Interplay Between Environmental Signals and Endogenous Salicylic Acid Concentration

  • L. V. KurepinEmail author
  • K. P. Dahal
  • M. Zaman
  • R. P. Pharis


Salicylic acid (SA), a naturally occurring plant hormone, is primarily associated with the induction or activation of defence mechanism responses by higher plants when they are attacked by pathogens. Attack of these plants by pathogens rapidly triggers changes in a wide range of the plant’s metabolic pathways which in turn are followed by modifications in the plant’s growth and development. There are a number of references in the recent literature where SA was applied to plants that are being subjected to changes in environmental signaling without the involvement of pathogens. In these examples, SA appears to be functioning as a hormone. Significant changes (usually positive) in shoot growth and photosynthesis occur when SA is applied at low concentrations to plants subjected to environmental stresses. In this review we focused on the interplay between changes in endogenous SA concentrations and key environmental signals, i.e. light intensity and quality, temperature, soil water availability and carbon dioxide levels. In doing so, we evaluated the concept that endogenous SA functions as an important signaling hormone in the plant’s growth response to a changing environment, even in the absence of pathogen attack.


Salicylic acid Environmental signals Light Temperature Water stress Carbon dioxide Growth Photosynthesis 



This work was sponsored by Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Ltd., New Zealand.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. V. Kurepin
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. P. Dahal
    • 2
  • M. Zaman
    • 3
  • R. P. Pharis
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BiologyWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Ballance Agri-Nutrients LimitedTaurangaNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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