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Plant Stress Physiology, 2nd Edition

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Completely updated from the successful first edition, this book provides a timely update on the recent progress in our knowledge of all aspects of plant perception, signalling and adaptation to a variety of environmental stresses. It covers in detail areas such as drought, salinity, waterlogging, oxidative stress, pathogens, and extremes of temperature and pH. This second edition presents detailed and up-to-date research on plant responses to a wide range of stresses Includes new full-colour figures to help illustrate the principles outlined in the text Is written in a clear and accessible format, with descriptive abstracts for each chapter. Written by an international team of experts, this book provides researchers with a better understanding of the major physiological and molecular mechanisms facilitating plant tolerance to adverse environmental factors. This new edition ofÌ_Plant Stress PhysiologyÌ_is an essential resource for researchers and students of ecology, plant biology, agriculture, agronomy and plant breeding.

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1 Drought Tolerance in Crops: Physiology to Genomics

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Drought Tolerance in Crops:

Physiology to Genomics

Lakshmi Praba Manavalan and Henry T. Nguyen*

Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA

Abstract

More frequent and severe drought combined with high temperatures have been recognized as a potential impact of global warming on agriculture. Improving crop yield under water stress is the goal of agricultural researchers worldwide. Direct selection for yield under drought has been the major breeding strategy and was successful in some crops. Drought modifies the structure and function of plants. An understanding of the impact, mechanisms and traits underlying drought tolerance is essential to develop drought-tolerant cultivars. Identification and evaluation of key physiological traits would aid and strengthen molecular breeding and genetic engineering

­programmes in targeting and delivering traits that improve water use and/or drought tolerance of crops. There is an overlap between different osmotic stresses and the selection of appropriate drought evaluation methods. The benefits of genetic engineering have been realized in crop improvement for quality traits, and several promising genes have emerged in the last decade as candidates for drought tolerance. Combining the physiological traits that would sustain yield under drought, and incorporating elite quantitative trait loci (QTL) and genes underlying these traits into high-yielding cultivars, would be a successful strategy.

 

2 Salinity Stress: Physiological Constraints and Adaptive Mechanisms

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Salinity Stress: Physiological

Constraints and Adaptive Mechanisms

1

Sergey Shabala1,* and Rana Munns2,3

School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia;

2

CSIRO Agriculture, Canberra, Australia; 3School of Plant Biology and ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology,

University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia

Abstract

A significant part of the world’s land area is salt-affected, including areas in which crops and pastures are grown for food and forage. Growth and yield of most crops is reduced by salinity, and only halophytes are able to handle large amounts of salt without penalty. This chapter summarizes our current knowledge of physiological mechanisms conferring plant adaptive responses to salinity. The classification of saline soils is given with causes of primary and secondary types of salinity. Major physiological constraints are then summarized, and physiological and genetic diversity of plant responses to salinity are presented. Key physiological and anatomical mechanisms conferring salinity tolerance in plants are then analysed in detail, with emphasis on how salt uptake, transport and accumulation in tissues within the plant are controlled. This chapter shows that plants have evolved numerous mechanisms to prevent accumulation of toxic Na+ concentrations in leaves, and to regulate concentrations of Na+, K+ and Cl– within the various cell compartments. This ability is complemented by mechanisms enabling efficient osmotic adjustment and maintenance of cell turgor, as well as mechanisms of coping with oxidative stress imposed by salinity. A more complete physiological and genetic understanding of these processes will enable targeted breeding for new salt-tolerant plants for the future.

 

3 Reactive Oxygen Species and Their Role in Plant Oxidative Stress

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1

Reactive Oxygen Species and Their

Role in Plant Oxidative Stress

Vadim Demidchik1,2,*

Department of Plant Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Belarusian

State University, Minsk, Belarus; 2Russian Academy of Sciences,

Komarov Botanical Institute, St Petersburg, Russia

Abstract

Oxidative stress is a physiological response due to progressive accumulation under some circumstances of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidized forms of biomolecules. This response is associated with damage of all components of the cell, leading to pathophysiological processes. At the mechanistic level, oxidative stress can be caused by:

(i) external oxidizers (UV, O3, halogens, gamma radiation, extreme light, some xenobiotics, etc.) and •OH-producing transition metals (Cu, Fe, Mn, Hg, Ni, etc.); (ii) cellular programmes inducing ROS generation as a part of a response to abiotic and biotic stresses; and (iii) ROS production for needs of normal physiology, such as programmed cell death and autophagy. The intensity and consequences of an oxidative stress depends on a biological system’s ability to detoxify ROS and to repair oxidative damage. Antioxidants stop or delay the oxidation of biomolecules ameliorating oxidative stress-induced damage, and orchestrate ROS signalling. The origins of ROS generation leading to oxidative stress include electron-­transport chains of chloroplasts, mitochondria and peroxisomes, NADPH oxidases, peroxidases, phospholipases, oxygenases and some other systems. These systems produce O2•-, singlet oxygen and NO as well as oxidized forms of organic molecules, which can give other ROS and free radicals in living cells. The most dangerous and highly oxidizing ROS is •OH, formed via Fenton-like reactions catalysed by transition metals. ROS are sensed via specific regulatory proteins, and are the reason for altered cell signalling and gene expression. They can trigger cytosolic Ca2+ elevation, K+ loss, autophagy and programmed cell death. Downstream ROS-Ca2+-regulated signalling cascades include regulatory systems with one (ion channels and transcription factors), two (Ca2+-activated

 

4 Plant Responses to Chilling Temperatures

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Plant Responses to Chilling

Temperatures

Eric Ruelland*

Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris,

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Abstract

Plants are submitted to a chilling stress when exposed to low, non-freezing temperatures. Some are able to cope with this stress and acquire chilling tolerance; in some species, the exposure to this stress will even trigger developmental responses. Other (chilling-sensitive) species will not be able to cope properly with the low temperature and will develop chilling symptoms that can lead to plant death. The acquisition of chilling tolerance is associated with huge changes in metabolite contents, such as the accumulation of soluble sugars, dehydrins, RNA chaperones and an increase in detoxification activities against reactive oxygen species (ROS). These changes in cellular components are mostly due to a transcriptome rearrangement. They mean that chilling has been perceived and transduced to the nucleus. Chilling is not perceived by a single mechanism in plants but at different sensory levels that are the very biological processes disturbed by the temperature downshift. Once perceived, chilling stress is transduced. An increase in cytosolic calcium is the major transducing event that will then regulate the activity of many signalling components, including phospholipases and protein kinases. This will end in changes in gene expression. The best-documented pathway leading to gene induction in response to cold is the C-repeat binding factor (CBF) pathway. However, other factors have recently been identified as participating in the low-temperature regulatory network.

 

5 High-temperature Stress in Plants: Consequences and Strategies for Protecting Photosynthetic Machinery

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High-temperature Stress in Plants:

Consequences and Strategies for

Protecting Photosynthetic Machinery

Anjana Jajoo1,* and Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev2,3,4,*

School of Life Sciences, Devi Ahilya University, Indore India; 2Controlled

­Photobiosynthesis Laboratory, Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of

Sciences, Moscow, Russia; 3Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Russian

Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russia; 4Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

1

Abstract

The increasing temperature of the Earth is a very significant consequence of present climatic conditions. High temperature may lead to reduced plant growth and limited crop yield. Photosynthesis is a key phenomenon that contributes substantially to the growth and development of the plant. At the same time, it is one of the most susceptible metabolic processes to any kind of environmental stress. The process of photosynthesis involves various components, such as photosynthetic pigments and photosystems, the electron transport system and CO2 reduction pathways, and any damage at any level caused by a stress may reduce the overall photosynthetic capacity or efficiency of a plant. In this chapter we describe in detail the high-temperature-induced damage to pigments, photosystems and the components of the electron transport chain; alteration in the activities of various enzymes of carbon-reduction pathways and in the properties of thylakoid membranes; production of reactive oxygen species and heat-shock proteins; and regulation of the genes involved in the mechanism of photosynthesis, particularly in agricultural plants.

 

6 Flooding Stress Tolerance in Plants

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Flooding Stress Tolerance in Plants

chiara pucciariello* and pierdomenico perata

PlantLab, Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy

Abstract

Global warming is associated with an increase in submergence and flooding events, which makes many ecosystems worldwide vulnerable to low oxygen stress. Water submersion can severely affect crop production, since it drastically reduces the oxygen needed for plant respiration, and thus survival. Plants tolerant to flooding have evolved morphological, physiological and biochemical adaptations to oxygen deficiency. In the plant biology model species Arabidopsis thaliana, considerable progress has been made in terms of understanding the molecular aspects governing these responses and the sensing mechanism of an oxygen shortage has been identified. Many studies on oxygen deprivation stress have focused on rice (Oryza sativa), since it is one of the crops that adapts best to a flooded environment. Besides being able to germinate under submergence, rice varieties display different mechanisms for successful survival. Agronomically, the study of rice strategies to survive flooding in ecotypes that have adapted to extreme environments shows great potential in the context of climate change and the increasing global need for food.

 

7 Adaptations to Aluminium Toxicity

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Adaptations to Aluminium Toxicity

Peter R. Ryan* and Emmanuel Delhaize

CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Canberra, Australia

Abstract

Soil acidity limits agricultural production globally. Acid soils pose many stresses to plants but the major factor affecting plant growth is soluble aluminium, with Al3+ being the most toxic form. Al3+ damages root cells at sites in the apoplast and in the cytosol, and these rapidly inhibit root growth. Plants have evolved mechanisms that either avoid or minimize these damaging interactions by excluding Al3+ from the roots and leaves or by efficiently detoxifying any Al3+ that enters the cytosol. The genes conferring these resistance mechanisms have now been identified in some important crop species such as wheat, barley, sorghum and rice. Rapid progress in this field over the last decade provides exciting opportunities for increasing the Al3+ resistance of food crops through markerassisted selection and genetic engineering.

 

8 Plant Stress under Non-optimal Soil pH

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Plant Stress under Non-optimal Soil pH

Andre Läuchli† and Stephen R. Grattan*

Department of Land, Air and Water Resources,

University of California, Davis, California, USA

Abstract

Most soils cultivated for crop production fall within the pH range of pH 6–8, where nutrient availability to the plant is typically optimal. Profoundly acid soils (pH < 5.5) and alkaline soils (pH > 8), however, fall outside this optimal pH range and pose challenges for the plant such as low nutrient availability, ion toxicities and nutrient imbalances. The characteristics of acid and alkaline soils are described. Among the alkaline soils one needs to differentiate between calcareous (pH > 7.5) and sodic (exchangeable sodium percentage, ESP > 15) soils, as they present a different set of challenges. Most nutrients are not equally available to plants across the pH spectrum.

Several mineral nutrients are severely affected in these non-optimal pH soils, particularly Ca, K, P and Fe. The reactions of plants to these nutrient elements under extreme soil pH conditions are discussed in detail, with emphasis on plant growth, morphological, physiological and membrane transport processes. Finally, a special case is presented of the recently discovered complex interactions between salinity, boron-toxicity and pH in plants.

 

9 Desiccation Tolerance

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Desiccation Tolerance

Jill M. Farrant*, Keren Cooper, Halford J.W. Dace,

Joanne Bentley and Amelia Hilgart

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology,

University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa

Abstract

Desiccation tolerance is the ability to survive loss of 90% of cellular water or dehydration to tissue water concentrations of ≤ 0.1 g H2O.g–1 dry mass. It is relatively common in reproductive structures such as seeds (termed orthodox), but is rare in vegetative tissues, occurring in some 135 angiosperm species (termed resurrection plants). In this chapter we present an overview of the stresses associated with desiccation and review the current mechanisms proposed to explain how orthodox seeds and resurrection plants tolerate such water loss. Physiological, biochemical and molecular processes involved in protection from mechanical stress, oxidative damage and metabolic disruptions are discussed and similarities between seeds and resurrection plants are drawn. Protective mechanisms unique to vegetative tissues are presented and differences among species are discussed. We review the biogeographical distribution and evolution of angiosperm resurrection plants and propose that the developmentally regulated programme of acquisition of desiccation tolerance in seeds is utilized in the acquisition of tolerance in vegetative tissues of resurrection plants, possibly in response to environmentally regulated rather than developmental cues.

 

10 Ultraviolet-B Radiation: Stressor and Regulatory Signal

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Ultraviolet-B Radiation: Stressor and Regulatory Signal

Marcel A.K. Jansen*

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences,

University College Cork, Ireland

Abstract

Following the discovery of ozone layer depletion in the late 1980s, large numbers of studies investigated the effects of ambient and/or enhanced levels of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation on plants, animals, humans and microorganisms. Initial studies reported severe, inhibitory UV effects on plant growth and development, and these were associated with damage to genetic material and the photosynthetic machinery. This led to a strong perception that UV radiation is harmful for plants. Since that time, a conceptual U-turn has taken place in the way that UV-B effects are perceived. Under realistic UV-B exposure conditions, accumulation of UV-mediated damage is a relatively rare event. Instead, it is now recognized that UV-B is predominantly an environmental regulator that controls cellular, metabolic, developmental and stress-protection processes in plants through a dedicated UV-B photoreceptor. UV-B regulated signalling pathways control, among others, expression of hundreds of genes, the biochemical make-up and the morphology of plants and this, in turn, can alter the nutritional value, pest and disease tolerance, sexual reproduction, and hardiness of plants and plant tissues. As a consequence, UV-B radiation can impact on trophic relationships and ecosystem function, but is also a potentially valuable tool for sustainable agriculture.

 

11 Freeze Tolerance and Avoidance in Plants

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Freeze Tolerance and Avoidance in Plants

Michael Wisniewski1,*, Ian R. Willick2 and Lawrence V. Gusta2

United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service,

Kearneysville, West Virginia, USA; 2Department of Plant Sciences,

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

1

Abstract

Understanding and improving the cold hardiness of plants has been an endeavour that has been pursued since the onset of studying plant biology. Cold acclimation is a multigenic, quantitative trait that involves biochemical and structural changes that affect the physiology of a plant. The type and form of freezing injury experienced by plants varies with species and their degree of freezing tolerance and/or ability to avoid freezing. Advances in biotechnology have allowed us to move beyond structure and physiology to identifying and understanding the role of specific genes and proteins. The present chapter reviews our current understanding of freezing tolerance and avoidance and emphasizes that essential to the beneficial use of modern biotechnology is a thorough understanding of plant biology in relation to cold hardiness. The use of plant biotechnology grounded in an understanding of plant biology has great potential for increasing plant productivity in a rapidly changing climate.

 

12 Heavy-metal Toxicity in Plants

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Heavy-metal Toxicity in Plants

Philip J. White* and Paula Pongrac

The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, UK

Abstract

Heavy metals include the transition-metal elements essential to plant nutrition: iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese

(Mn), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and molybdenum (Mo), cobalt (Co) (which is required for nitrogen fixation in legumes); and the non-essential elements chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb). All these elements are toxic to crop plants at high tissue concentrations. In agriculture, deficiencies of essential heavy-metal elements are more common than their toxicities. Nevertheless, Mn toxicity can reduce crop yields on acidic soils, and Mn and Fe toxicities occur on waterlogged or flooded soils. Toxicities can also arise in soils enriched in specific heavy metals by the weathering of the underlying rocks or anthropogenic activities. The molecular biology of heavy-metal uptake and transport within plants is well understood, and the regulatory cascades enabling heavy-metal homeostasis in plant cells and tissues are being elucidated. Cellular responses to excess heavy metals are also known. Many of these responses proceed through the generation of reactive oxygen species and involve the synthesis of antioxidant compounds and enzymes. Tolerance of high concentrations of heavy metals in the environment is brought about by restricting the entry of heavy metals to the root and their movement to the xylem, and by chelating heavy metals entering the cytoplasm and sequestering them in non-vital compartments, such as the apoplast and vacuole. The mechanisms by which certain plant species are able to hyperaccumulate heavy metals are also providing insight into the ability of plants to exclude and tolerate heavy metals in their tissues.

 

13 Biotic Stress Signalling: Ca2+-mediated Pathogen Defence Programmes

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Biotic Stress Signalling:

Ca2+-mediated Pathogen Defence

Programmes

Yi Ma and Gerald A. Berkowitz*

Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture,

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA

Abstract

Plant cells sensing pathogenic microorganisms evoke defence systems that can confer resistance to infection. This immune reaction can include triggering of basal defence responses as well as programmed cell death, or hypersensitive response (HR). In both cases (basal defence and HR), pathogen perception is translated into elevated cytosolic Ca2+ (mediated by plasma membrane and intracellular channels) as an early step in a signalling cascade. Cyclic nucleotide-gated channels contribute to this influx of Ca2+ into the cell. The identification of specific steps in the signalling pathway leading from pathogen perception to generation of defence molecules in the cytosol, transcriptional reprogramming and other aspects of the plant immune response is not completely delineated at present and is an active area of current research. This chapter will present current information about this

 

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