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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2008;270:87-144. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(08)01403-2.

Programmed cell death in plants: new insights into redox regulation and the role of hydrogen peroxide.

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Department of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology, University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria.


Programmed cell death (PCD), the highly regulated dismantling of cells, is essential for plant growth and survival. PCD plays key roles in embryo development, formation and maturation of many cell types and tissues, and plant reaction/adaptation to environmental conditions. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are not only toxic by products of aerobic metabolism with strictly controlled cellular levels, but they also function as signaling agents regulating many biological processes and producing pleiotropic effects. Over the last decade, ROS have become recognized as important modulators of plant PCD. Molecular genetic approaches using plant mutants and transcriptome studies related to ROS-mediated PCD have revealed a wide array of plant-specific cell death regulators and have contributed to unraveling the elaborate redox signaling network. This review summarizes the biological processes, in which plant PCD participates and discusses the signaling functions of ROS with emphasis on hydrogen peroxide.

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