Oxidative Stress in Crop Plants

  • Arun Kumar Maurya


Abiotic stresses such as drought, cold and high temperature, heavy metals, salinity, UV and ozone exposure, mineral deficiencies, etc. induce a negative influence on the crop production and food security globally through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) in the cells of the crop plants. ROS is an umbrella term which encompasses radical and non-radical products generated by incomplete reduction of oxygen through the enzymatic processes like photosynthesis, respiration, and fatty acid oxidation or by non-enzymatic mechanisms. Oxidative stress shows its effect on almost all component of cell as oxidation of DNA fragment; RNA degradation; oxygenation, modification, and destruction of lipids and proteins; and leakage of ions that causes decline in the growth, development, and productivity of crop plants. Nitric oxide (NO)-derived molecules are referred to as RNS and associated with nitro-oxidative stress. NO is a small, uncharged, free radical, and lipophilic molecule acting as a protective and signaling molecule. Diverse sources are reported for NO generation in plants by enzymatic synthesis involving putative nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-like enzymes, xanthine dehydrogenase/oxidase nitrate reductase, nitrite-NO reductase, as well as non-enzymatic synthesis. Stress conditions induces ROS generation and sometime concomittant increase in NO concentration in plant cells. Both these molecules also present acooperative mechanism in plant cell to counteract the harmful effects of stress. Failing to properly coordinate and balance these two molecules in plant cells affects growth, development, yield, productivity and ultimately survival of plants.


Reactive oxygen species NO Oxidative stress NOS Antioxidant system 



Alternative oxidase


Ascorbate peroxidase




Hydrogen peroxide

NADPH oxidase or NOX

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase


Nitric oxide


Nitric oxide synthase


Nitrate reductase


Reactive nitrogen species


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arun Kumar Maurya
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyMultanimal Modi PG College, (Affiliated with C.C.S. University, Meerut)GhaziabadIndia

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