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J Exp Bot. 2002 May;53(372):1227-36.

Signal transduction during oxidative stress.

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  • 1Vakgroep Moleculaire Genetica, Departement Plantengenetica, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Universiteit Gent, KL Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


As an unfortunate consequence of aerobic life, active oxygen species (AOS) are formed by partial reduction of molecular oxygen. Plants possess a complex battery of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants that can protect cells from oxidative damage by scavenging AOS. It is becoming evident that AOS, which are generated during pathogen attack and abiotic stress situations, are recognized by plants as a signal for triggering defence responses. An overview of the literature is presented on the signalling role of AOS in plant defence responses, cell death, and development. Special attention is given to AOS and redox-regulated gene expression and the role of kinases and phosphatases in redox signal transduction.

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