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Front Plant Sci. 2015 Jun 30;6:462. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00462. eCollection 2015.

Salicylic acid-induced abiotic stress tolerance and underlying mechanisms in plants.

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Department of Botany, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh, India.
Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro Aveiro, Portugal.


Abiotic stresses (such as metals/metalloids, salinity, ozone, UV-B radiation, extreme temperatures, and drought) are among the most challenging threats to agricultural system and economic yield of crop plants. These stresses (in isolation and/or combination) induce numerous adverse effects in plants, impair biochemical/physiological and molecular processes, and eventually cause severe reductions in plant growth, development and overall productivity. Phytohormones have been recognized as a strong tool for sustainably alleviating adverse effects of abiotic stresses in crop plants. In particular, the significance of salicylic acid (SA) has been increasingly recognized in improved plant abiotic stress-tolerance via SA-mediated control of major plant-metabolic processes. However, the basic biochemical/physiological and molecular mechanisms that potentially underpin SA-induced plant-tolerance to major abiotic stresses remain least discussed. Based on recent reports, this paper: (a) overviews historical background and biosynthesis of SA under both optimal and stressful environments in plants; (b) critically appraises the role of SA in plants exposed to major abiotic stresses.


abiotic stress; crop-loss; phytohormones; salicylic acid; stress tolerance mechanisms

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