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Plant Signal Behav. 2008 Mar;3(3):156-65.

Drought stress and reactive oxygen species: Production, scavenging and signaling.

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Laboratoire d'Ecophysiologie Moléculaire; UMR IRD 137 BioSol; Université Paris 12; Créteil, France.


As sessile organisms, plants have evolved mechanisms that allow them to adapt and survive periods of drought stress. One of the inevitable consequences of drought stress is enhanced ROS production in the different cellular compartments, namely in the chloroplasts, the peroxisomes and the mitochondria. This enhanced ROS production is however kept under tight control by a versatile and cooperative antioxidant system that modulates intracellular ROS concentration and sets the redox-status of the cell. Furthermore, ROS enhancement under stress functions as an alarm signal that triggers acclimatory/defense responses by specific signal transduction pathways that involve H(2)O(2) as secondary messenger. ROS signaling is linked to ABA, Ca(2+) fluxes and sugar sensing and is likely to be involved both upstream and downstream of the ABA-dependent signaling pathways under drought stress. Nevertheless, if drought stress is prolonged over to a certain extent, ROS production will overwhelm the scavenging action of the anti-oxidant system resulting in extensive cellular damage and death.


ABA; H2O2; Mehler reaction; ROS signaling; drought stress; oxidative stress; photorespiration; scavenging enzymes; stomatal closure; water-water cycle

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