Reactive Oxygen Species Generation, Hazards, and Defense Mechanisms in Plants under Environmental (Abiotic and Biotic) Stress Conditions

Authored by: Pallavi Sharma , Ambuj Bhushan Jha , Rama Shanker Dubey , Mohammad Pessarakli

Handbook of Plant and Crop Physiology

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553286
eBook ISBN: 9781466553293
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b16675-31

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Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced as a normal product of plant cellular metabolism. Various environmental stresses lead to excessive production of ROS causing progressive oxidative damage and ultimately cell death. Despite their destructive activity, they are well-described second messengers in a variety of cellular processes, including conferment of tolerance to various environmental stresses. Whether ROS would serve as signaling molecules or could cause oxidative damage to the tissues depends on the delicate equilibrium between ROS production and their scavenging. Efficient scavenging of ROS produced during various environmental stresses requires the action of several nonenzymatic as well as enzymatic antioxidants present in the tissues. In this review, we describe the generation, sites of production, and role of ROS as messenger molecules as well as inducers of oxidative damage. Further, the antioxidative defense mechanisms operating in the cells for scavenging of ROS overproduced under various stressful conditions of the environment have been discussed in detail.

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