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Role of L-ascorbate in alleviating abiotic stresses in crop plants

Jelli Venkatesh and Se Won Park*

Author Affiliations

Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Konkuk University, 1, Hwayang-dong, Seoul, Gwangjin-gu, Korea Republic

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Botanical Studies 2014, 55:38  doi:10.1186/1999-3110-55-38

Published: 9 April 2014


L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a major antioxidant in plants and plays a significant role in mitigation of excessive cellular reactive oxygen species activities caused by number of abiotic stresses. Plant ascorbate levels change differentially in response to varying environmental stress conditions, depending on the degree of stress and species sensitivity. Successful modulation of ascorbate biosynthesis through genetic manipulation of genes involved in biosynthesis, catabolism and recycling of ascorbate has been achieved. Recently, role of ascorbate in alleviating number of abiotic stresses has been highlighted in crop plants. In this article, we discuss the current understanding of ascorbate biosynthesis and its antioxidant role in order to increase our comprehension of how ascorbate helps plants to counteract or cope with various abiotic stresses.

Abiotic stress; Antioxidant; L-ascorbate; Reactive oxygen species; Transgenics