Higher plant antioxidants and redox signaling under environmental stresses

Hong bo Shao, Li ye Chu, Ming an Shao, Cheruth Abdul Jaleel, Mi Hong-mei

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

295 Citations (Scopus)


Main antioxidants in higher plants include glutathione, ascorbate, tocopherol, proline, betaine, and others, which are also information-rich redox buffers and important redox signaling components that interact with biomembrane-related compartments. As an evolutionary consequence of aerobic life for higher plants, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are formed by partial reduction of molecular oxygen. The above enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in higher plants can protect their cells from oxidative damage by scavenging ROS. In addition to crucial roles in defense system and as enzyme cofactors, antioxidants influence higher plant growth and development by modifying processes from mitosis and cell elongation to senescence and death. Most importantly, they provide essential information on cellular redox state, and regulate gene expression associated with biotic and abiotic stress responses to optimize defense and survival. An overview of the literature is presented in terms of main antioxidants and redox signaling in plant cells. Special attention is given to ROS and ROS-antioxidant interaction as a metabolic interface for different types of signals derived from metabolism and from the changing environment, which regulates the appropriate induction of acclimation processes or, execution of cell death programs, which are the two essential directions for higher plants. To cite this article: H.-B. Shao et al., C. R. Biologies 331 (2008).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalComptes Rendus - Biologies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Environmental stresses
  • Redox
  • Signaling
  • Soil water deficit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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