Reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide: A Special Issue of Annals of Botany

Reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide at Baeza

The actions of humans have exacerbated the threats posed by climate change. Adverse environmental conditions such as drought and pathogen attack limit vigour and crop yield. Environmental biotic and abiotic stresses perturb cellular redox homeostasis by enhancing the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO), leading to post-translational modifications to proteins including thiol-disulphide exchange, carbonylation, glutathionylation, nitration and S-nitrosylation, which act as metabolic and molecular switches leading to adaptation responses.

The accumulation of ROS and/or NO at a particular place or time is regulated by the balance between production and scavenging/processing, which is critical to the specificity of the plant response to a given stimulus. Our knowledge of ROS production and scavenging/processing had greatly increased in recent years but, much remains unresolved concerning the microenvironments that provide the niche for specific ROS/NO accumulation in response to different stimuli. Transcript profiling studies have demonstrated that some stimuli induce similar suites of genes, while others have more specific effects. The ways by which cells perceive different stimuli in order to trigger specific response remain poorly understood Moreover, current knowledge of the metabolic sources of NO and the mechanisms involved in NO scavenging is incomplete.

The integration of interdisciplinary omic- approaches with bioinformatics, modelling, whole plant physiology, biochemistry and cell biology are required to meet future challenge and to unravel the complexities of in vitro and in vivo information. In this very exciting period in the field of ROS and NO research in which many pieces of the puzzle are starting to fit together, as we gain new insights into the signalling hub that governs cellular responses to the environment, we have organised a workshop titled: “Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and environment: a new vision for 2020” to be held in Baeza (Spain) in October 2014, supported for Annals of Botany that will consider a range of topics related with ROS/reactive nitrogen signalling. Authors already committed to contributing reviews to this Special issue are Laura De Gara, Christine Foyer and Luisa M. Sandalio.

We are keen to include further papers describing original research and reviews on this topic. If you are interested in contributing please send an outline (Title, authors and short summary) as soon as possible to If agreed, the full paper should be submitted at the end of December 2014.