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Environ Pollut. 2008 Oct;155(3):453-63. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.03.010. Epub 2008 May 5.

Modification of the biochemical pathways of plants induced by ozone: what are the varied routes to change?

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  • 1Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. heath@ucr.edu


When plants are observed under a low dose of ozone, some physiological and metabolic shifts occur. Barring extreme injury such as tissue damage or stomata closure, most of these disruptive changes are likely to have been initiated at the level of gene expression. The belief is oxidative products formed in ozone exposed leaves, e.g. hydrogen peroxide, are responsible for much of the biochemical adjustments. The first line of defense is a range of antioxidants, such as ascorbate and glutathione, but if this defense is overwhelmed, subsequent actions occur, similar to systemic acquired resistance or general wounding. Yet there are seemingly unrelated metabolic responses which are also triggered, such as early senescence. We discuss here the current understanding of gene control and signal transduction/control in order to increase our comprehension of how ozone alters the basic metabolism of plants and how plants counteract or cope with ozone.

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