J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (1): 2-18.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00599.x

Special Issue: Plant Signal Transduction

• Invited Expert Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Hydrogen Peroxide in Plants: A Versatile Molecule of Reactive Oxygen Species Network

Li-Juan Quan, Bo Zhang, Wei-Wei Shi and Hong-Yu Li   

  • Received:2007-01-29 Accepted:2007-04-09

Abstract: Plants often face the challenge of severe environmental conditions, which include various biotic and abiotic stresses that exert adverse effects on plant growth and development. During evolution, plants have evolved complex regulatory mechanisms to adapt to various environmental stressors. One of the consequences of stress is an increase in the cellular concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are subsequently converted to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Even under normal conditions, higher plants produce ROS during metabolic processes. Excess concentrations of ROS result in oxidative damage to or the apoptotic death of cells. Development of an antioxidant defense system in plants protects them against oxidative stress damage. These ROS and, more particularly, H2O2, play versatile roles in normal plant physiological processes and in resistance to stresses. Recently, H2O2 has been regarded as a signaling molecule and regulator of the expression of some genes in cells. This review describes various aspects of H2O2 function, generation and scavenging, gene regulation and cross-links with other physiological molecules during plant growth, development and resistance responses.

Key words: antioxidant system, gene regulation, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), reactive oxygen species (ROS), signaling molecule

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