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      Plant responses to climate change: metabolic changes under combined abiotic stresses

      , , ,
      Journal of Experimental Botany
      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of abiotic stress combinations that negatively impact plants and pose a serious threat to crop yield and food supply. Plants respond to episodes of stress combination by activating specific physiological and molecular responses, as well as by adjusting different metabolic pathways, to mitigate the negative effects of the stress combination on plant growth, development, and reproduction. Plants synthesize a wide range of metabolites that regulate many aspects of plant growth and development, as well as plant responses to stress. Although metabolic responses to individual abiotic stresses have been studied extensively in different plant species, recent efforts have been directed at understanding metabolic responses that occur when different abiotic factors are combined. In this review we examine recent studies of metabolomic changes under stress combination in different plants and suggest new avenues for the development of stress combination-resilient crops based on metabolites as breeding targets.

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          Abiotic stress, the field environment and stress combination.

          Farmers and breeders have long known that often it is the simultaneous occurrence of several abiotic stresses, rather than a particular stress condition, that is most lethal to crops. Surprisingly, the co-occurrence of different stresses is rarely addressed by molecular biologists that study plant acclimation. Recent studies have revealed that the response of plants to a combination of two different abiotic stresses is unique and cannot be directly extrapolated from the response of plants to each of the different stresses applied individually. Tolerance to a combination of different stress conditions, particularly those that mimic the field environment, should be the focus of future research programs aimed at developing transgenic crops and plants with enhanced tolerance to naturally occurring environmental conditions.
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            Is Open Access

            Plant hormone-mediated regulation of stress responses

            Background Being sessile organisms, plants are often exposed to a wide array of abiotic and biotic stresses. Abiotic stress conditions include drought, heat, cold and salinity, whereas biotic stress arises mainly from bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes and insects. To adapt to such adverse situations, plants have evolved well-developed mechanisms that help to perceive the stress signal and enable optimal growth response. Phytohormones play critical roles in helping the plants to adapt to adverse environmental conditions. The elaborate hormone signaling networks and their ability to crosstalk make them ideal candidates for mediating defense responses. Results Recent research findings have helped to clarify the elaborate signaling networks and the sophisticated crosstalk occurring among the different hormone signaling pathways. In this review, we summarize the roles of the major plant hormones in regulating abiotic and biotic stress responses with special focus on the significance of crosstalk between different hormones in generating a sophisticated and efficient stress response. We divided the discussion into the roles of ABA, salicylic acid, jasmonates and ethylene separately at the start of the review. Subsequently, we have discussed the crosstalk among them, followed by crosstalk with growth promoting hormones (gibberellins, auxins and cytokinins). These have been illustrated with examples drawn from selected abiotic and biotic stress responses. The discussion on seed dormancy and germination serves to illustrate the fine balance that can be enforced by the two key hormones ABA and GA in regulating plant responses to environmental signals. Conclusions The intricate web of crosstalk among the often redundant multitudes of signaling intermediates is just beginning to be understood. Future research employing genome-scale systems biology approaches to solve problems of such magnitude will undoubtedly lead to a better understanding of plant development. Therefore, discovering additional crosstalk mechanisms among various hormones in coordinating growth under stress will be an important theme in the field of abiotic stress research. Such efforts will help to reveal important points of genetic control that can be useful to engineer stress tolerant crops.
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              Proline: a multifunctional amino acid.

              Proline accumulates in many plant species in response to environmental stress. Although much is now known about proline metabolism, some aspects of its biological functions are still unclear. Here, we discuss the compartmentalization of proline biosynthesis, accumulation and degradation in the cytosol, chloroplast and mitochondria. We also describe the role of proline in cellular homeostasis, including redox balance and energy status. Proline can act as a signaling molecule to modulate mitochondrial functions, influence cell proliferation or cell death and trigger specific gene expression, which can be essential for plant recovery from stress. Although the regulation and function of proline accumulation are not yet completely understood, the engineering of proline metabolism could lead to new opportunities to improve plant tolerance of environmental stresses. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Journal of Experimental Botany
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0022-0957
                1460-2431
                June 02 2022
                June 02 2022
                February 22 2022
                June 02 2022
                June 02 2022
                February 22 2022
                : 73
                : 11
                : 3339-3354
                Article
                10.1093/jxb/erac073
                35192700
                4466c24d-3ba7-4277-bcc7-76fe27bf0df7
                © 2022

                https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model

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