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Plant Molecular Biology

Dr. Nisar Ahmad

Dr. Nisar Ahmad
Dr. Nisar Ahmad
nisaribge AET

Impact of Drought Stress on the Sulfur Assimilation Pathway in Zea mays

Crop plants are exposed permanently to various biotic and abiotic stresses which cause a significant reduction in yield. Among abiotic stresses, drought is one of the most serious world-wide problems which alone cause 15% yield losses to crop plants. During stress conditions the normal homeostasis of the cell is disrupted which causes an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS play a dual role in response to stress. They function as important signaling molecules in stress response pathways and also cause damage to cells. Detoxification of the ROS is partially done by the glutathione-ascorbate cycle where H2O2 is reduced to H2O at the expense of reduced glutathione (GSH) in the final step, yielding oxidized glutathione (GSSG). Glutathione (GSH) is an important and abundant non protein thiol whose concentrations in cells can be increased in defense against various stresses. Such enhanced production is dependent on the supply of cysteine. However, high GSH is assumed to be a feedback inhibitor of the sulfate assimilation pathway, the primary source of cysteine synthesis. This apparent discrepancy will be investigated with respect to the impact of drought stress on the sulfur assimilation pathway in maize.

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