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      Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants: Myriad Roles of Ascorbate Peroxidase


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          One of the most significant manifestations of environmental stress in plants is the increased production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These ROS, if allowed to accumulate unchecked, can lead to cellular toxicity. A battery of antioxidant molecules is present in plants for keeping ROS levels under check and to maintain the cellular homeostasis under stress. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) is a key antioxidant enzyme of such scavenging systems. It catalyses the conversion of H 2O 2 into H 2O, employing ascorbate as an electron donor. The expression of APX is differentially regulated in response to environmental stresses and during normal plant growth and development as well. Different isoforms of APX show differential response to environmental stresses, depending upon their sub-cellular localization, and the presence of specific regulatory elements in the upstream regions of the respective genes. The present review delineates role of APX isoforms with respect to different types of abiotic stresses and its importance as a key antioxidant enzyme in maintaining cellular homeostasis.

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          Epigenetic regulation of stress responses in plants.

          Gene expression driven by developmental and stress cues often depends on nucleosome histone post-translational modifications and sometimes on DNA methylation. A number of studies have shown that these DNA and histone modifications play a key role in gene expression and plant development under stress. Most of these stress-induced modifications are reset to the basal level once the stress is relieved, while some of the modifications may be stable, that is, may be carried forward as 'stress memory' and may be inherited across mitotic or even meiotic cell divisions. Epigenetic stress memory may help plants more effectively cope with subsequent stresses. Comparative studies on stress-responsive epigenomes and transcriptomes will enhance our understanding of stress adaptation of plants.
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            Understanding oxidative stress and antioxidant functions to enhance photosynthesis.

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              Regulation and function of ascorbate peroxidase isoenzymes.

              Even under optimal conditions, many metabolic processes, including the chloroplastic, mitochondrial, and plasma membrane-linked electron transport systems of higher plants, produce active oxygen species (AOS). Furthermore, the imposition of biotic and abiotic stress conditions can give rise to excess concentrations of AOS, resulting in oxidative damage at the cellular level. Therefore, antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes function to interrupt the cascades of uncontrolled oxidation in each organelle. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) exists as isoenzymes and plays an important role in the metabolism of H(2)O(2) in higher plants. APX is also found in eukaryotic algae. The characterization of APX isoenzymes and the sequence analysis of their clones have led to a number of investigations that have yielded interesting and novel information on these enzymes. Interestingly, APX isoenzymes of chloroplasts in higher plants are encoded by only one gene, and their mRNAs are generated by alternative splicing of the gene's two 3'-terminal exons. Manipulation of the expression of the enzymes involved in the AOS-scavenging systems by gene-transfer technology has provided a powerful tool for increasing the present understanding of the potential of the defence network against oxidative damage caused by environmental stresses. Transgenic plants expressing E. coli catalase to chloroplasts with increased tolerance to oxidative stress indicate that AOS-scavenging enzymes, especially chloroplastic APX isoenzymes are sensitive under oxidative stress conditions. It is clear that a high level of endogenous ascorbate is essential effectively to maintain the antioxidant system that protects plants from oxidative damage due to biotic and abiotic stresses.

                Author and article information

                Front Plant Sci
                Front Plant Sci
                Front. Plant Sci.
                Frontiers in Plant Science
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                20 April 2017
                : 8
                [1] 1Plant Molecular Biology Lab, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology New Delhi, India
                [2] 2Department of Biotechnology, Uttarakhand Technical University Dehradun, India
                [3] 3Plant Molecular Biology Lab, Department of Botany, University of Delhi New Delhi, India
                [4] 4Division of Plant Physiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute New Delhi, India
                [5] 5Department of Basic Sciences, College of Forestry, VCSG Uttarakhand University of Horticulture and Forestry (UUHF) Ranichauri, India
                [6] 6Department of Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar, India
                Author notes

                Edited by: Marcelo Menossi Menossi, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

                Reviewed by: Taras P. Pasternak, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany; Shuijin Zhu, Zhejiang University, China

                *Correspondence: Saurabh Pandey saurabhpandey28@ 123456gmail.com

                This article was submitted to Plant Biotechnology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Plant Science

                †These authors have contributed equally to this work.

                Copyright © 2017 Pandey, Fartyal, Agarwal, Shukla, James, Kaul, Negi, Arora and Reddy.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 137, Pages: 13, Words: 10792
                Funded by: Science and Engineering Research Board 10.13039/501100001843
                Funded by: Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology 10.13039/501100001409
                Funded by: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research 10.13039/501100001412
                Plant Science

                Plant science & Botany

                apx, ros, abiotic stress, antioxidant, asc–gsh pathway


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