Cross-Protection by Oxidative Stress: Improving Tolerance to Abiotic Stresses Including Salinity

  • Vokkaliga T. Harshavardhan
  • Geetha Govind
  • Rajesh Kalladan
  • Nese Sreenivasulu
  • Chwan-Yang HongEmail author


Abiotic stresses severely limit crop productivity. Plants being sessile, they are continuously exposed to a broad range of environmental stresses. Hence, multiple stress situations are more likely to occur in field conditions. Nevertheless, plants have evolved strategies to sense their environment to modulate its growth. However, its prime aim is to survive under adverse conditions and complete its life cycle. It is with the idea to increase or sustain productivity under adverse conditions that we are interested in. The response of plants to adverse environmental condition is sensed by changes in ROS leading to oxidative stress. Hence, it can be speculated that plants that are tolerant to oxidative stress would also be tolerant to multiple abiotic stress (abiotic stress-induced oxidative stress). In other words, cross-protection to multiple abiotic stresses can be achieved by developing plants tolerant to oxidative stress. Cross-protection can be enhanced by developing inherent tolerance by using conventional breeding or genetic engineering techniques or induced tolerance by priming. Here we try to compile the opinion of using oxidative stress tolerance as first line of defense against multiple abiotic stresses leading to cross-protection in field conditions.


Cross-protection Broad-spectrum stress tolerance Redox homeostasis Energy balance Inherent tolerance Genetic engineering Priming Oxidative stress Drought Salinity Extreme temperatures Heavy metal stress 



Hydroxyl radical


Abscisic acid


Ascorbate peroxidase






Dehydroascorbate reductase


Glutathione peroxidase


Glutathione reductase




glutathione S-transferase


Hydrogen peroxide


Monodehydroascorbate reductase


Methyl viologen


Not available


Nitric oxide


Superoxide radical




Polyethylene glycol




Photosystem I


Photosystem II


Reactive oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur species


Reactive oxygen species


Salicylic acid


Superoxide dismutase



The project was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of Taiwan (Grant no. MOST 104-2313-B-002-013-MY3 and 106-2628-B-002-036-MY3) and National Taiwan University (Grant no. NTU-CDP-106R7721) to C.-Y. Hong.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vokkaliga T. Harshavardhan
    • 1
  • Geetha Govind
    • 1
    • 4
  • Rajesh Kalladan
    • 2
  • Nese Sreenivasulu
    • 3
  • Chwan-Yang Hong
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural ChemistryCollege of Bio-resources and Agriculture, National Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Grain Quality and Nutrition Center, Plant Breeding Division, International Rice Research InstituteLos BañosPhilippines
  4. 4.Department of Crop PhysiologyCollege of AgricultureHassanIndia

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