Glutathione as a Crucial Modulator of Phytohormone Signalling During Pathogen Defence in Plants

  • Riddhi Datta Department of Botany, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Govt. College, New Town, Kolkata 700156
  • Sharmila Chattopadhyay
Keywords: Glutathione, Phytohormone signalling, Pathogen defence, Salicylic acid, Ethylene, Jasmonic acid


Plant’s resistance to different stress factors is regulated by a complex signalling network which connects the individual signalling pathways, enabling them to fine tune their defence response. For more than last two decades, glutathione (GSH) is gradually gaining importance as a crucial player in this network. The present review summarizes the central role of GSH in modulating plant’s defence response to biotic stress, specially emphasizing the molecular mechanism of these regulations. Initial studies demonstrated that exogenously applied GSH can activate several stress-related genes. Several transgenic approaches to constitutively enhance GSH levels have been followed and in most cases, these transgenic plants exhibited enhanced biotic stress tolerance. The post 2000 era envisaged a mechanistic approach in this field and GSH has been shown to modulate the defence signalling network by cross-communication with several stress-related phytohormones. GSH imparts stress tolerance against biotrophic infection via NPR1-dependent salicylic acid (SA) mediated pathway. In a subsequent report, GSH has been shown to regulate SA accumulation at the level of isochorismate synthetase 1 (ICS1) expression and that GSH can also act in NPR1-independent pathway. A synergistic GSH-ethylene (ET) interplay during necrotrophic infection has also been reported. It has been demonstrated that GSH induces ET biosynthesis by modulating transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulations of its key enzymes. The molecular details of the GSH-SA and GSH-ET cross-communications during stress has already been explored. The cross-talk of GSH with JA and abscisic acid (ABA) in alleviating stress has also been reported. However, its mechanism remains to be explored in future.


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