Plant biology

Plants Coping with Stress

Science's STKE  18 Jun 2002:
Vol. 2002, Issue 137, pp. tw219-TW219
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2002.137.tw219

Plants use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a second messenger in their responses to hormones, pathogen infection, and abiotic stresses. Baxter-Burrell et al. have elucidated a Rop guanosine triphosphatase rheostat, RopGAP4, that fine-tunes the output of H2O2 in Arabidopsis in response to oxygen deprivation, which happens in plants when their roots are transiently flooded. The H2O2 signal in this case induces expression of alcohol dehydrogenase, which enables tolerance to the stressor, and RopGAP4, which represses further H2O2 production. As transient flooding, as well as other abiotic stressors, diminishes yield in many crops, manipulation of this Rop rheostat may be useful in developing crops better able to withstand these stressors.

A. Baxter-Burrell, Z. Yang, P. S. Springer, J. Bailey-Serres, RopGAP4-dependent Rop GTPase rheostat control of Arabidopsis oxygen deprivation tolerance. Science 296, 2026-2028 (2002). [Abstract] [Full Text]