High accumulation of flavonoids increases resistance to oxidative and drought stress

January 16, 2014

Toward acquisition of multiple stress tolerance in agricultural crops

RIKEN CSRS researchers have clarified that flavonoids, a representative of specialized metabolites, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana reduces the stress from environmental conditions. They have also found that high accumulation of flavonoids increases resistance to oxidative and drought stress.

When exposing a wild type of Arabidopsis, flavonoid-overaccumulating mutants and flavonoid-deficient mutants to abiotic stresses such as oxidation and drought, researchers found that overaccumulation of anthocyanins with strong antioxidative activity promoted removal of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in oxidative and drought conditions, while it also contributed to stress mitigation against both stress conditions. It was also found that the amount of water loss in the flavonoid-overaccumulating mutants was less than in the wild type.

Accumulation of ROS is also induced by biotic stresses such as insect damage, infection by viruses or bacteria, etc. It can be expected that the application of flavonoids to remove ROS will not only reduce abiotic stress but also improve resistance to biotic stress.


Original article
The Plant Journal doi: 10.1111/tpj.12388
R. Nakabayashi, K. Yonekura-Sakakibara, K. Urano, M. Suzuki, Y. Yamada, T. Nishizawa, F. Matsuda, M. Kojima, H. Sakakibara, K. Shinozaki, A. J. Michael, T. Tohge, M. Yamazaki, K. Saito,
"Enhancement of oxidative and drought tolerance in Arabidopsis by overaccumulation of antioxidant flavonoids".

Kazuki Saito: Group Director
Ryo Nakabayashi: Postdoctoral Researcher
Metabolomics Research Group