Stress-related hormones and glycinebetaine interplay in protection of photosynthesis under abiotic stress conditions

Leonid V. Kurepin, Alexander G. Ivanov, Mohammad Zaman, Richard P. Pharis, Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev, Vaughan Hurry, Norman P.A. Hüner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


Plants subjected to abiotic stresses such as extreme high and low temperatures, drought or salinity, often exhibit decreased vegetative growth and reduced reproductive capabilities. This is often associated with decreased photosynthesis via an increase in photoinhibition, and accompanied by rapid changes in endogenous levels of stress-related hormones such as abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA) and ethylene. However, certain plant species and/or genotypes exhibit greater tolerance to abiotic stress because they are capable of accumulating endogenous levels of the zwitterionic osmolyte - glycinebetaine (GB). The accumulation of GB via natural production, exogenous application or genetic engineering, enhances plant osmoregulation and thus increases abiotic stress tolerance. The final steps of GB biosynthesis occur in chloroplasts where GB has been shown to play a key role in increasing the protection of soluble stromal and lumenal enzymes, lipids and proteins, of the photosynthetic apparatus. In addition, we suggest that the stress-induced GB biosynthesis pathway may well serve as an additional or alternative biochemical sink, one which consumes excess photosynthesis-generated electrons, thus protecting photosynthetic apparatus from overreduction. Glycinebetaine biosynthesis in chloroplasts is up-regulated by increases in endogenous ABA or SA levels. In this review, we propose and discuss a model describing the close interaction and synergistic physiological effects of GB and ABA in the process of cold acclimation of higher plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-235
Number of pages15
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Abscisic acid
  • Cold acclimation
  • Environmental stress
  • Glycinebetaine
  • Photosynthetic apparatus
  • Plant hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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