Author(s): Selmar D, Kleinwchter M
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Abstract Spice and medicinal plants grown under water deficiency conditions reveal much higher concentrations of relevant natural products compared with identical plants of the same species cultivated with an ample water supply. For the first time, experimental data related to this well-known phenomenon have been collected and a putative mechanistic concept considering general plant physiological and biochemical aspects is presented. Water shortage induces drought stress-related metabolic responses and, due to stomatal closure, the uptake of CO2 decreases significantly. As a result, the consumption of reduction equivalents (NADPH + H(+)) for CO2 fixation via the Calvin cycle declines considerably, generating a large oxidative stress and an oversupply of reduction equivalents. As a consequence, metabolic processes are shifted towards biosynthetic activities that consume reduction equivalents. Accordingly, the synthesis of reduced compounds, such as isoprenoids, phenols or alkaloids, is enhanced.
This article was published in Plant Cell Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology