NITRIC OXIDE IN PLANTS: PROPERTIES, BIOSYNTHESIS AND PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS

Document Type: Regular Paper

Authors

Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev str., Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signalling molecule with diverse physiological functions in
plants. In the last years, many advances have been obtained regarding NO synthesis and its physiological
effects in plants. It was found to play a crucial role in plant growth and development, starting from
germination to flowering, ripening of fruit and senescence of organs, respiratory metabolism, as well as plant
response to abiotic and biotic stressors. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying its effects remain
poorly understood. This review discusses some aspects related to NO in plants, such as chemical properties,
synthesis pathways, antioxidant action, physiological and biochemical changes that occur in plants under
normal conditions and the possible functions of NO under changing environmental conditions. The interaction
of NO with plant hormones, and cross-talk with salicylic acid are also discussed. The elucidation of such
aspects represents a challenge to future studies.

Keywords