Unraveling the Role of Mitochondria During Oxidative Stress in Plants

Harvey Millar, Michael J. Considine, David A. Day, James Whelan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The sedentary habit of plants means that they must stand and fight environmental stresses that their mobile animal cousins can avoid. A range of these abiotic stresses initiate the production in plant cells of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that ultimately lead to oxidative damage affecting the yield and quality of plant products. A complex network of enzyme systems, producing and quenching these reactive species operate in different organelles. It is the integration of these compartmented defense systems that coordinates an effective response to the various stresses. Future attempts to improve plant growth or yield must consider the complexity of inter-organdie signaling and protein targeting if they are to be successful in producing plants with resistance to a broad range of stresses. Here we highlight the role of pre-oxidant, anti-oxidant, and post-oxidant defense systems in plant mitochondria and the potential role of proteins targeted to both mitochondria and chloroplasts, in an integrated defense against oxidative damage in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-205
Number of pages5
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell compartmentation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Plant mitochondria
  • Respiration


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