Role of Phytohormones in Enhancing Antioxidant Defense in Plants Exposed to Metal/Metalloid Toxicity

  • Duaa Ahmad Khan
  • Zeeshan Ali
  • Sahar Iftikhar
  • Deeba Amraiz
  • Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf Zaidi
  • Alvina Gul
  • Mustafeez Mujtaba Babar


A number of factors adversely affect the plant health and, ultimately, the agricultural yield. Various abiotic stress factors including temperature variation, flooding, salinity, drought, nutrient depletion and environmental toxicities cause significant losses annually. Among these, metal and metalloid toxicity results in physiological, morphological and metabolic alteration in plant body. Mediated through various mechanisms, these ions result in early cell death. The oxidative stress, owing to the production of various reactive oxygen species is the most important contributing agent. Phytohormones produced by plants help to counteract the effects of these stress factors. Through a number of enzymatic and non-enzymatic pathways, they regulate the antioxidant pathways in the plant body. The study of these phytohormones can help in developing an understanding of the metabolic processes and can help in providing important checkpoints for employing interventional strategies to enhance the antioxidant potential of metal-stressed plants. This chapter summarizes the role of various phytohormones in the antioxidant response to metal stress. Moreover, various mechanisms that are employed by the plants to enhance their antioxidant potential have been discussed. Towards the end, the regulation of phytohormone-mediated antioxidation has been provided.


Metal toxicity Phytohormones Antioxidant regulation Oxidative stress Biotic stress response 



2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid






2-chlorethylphosphonic acid


Abscisic acid


ATP binding cassette


1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid


1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase


Arginine decarboxylase


Auxin signaling F-box




Ascorbate peroxidase


Ascorbate peroxidase




Ascorbic acid

AtHSD gene

Arabidopsis thaliana hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase gene


Auxin resistant 1






Ca2+/cation antiporter






Cation diffusion facilitator


Calcium-dependent protein kinase






Copper transporters family




Dehydro ascorbic acid


Dehydroascorbate reductase


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Ethylene insensitive 2


Ethylene response factors




Flavin adenine dinucleotide






Glycoside hydrolase


Guaiacol peroxidase


Glutathione peroxidase


Glutathione reductase




Glutathione disulfide








Heavy metal ATPase


Heat shock proteins


Indole-3-acetic acid


Indole butyric acid


Iron regulated transporter


Jasmonic acid


Late embryogenesis abundant


Lipid peroxidation


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Monodehydro ascorbate


Monodehydroascorbate reductase


Methyl jasmonate






Naphthalene acetic acid


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate




Nitric oxide


Natural resistance-associated macrophage proteins


Ornithine decarboxylase


Oryza sativa glycogen synthase kinase3-like gene 1








Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase




Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria




Photo system 2




Reactive nitrogen species


Reactive oxygen species


Ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


Salicylic acid


S-adenosyl methionine decarboxylase


Stress associated proteins


Superoxide dismutase




Spermidine synthase






Transport inhibitor response 1


Thioredoxin peroxidase


Zrt-and irt-like protein (ZIP)




Zinc-regulated transporter


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duaa Ahmad Khan
    • 1
  • Zeeshan Ali
    • 1
  • Sahar Iftikhar
    • 1
  • Deeba Amraiz
    • 2
  • Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf Zaidi
    • 3
  • Alvina Gul
    • 3
  • Mustafeez Mujtaba Babar
    • 1
  1. 1.Shifa College of Pharmaceutical SciencesShifa Tameer-e-Millat UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.National University of Medical SciencesRawalpindiPakistan
  3. 3.Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied BiosciencesNational University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan

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