plant defense response and the mechanisms responsible for genome stability. There is increasing evidence that systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and homologous recombination share common elements represented by proteins involved in DNA repair and chromatin remodeling. This hypothesis is supported by the finding that volatile compounds, such as methyl salicylate (MeSA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA), participating in the plant-to-plant communication can trigger genome instability in response to genotoxic stress agents. Phytohormone-mediated control of genome stability involves also chromatin remodeling, thus expanding the range of molecular targets. The present review describes the most significant advances in this specific research field, in the attempt to provide a better comprehension of how plant hormones modulate DNA repair proteins as a function of stress.


Abscisic acid Defense response DNA repair Gibberellic acid Homologous recombination Salicylic acid 



Abscisic acid


Apurinic/apyrimidinic site


Arabidopsis thaliana


Base excision repair


Chromatin remodeling complex


Double strand break


Gibberellic acid


Homologous recombination


Homologous recombination frequency


Jasmonic acid


Methyl salicylate


Methyl Jasmonate


Nucleotide excision repair


Nonhomologous end joining


Programmed cell death


Pathogenesis related


Reactive oxygen species


Salicylic acid


Systemic acquired resistance


Systemic recombination signal


Single strand break


Systemic wound signal



This research was supported by Fondo di Ateneo per la Ricerca-University of Pavia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mattia Donà
    • 1
  • Anca Macovei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matteo Faè
    • 1
  • Daniela Carbonera
    • 1
  • Alma Balestrazzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Biotechnology ‘L. Spallanzani’University of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)New DelhiIndia

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