Oxidative Stress in Plants

Atmospheric pollutants represent an important source of oxidative and nitrosative stress to terrestrial plants. In plants, salicylic acid is known to be the mediator for systemic acquired resistance. The salicylic-binding protein shows catalase activity, which decreases significantly upon ligand binding, thereby resulting in the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (Chen etal., 1993). The plant immune system involves the generation of ROS messengers by ligand-induced inhibition of an ROS-eliminating enzyme. However the molecular and biological mechanisms of adaptation are still poorly understood and the signalling pathways remain elusive (Dat et al., 2000). Calcium signalling has been implicated in plant responses to oxidative stress, constituting a signal that is transduced via calmodulin, calcium dependent protein kinase and other calcium controlled proteins to effect a wide array of downstream responses (Knight, 2000).

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