University Of Tasmania

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NADPH oxidases and the evolution of plant salinity tolerance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:00 authored by Liu, M, Yu, H, Ouyang, B, Shi, C, Demidchik, V, Hao, Z, Yu, M, Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala
Soil salinization is a major threat to global food security and the biodiversity of natural ecosystems. To adapt to salt stress, plants rely on ROS-mediated signalling networks that operate upstream of a broad array of physiological and genetic processes. A key player in ROS signalling is NADPH oxidase, a plasma-membrane-bound enzyme encoded by RBOH genes. In this study, we have conducted a comprehensive bioinformatic analysis of over 50 halophytic and glycophytic species to link the difference in the kinetics of ROS signalling between contrasting species with the abundance and/or structure of NADPH oxidases. The RBOH proteins were predicted in all the tested plant lineages except some algae species from the Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta and Streptophyta. Within the glycophytic group, the number of RBOH copies correlated negatively with salinity stress tolerance, suggesting that a reduction in the number of RBOH isoforms may be potentially related to the evolution of plant salinity tolerance. While halophytes did not develop unique protein families during evolution, they evolved additional phosphorylation target sites at the N-termini of NADPH oxidases, potentially modulating enzyme activity and allowing more control over their function, resulting in more efficient ROS signalling and adaptation to saline conditions.


Publication title

Plant Cell and Environment










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Wiley-Blackwell Verlag GmbH

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Ecosystem adaptation to climate change; Plant product traceability and quality assurance (excl. forest products)