The role of hydrogen peroxide in regulation of plant metabolism and cellular signalling in response to environmental stresses
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Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is produced predominantly in plant cells during photosynthesis and photorespiration, and to a lesser extent, in respiration processes. It is the most stable of the so-called reactive oxygen species (ROS), and therefore plays a crucial role as a signalling molecule in various physiological processes. Intra- and intercellular levels of H2O2 increase during environmental stresses. Hydrogen peroxide interacts with thiol-containing proteins and activates different signalling pathways as well as transcription factors, which in turn regulate gene expression and cell-cycle processes. Genetic systems controlling cellular redox homeostasis and H2O2 signalling are discussed. In addition to photosynthetic and respiratory metabolism, the extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in the generation of H2O2, which regulates plant growth, development, acclimatory and defence responses. During various environmental stresses the highest levels of H2O2 are observed in the leaf veins. Most of our knowledge about H2O2 in plants has been obtained from obligate C3 plants. The potential role of H2O2 in the photosynthetic mode of carbon assimilation, such as C4 metabolism and CAM (Crassulacean acid metabolism) is discussed. We speculate that early in the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis on Earth, H2O2 could have been involved in the evolution of modern photosystem II.
- Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
- Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
- Faculty of Life Sciences, University College of Södertörns, Huddinge, Sweden
- Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
- Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
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