Roles of Enzymatic and Nonenzymatic Antioxidants in Plants During Abiotic Stress

Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2010 Sep;30(3):161-75. doi: 10.3109/07388550903524243.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced in plants as byproducts during many metabolic reactions, such as photosynthesis and respiration. Oxidative stress occurs when there is a serious imbalance between the production of ROS and antioxidant defense. Generation of ROS causes rapid cell damage by triggering a chain reaction. Cells have evolved an elaborate system of enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants which help to scavenge these indigenously generated ROS. Various enzymes involved in ROS-scavenging have been manipulated, over expressed or downregulated to add to the present knowledge and understanding the role of the antioxidant systems. The present article reviews the manipulation of enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants in plants to enhance the environmental stress tolerance and also throws light on ROS and redox signaling, calcium signaling, and ABA signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / physiology*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Oxidoreductases / physiology*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Oxidoreductases