Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants by Priming and Pretreatments with Ascorbic Acid

  • Sajid AliEmail author
  • Aamir Nawaz
  • Sajjad Hussain
  • Samiya Mahmood Khan
  • Shaghef Ejaz
  • Shakeel AhmadEmail author


Ascorbic acid (AA) has been found to play several imperative functions in the regulation of various responses of plants or tolerance to different abiotic stresses. The functions of the exogenous application of AA as a pretreatment or priming are well recognized ranging from the germination to accumulation of biomass or yield production under different types of abiotic stress conditions. AA acts as a signaling molecule, positively influencing vegetative growth and development. It also plays a critical role in oxidative stress amelioration by activating different enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants that eventually helps in scavenging of various reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced during abiotic stresses. AA application ameliorates photosynthesis stress inhibition, impedes chlorophyll loss and leaf senescence, and conserves the integrity of cell membranes under abiotic stresses. In addition, it helps to maintain the ionic homeostasis and interacts with certain other phytohormones and metabolites during stress adaptation and regulation of plant growth under abiotic stresses. The present chapter provides a comprehensive overview about the role of AA in various biochemical, physiological, and molecular responses of plants in response to its pretreatments and short gun priming tool under abiotic stressful conditions. The upcoming research in the near future exploring proteomic, transcriptomic, and metabolic profiling would ensure advance insights regulating the possible mechanistic role of AA in the improvement of growth and amelioration of abiotic stresses of plants.


Ascorbic acid Antioxidative system Abiotic stresses Photosynthesis Reactive oxygen species Signaling molecule 



Ascorbic acid (ascorbate)


Ascorbic acid oxidase


Abscisic acid


Ascorbate peroxidase








Dehydroascorbic acid


Dehydroascorbate reductase


Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy






Glutathione reductase


Glutathione disulfide


Glutathione peroxidase




Hydrogen peroxide


Jasmonic acid




Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Monodehydroascorbate reductase






Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate








Reactive oxygen species


Salicylic acid


Superoxide dismutase


Stromal ascorbate peroxidase


Thylakoid-bounded ascorbate peroxidase




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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HorticultureBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Plant PathologyBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan

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