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A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

Book cover for A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

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Chapter 4 (Page no: 49)

Amino acids and peptides as mediators of abiotic stress tolerance in higher plants.

This chapter discusses the role of amino acids and peptides in mediating abiotic stress tolerance in higher plants. The pathways involved in plant responses to abiotic stress (such as salinity, ambient temperature, drought, acid rain, anoxia and heavy metal contamination) are highly complex, entailing initial perception, signal transduction and defence gene expression, culminating in the establishment of tolerance or programmed cell death. The potential significance of crosstalk between biotic and abiotic defence pathways is only just unfolding but needs to be incorporated into future models. In addition, signal transduction, whether effected directly or via associated metabolites of amino acids, represents another significant example transcending traditional concepts of plant biochemistry. Amino acid accumulation and the phytochelatin-induced transport and sequestration of potentially toxic metals will depend on the relative activities of signalling compounds such as ethylene, salicyclic acid, auxins, jasmonate and abscisic acid, but research is still at a preliminary stage and any conclusions would be premature. It is readily admitted that other aspects of abiotic stress responses need to be addressed to obtain a more comprehensive perspective of metabolism in higher plants. For example, the contribution of proteomics in the understanding of stress responses should be considered and incorporated within a general model of plant toxicology. The complexities and significance of additive, synergistic and antagonistic interactions of signal transduction in plant immunity require elucidation in the context of environmental pressures. On the basis of current evidence, it is concluded that abiotic stress in plants is profoundly associated with aspects of cellular toxicology. Manifestations are reflected in alterations in the metabolism of amino acids and certain peptides. The mechanisms underlying these changes remain largely speculative, but may involve amino acid-derived and other signalling compounds in complex crosstalk between abiotic and biotic pathways.

Other chapters from this book

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Chapter: 2 (Page no: 19) Mycotoxins. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 33) Cyanobacterial toxins. Author(s): Metcalf, J. S. Souza, N. R.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 75) Ozone I. Human disorders: an overview. Author(s): Silveyra, P. Fuentes, N. Rivera, L.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 93) Ozone II. Biophysical observations. Author(s): Thompson, K. C.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 105) Nitrogen dioxide: ambient exposure in human disorders. Author(s): Huang, Y. C. T. Tucker, J. L.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 114) Sulfur dioxide and human disorders. Author(s): Ahmad, S. Ahmad, A. Ahmad, A.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 127) Plant response to acid rain stress. Author(s): Liang, C.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 141) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: ecotoxicity in the aquatic environment and implications for human health. Author(s): Pampanin, D. M. Schlenk, D.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 156) The developmental neurotoxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls: a continuing environmental health concern. Author(s): Sethi, S. Lein, P. J.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 173) Dioxins I. Dynamics and legal directives in Europe. Author(s): Dopico, M. Gómez, A.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 187) Dioxins II. Human exposure and health risks. Author(s): Tuomisto, J. Viluksela, M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 206) Dioxins III. Relationship to pre-diabetes, diabetes and diabetic nephropathy. Author(s): Everett, C. J.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 214) Environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals and human health. Author(s): Darbre, P. D.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 233) Organochlorine insecticides: neurotoxicity. Author(s): Caudle, W. M.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 246) Organophosphates I. Human health effects and implications for the environment: an overview. Author(s): Wille, T. Thiermann, H. Worek, F.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 261) Organophosphates II. Neurobehavioural problems following low-level exposure: methodological considerations for future research. Author(s): Ross, S. J. M. Harrison, V.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 282) Glyphosate as a glycine analogue. Author(s): Seneff, S.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 299) Crude oil pollution I. Deepwater Horizon contamination: human health effects and health risk assessments, a case study. Author(s): Wilson, M. J.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 311) Crude oil pollution II. Effects of the Deepwater Horizon contamination on sediment toxicity in the Gulf of Mexico. Author(s): Montagna, P. A. Arismendez, S. S.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 320) Crude oil pollution III. Exxon Valdez contamination: ecological recovery, a case study. Author(s): Haycox, S.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 334) Review of studies of composition, toxicology and human health impacts of wastewater from unconventional oil and gas development from shale. Author(s): Crosby, L. M. Orem, W. H.
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Chapter: 25 (Page no: 371) Lead poisoning. Author(s): Katner, A. L. Mielke, H. W.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 384) Cadmium I. Exposure and human health effects: an overview. Author(s): Åkesson, A. Kippler, M.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 394) Cadmium II. Cardiovascular effects of human exposure to cadmium: left ventricular structure and function. Author(s): Yang, W. Y. Staessen, J. A.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 405) Particulates from combustion sources: formation, characteristics and toxic hazards. Author(s): Purser, D. A.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 424) Assessment of the ecotoxicity of airborne particulate matter. Author(s): Kováts, N.
Chapter: 30 (Page no: 436) Toxicity of microplastics in the marine environment. Author(s): Santana, M. F. M. Turra, A.
Chapter: 31 (Page no: 457) UV exposure and skin-protective effects of plant polyphenols. Author(s): Agulló-Chazarra, L. Pérez-Sánchez, A. Herranz-López, M. Micol, V. Barrajón-Catalán, E.
Chapter: 32 (Page no: 475) Radon I. Lung cancer risks. Author(s): Melloni, B.
Chapter: 33 (Page no: 484) Radon II. Leukaemia or CNS cancer risks among children. Author(s): Kollerud, R. del R.
Chapter: 34 (Page no: 497) Fukushima nuclear accident: potential health effects inferred from butterfly and human cases. Author(s): Otaki, J. M.
Chapter: 35 (Page no: 517) Microbial remediation of contaminated soils. Author(s): Shahsavari, E. Mansur, A. A. Aburto-Medina, A. Haleyur, N. Jones, N. Ball, A. S.
Chapter: 36 (Page no: 531) Metallic iron for environmental remediation: prospects and limitations. Author(s): Noubactep, C.
Chapter: 37 (Page no: 545) Remediation of contaminated soil by biochar. Author(s): Sima, X. F. Jiang, H.
Chapter: 38 (Page no: 561) Environmental regulations in China. Author(s): He, G. Z.
Chapter: 39 (Page no: 577) 21st Century toxicology: methods for environmental toxicology and monitoring. Author(s): Lundqvist, J.
Chapter: 40 (Page no: 587) Unequivocal evidence associating environmental contaminants and pollutants with human morbidity and ecological degradation. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.