Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are highly reactive molecules able to damage cellular components but they also act as cell signalling elements. ROS are produced by many different enzymatic systems. Plant NADPH oxidases, also known as respiratory burst oxidase homologues (RBOHs), are the most thoroughly studied enzymatic ROS-generating systems and our understanding of their involvement in various plant processes has increased considerably in recent years. In this review we discuss their roles as ROS producers during cell growth, plant development and plant response to abiotic environmental constraints and biotic interactions, both pathogenic and symbiotic. This broad range of functions suggests that RBOHs may serve as important molecular 'hubs' during ROS-mediated signalling in plants.
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