Reactive oxygen signaling and abiotic stress

Gad Miller, Vladimir Shulaev, Ron Mittler
Physiologia Plantarum 2008, 133 (3): 481-9
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a dual role in plant biology acting on the one hand as important signal transduction molecules and on the other as toxic by-products of aerobic metabolism that accumulate in cells during different stress conditions. Because of their toxicity as well as their important signaling role, the level of ROS in cells is tightly controlled by a vast network of genes termed the 'ROS gene network'. Using mutants deficient in key ROS-scavenging enzymes, we have defined a signaling pathway that is activated in cells in response to ROS accumulation. Interestingly, many of the key players in this pathway, including different zinc finger proteins and WRKY transcription factors, are also central regulators of abiotic stress responses involved in temperature, salinity and osmotic stresses. Here, we describe our recent findings and discuss how ROS integrate different signals originating from different cellular compartments during abiotic stress.

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