Plant Response and Tolerance to Abiotic Oxidative Stress: Antioxidant Defense Is a Key Factor

  • Mirza Hasanuzzaman
  • Mohammad Anwar Hossain
  • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
  • Masayuki Fujita
Chapter

Abstract

In a persistently changing environment, plants are constantly challenged by various abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought, temperature extremes, heavy metal toxicity, high-light intensity, nutrient deficiency, UV-B radiation, ozone, etc. which cause substantial losses in the yield and quality of a crop. A key sign of such stresses at the molecular level is the accelerated production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as singlet oxygen (1O2), superoxide (O2•−), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radicals (OH•). ROS are extremely reactive in nature because they can interact with a number of cellular molecules and metabolites, thereby leading to irreparable metabolic dysfunction and death. Plants have well-developed enzymatic and non-enzymatic scavenging pathways or detoxification systems to counter the deleterious effects of ROS that include the enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and peroxidases (POX) as well as non-enzymatic compounds such as ascorbate (AsA), glutathione (GSH), carotenoids and tocopherols. In plant cells, specific ROS-producing and scavenging systems are found in different organelles and the ROS-scavenging pathways from different cellular compartments are coordinated. Recent studies in plants have shown that relatively low levels of ROS act as signaling molecules that induce abiotic stress tolerance by regulating the expression of defense genes. Additionally, numerous results have shown that plants with higher levels of antioxidants, whether constitutive or induced, showed greater resistance to different types of environmental stresses. In this chapter we attempt to summarize recent researches on the mechanisms and possible regulatory roles of ROS in abiotic stress tolerance. Further, we discuss the progress made during the last few decades in improving the oxidative stress tolerance of plants through genetic engineering by different components of ROS detoxification systems in plants.

Abbreviations

ABA

abscisic acid

APX

ascorbate peroxidase

AsA

ascorbic acid

ATP

adenosine triphosphate

CAT

catalase

DHA

dehydroascorbate

DHAR

dehydroascorbate reductase

ETC

electron transport chain

GAP

glycerinaldehyde-3-phosphate

GO

glycolate oxidase

GPX

glutathione peroxidase

GR

glutathione reductase

GSH

reduced glutathione

GSSG

oxidized glutathione

GST

glutathione S-transferase

HM

heavy metal

LOOH

lipid hydroperoxides

MDA

malondialdehyde

MDHA

monodehydroascorbate

MDHAR

monodehydroascorbate reductase

NADPH

nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate

NADPHox

NADPH oxidases

NO

nitric oxide

PC

phytochelatins

PCD

programmed cell death

PEG

polyethylene glycol

POX

peroxidases

ROOH

organic hydroperoxides

ROS

reactive oxygen species

RuBisCO

ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase

Se

selenium

SNP

sodium nitroprusside

TG

total glutathione

XO

xanthine oxidase

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirza Hasanuzzaman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohammad Anwar Hossain
    • 1
  • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
    • 3
  • Masayuki Fujita
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Stress Responses, Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of AgricultureKagawa UniversityKagawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of AgricultureSher-e-Bangla Agricultural UniversityDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Ornamental Floriculture Lab, Department of Bioproduction Science, Faculty of AgricultureKagawa UniversityKagawaJapan

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