As plants are sessile organisms that have to attune their physiology and morphology continuously to varying environmental challenges in order to survive and reproduce, they have evolved complex and integrated environment-cell, cell-cell, and cell-organelle signalling circuits that regulate and trigger the required adjustments (such as alteration of gene expression). Although reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential components of this network, their pathways are not yet completely unravelled. In addition to the intrinsic chemical properties that define the array of interaction partners, mobility, and stability, ROS signalling specificity is obtained via the spatiotemporal control of production and scavenging at different organellar and subcellular locations (e.g. chloroplasts, mitochondria, peroxisomes, and apoplast). Furthermore, these cellular compartments may crosstalk to relay and further fine-tune the ROS message. Hence, plant cells might locally and systemically react upon environmental or developmental challenges by generating spatiotemporally controlled dosages of certain ROS types, each with specific chemical properties and interaction targets, that are influenced by interorganellar communication and by the subcellular location and distribution of the involved organelles, to trigger the suitable acclimation responses in association with other well-established cellular signalling components (e.g. reactive nitrogen species, phytohormones, and calcium ions). Further characterization of this comprehensive ROS signalling matrix may result in the identification of new targets and key regulators of ROS signalling, which might be excellent candidates for engineering or breeding stress-tolerant plants.
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