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      H 2S signaling in plants and applications in agriculture


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          Graphical abstract

          Summary of the main physiological or adverse environmental situations in higher plants where the hydrogen sulfide (H 2S) participates.


          • Hydrogen sulfide (H 2S) plays a signaling role in higher plants.

          • It mediates persulfidation, a post-translational modification.

          • It regulates physiological functions ranging from seed germination to fruit ripening.

          • The beneficial effects of exogenous H 2S are mainly caused by the stimulation of antioxidant systems.


          The signaling properties of the gasotransmitter molecule hydrogen sulfide (H 2S), which is endogenously generated in plant cells, are mainly observed during persulfidation, a protein post-translational modification (PTM) that affects redox-sensitive cysteine residues. There is growing experimental evidence that H 2S in higher plants may function as a mechanism of response to environmental stress conditions. In addition, exogenous applications of H 2S to plants appear to provide additional protection against stresses, such as salinity, drought, extreme temperatures and heavy metals, mainly through the induction of antioxidant systems, in order to palliate oxidative cellular damage. H 2S also appears to be involved in regulating physiological functions, such as seed germination, stomatal movement and fruit ripening, as well as molecules that maintain post-harvest quality and rhizobium–legume symbiosis. These properties of H 2S open up new challenges in plant research to better understand its functions as well as new opportunities for biotechnological treatments in agriculture in a changing environment.

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          Most cited references97

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          H2S signals through protein S-sulfhydration.

          Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a messenger molecule generated by cystathionine gamma-lyase, acts as a physiologic vasorelaxant. Mechanisms whereby H2S signals have been elusive. We now show that H2S physiologically modifies cysteines in a large number of proteins by S-sulfhydration. About 10 to 25% of many liver proteins, including actin, tubulin, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), are sulfhydrated under physiological conditions. Sulfhydration augments GAPDH activity and enhances actin polymerization. Sulfhydration thus appears to be a physiologic posttranslational modification for proteins.
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            Hydrogen sulfide promotes wheat seed germination and alleviates oxidative damage against copper stress.

            With the enhancement of copper (Cu) stress, the germination percentage of wheat seeds decreased gradually. Pretreatment with sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) donor alleviated the inhibitory effect of Cu stress in a dose-dependent manner; whereas little visible symptom was observed in germinating seeds and radicle tips cultured in NaHS solutions. It was verified that H(2)S or HS(-) rather than other sulfur-containing components derived from NaHS attribute to the potential role in promoting seed germination against Cu stress. Further studies showed that NaHS could promote amylase and esterase activities, reduce Cu-induced disturbance of plasma membrane integrity in the radicle tips, and sustain lower levels of malondialdehyde and H(2)O(2) in germinating seeds. Furthermore, NaHS pretreatment increased activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase and decreased that of lipoxygenase, but showed no significant effect on ascorbate peroxidase. Alternatively, NaHS prevented uptake of Cu and promoted the accumulation of free amino acids in seeds exposed to Cu. In addition, a rapid accumulation of endogenous H(2)S in seeds was observed at the early stage of germination, and higher level of H(2)S in NaHS-pretreated seeds. These data indicated that H(2)S was involved in the mechanism of germinating seeds' responses to Cu stress.
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              Hydrogen sulphide enhances photosynthesis through promoting chloroplast biogenesis, photosynthetic enzyme expression, and thiol redox modification in Spinacia oleracea seedlings

              Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is emerging as a potential messenger molecule involved in modulation of physiological processes in animals and plants. In this report, the role of H2S in modulating photosynthesis of Spinacia oleracea seedlings was investigated. The main results are as follows. (i) NaHS, a donor of H2S, was found to increase the chlorophyll content in leaves. (ii) Seedlings treated with different concentrations of NaHS for 30 d exhibited a significant increase in seedling growth, soluble protein content, and photosynthesis in a dose-dependent manner, with 100 μM NaHS being the optimal concentration. (iii) The number of grana lamellae stacking into the functional chloroplasts was also markedly increased by treatment with the optimal NaHS concentration. (iv) The light saturation point (Lsp), maximum net photosynthetic rate (Pmax), carboxylation efficiency (CE), and maximal photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (F v/F m) reached their maximal values, whereas the light compensation point (Lcp) and dark respiration (Rd) decreased significantly under the optimal NaHS concentration. (v) The activity of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBISCO) and the protein expression of the RuBISCO large subunit (RuBISCO LSU) were also significantly enhanced by NaHS. (vi) The total thiol content, glutathione and cysteine levels, internal concentration of H2S, and O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase and L-cysteine desulphydrase activities were increased to some extent, suggesting that NaHS also induced the activity of thiol redox modification. (vii) Further studies using quantitative real-time PCR showed that the gene encoding the RuBISCO large subunit (RBCL), small subunit (RBCS), ferredoxin thioredoxin reductase (FTR), ferredoxin (FRX), thioredoxin m (TRX-m), thioredoxin f (TRX-f), NADP-malate dehydrogenase (NADP-MDH), and O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase (OAS) were up-regulated, but genes encoding serine acetyltransferase (SERAT), glycolate oxidase (GYX), and cytochrome oxidase (CCO) were down-regulated after exposure to the optimal concentration of H2S. These findings suggest that increases in RuBISCO activity and the function of thiol redox modification may underlie the amelioration of photosynthesis and that H2S plays an important role in plant photosynthesis regulation by modulating the expression of genes involved in photosynthesis and thiol redox modification.

                Author and article information

                J Adv Res
                J Adv Res
                Journal of Advanced Research
                29 March 2020
                July 2020
                29 March 2020
                : 24
                : 131-137
                Antioxidant, Free Radical and Nitric Oxide in Biotechnology, Food and Agriculture Group, Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology of Plants, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), C/ Profesor Albareda, 1, E-18008 Granada, Spain
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. javier.corpas@ 123456eez.csic.es
                © 2020 THE AUTHORS. Published by Elsevier BV on behalf of Cairo University.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                : 10 February 2020
                : 24 March 2020
                : 25 March 2020

                hydrogen sulfide,abiotic stress,fruit ripening,nitro-oxidative stress


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