University Of Tasmania

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ROS homeostasis in halophytes in the context of salinity stress tolerance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 01:58 authored by Bose, J, Rodrigo-Moreno, A, Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala
Halophytes are defined as plants that are adapted to live in soils containing high concentrations of salt and benefiting from it, and thus represent an ideal model to understand complex physiological and genetic mechanisms of salinity stress tolerance. It is also known that oxidative stress signalling and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification are both essential components of salinity stress tolerance mechanisms. This paper comprehensively reviews the differences in ROS homeostasis between halophytes and glycophytes in an attempt to answer the questions of whether stress-induced ROS production is similar between halophytes and glycophytes; is the superior salinity tolerance in halophytes attributed to higher antioxidant activity; and is there something special about the specific ‘pool’ of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in halophytes. We argue that truly salt-tolerant species possessing efficient mechanisms for Na+ exclusion from the cytosol may not require a high level of antioxidant activity, as they simply do not allow excessive ROS production in the first instance. We also suggest that H2O2 ‘signatures’ may operate in plant signalling networks, in addition to well-known cytosolic calcium ‘signatures’. According to the suggested concept, the intrinsically higher superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in halophytes are required for rapid induction of the H2O2 ‘signature’, and to trigger a cascade of adaptive responses (both genetic and physiological), while the role of other enzymatic antioxidants may be in decreasing the basal levels of H2O2, once the signalling has been processed. Finally, we emphasize the importance of non-enzymatic antioxidants as the only effective means to prevent detrimental effects of hydroxyl radicals on cellular structures.


Publication title

Journal of Experimental Botany










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Oxford Univ Press

Place of publication

Great Clarendon St, Oxford, England, Ox2 6Dp

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 The Author

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other plant production and plant primary products not elsewhere classified