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J Genet. 2006 Dec;85(3):237-54.

Antioxidative response mechanisms in halophytes: their role in stress defence.

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M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, III Cross Street, Taramani Institutional Area, Taramani, Chennai 600 113, India.


Normal growth and development of plants is greatly dependent on the capacity to overcome environmental stresses. Environmental stress conditions like high salinity, drought, high incident light and low or high temperature cause major crop losses worldwide. A common denominator in all these adverse conditions is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within different cellular compartments of the plant cell. Plants have developed robust mechanisms including enzymatic or nonenzymatic scavenging pathways to counter the deleterious effects of ROS production. There are a number of general reviews on oxidative stress in plants and few on the role of ROS scavengers during stress conditions. Here we review the regulation of antioxidant enzymes during salt stress in halophytes, especially mangroves. We conclude that (i) antioxidant enzymes protect halophytes from deleterious ROS production during salt stress, and (ii) genetic information from mangroves and other halophytes would be helpful in defining the roles of individual isoforms. This information would be critical in using the appropriate genes for oxidative stress defence for genetic engineering of enhanced stress tolerance in crop systems.

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