Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 91, Issue 6, pp 651–659 | Cite as

The regulatory roles of ethylene and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant salt stress responses

  • Ming Zhang
  • J. Andrew C. SmithEmail author
  • Nicholas P. HarberdEmail author
  • Caifu JiangEmail author


Soil salinity is one of the most commonly encountered environmental stresses affecting plant growth and crop productivity. Accordingly, plants have evolved a variety of morphological, physiological and biochemical strategies that enable them to adapt to saline growth conditions. For example, it has long been known that salinity-stress increases both the production of the gaseous stress hormone ethylene and the in planta accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Recently, there has been significant progress in understanding how the fine-tuning of ethylene biosynthesis and signaling transduction can promote salinity tolerance, and how salinity-induced ROS accumulation also acts as a signal in the mediation of salinity tolerance. Furthermore, recent advances have indicated that ethylene signaling modulates salinity responses largely via regulation of ROS-generating and ROS-scavenging mechanisms. This review focuses on these recent advances in understanding the linked roles of ethylene and ROS in salt tolerance.


Ethylene ROS Salt stress Salt tolerance 



The authors acknowledge financial support from the Chinese Universities Scientific Fund (Grant 2014RC021 to C.J.); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 31470350 to C.J.); and the UK Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (Grant BB/F020759/1 to N.P.H.).

Author contribution

MZ, CJ, JACS and NPH conceived and wrote the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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