Antioxidant Defenses Against Drought Stress

  • Iker Hernández
  • Jana Cela
  • Leonor Alegre
  • Sergi Munné-BoschEmail author


Plants possess a battery of structural, physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms to withstand drought periods. During drought, stomatal limitation of photosynthesis, overreduction of the photosynthetic electron transport chain, enhanced photorespiration, and many other processes may result on enhanced formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other oxidizing agents. One of the most important defense mechanisms against drought is the antioxidant system, which detoxifies prooxidants such as ROS and lipid peroxyl radicals, and keeps an adequate cellular redox balance. Antioxidants may be classified in enzymatic (e.g., ascorbate peroxidases, catalases, and superoxide dismutases) or nonenzymatic (syn. low molecular weight) antioxidants (e.g., ascorbate, glutathione, carotenoids, and tocopherols). Antioxidants may scavenge ROS directly or in co-operation with other antioxidants. This co-operation between antioxidants also allows re-cycling of oxidized antioxidants. Moreover, antioxidants are key sensors of the cellular redox status, so they trigger a number of signaling events intended to keep an adequate cellular redox balance. In this chapter, the function of the most important antioxidants in plants and the role of antioxidants in cellular redox homeostasis during drought stress will be reviewed.


Reactive Oxygen Species Drought Stress Reactive Oxygen Species Level Late Embryogenesis Abundant Sulfinic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Ascorbate peroxidase






DHA reductase


Reduced ferredoxin


Ferredoxin-thioredoxin reductase




Reduced glutathione


GSH disulfide (oxidized GSH)






MDHA reductase


Non-photochemical quenching


NADPH-thioredoxin reductase




Photosystem I or II


Reactive oxygen species


ΔpH-dependent NPQ


Superoxide dismutase




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iker Hernández
    • 1
  • Jana Cela
    • 1
  • Leonor Alegre
    • 1
  • Sergi Munné-Bosch
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Facultat de BiologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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