Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 195–203 | Cite as

The involvement of hydrogen peroxide in plant responses to stresses

  • Elżbieta Kuźniak
  • Henryk Urbanek


The role of reactive oxygen species, especially H2O2, in plant response to stresses has been the focus of much attention. Hydrogen peroxide has been postulated to play multiple functions in plant defence against pathogens. (1) H2O2 may possess direct microbicidal activity at the sites of pathogen invasion. (2) It is used for cell-wall reinforcing processes: lignification and oxidative cross-linking of hydroxyproline-rich proteins and other cell-wall polymers. (3) It was found to be necessary for phytoalexin synthesis. (4) H2O2 may trigger programmed plant cell death during the hypersensitive response that restricts the spread of infection. (5) H2O2 has been suggested to act as a signal in the induction of systemic acquired resistance and (6) it induces defence genes. Recently H2O2 has been proposed to be involved in the signal transduction pathways leading to acclimation and protection from abiotic stresses. The present review discusses new insights into the function of H2O2 in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Key words

biotic and abiotic stresses hydrogen peroxide plant defence responses 


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© Department of Plant Physiology 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elżbieta Kuźniak
    • 1
  • Henryk Urbanek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology and BiochemistryUniversity of ŁódźŁódź, Banacha 12/16

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