The Role of Proline, Glycinebetaine, and Trehalose in Stress-Responsive Gene Expression

  • Merve Kahraman
  • Gulcin Sevim
  • Melike BorEmail author


Plants have sophisticated stress-sensing and stress-coping mechanisms which enable them to survive and be productive under abiotic and biotic stress conditions. According to the type and severity of the stress, different adaptive and/or tolerance mechanisms are involved in defense processes. However, these processes may overlap or be active together in order to make it easier for plants to fight against different or combined stresses in their natural environment at the same time. Osmotic adjustment and protection of membrane integrity are the two important and mutual components of overall defense processes. The bioactive molecules, glycinebetaine, trehalose, and proline, have been reported to maintain both osmotic adjustment and membrane integrity either by exogenous treatments or by their increased biosynthesis. Glycinebetaine is a quaternary ammonium molecule which is well-known to be a compatible solute. Trehalose is a non-reducing disaccharide with water replacement and glass formation characteristics. The proteinogenic amino acid proline is also a compatible osmoprotectant molecule with a variety of stress-related functions. Although there is a vast amount of information available on the protective role of these molecules, their mode of action is still unclear. Differentiation in the expression of defense-related genes is usually found out to be correlated with the increased or decreased levels of these molecules. Here we collected and reviewed the latest information available on glycinebetaine, trehalose, and proline by means of their influence and impact on the transcription and regulation of the stress-responsive genes.


Osmotic adjustment Transcription factors Metabolism Compatible solutes 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Ege, Faculty of Science, Department of BiologyBornova-IzmirTurkey

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