3.9
Impact Factor

Review ARTICLE

Front. Plant Sci., 01 August 2013 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2013.00282

Regulation of fruit and seed response to heat and drought by sugars as nutrients and signals

  • 1Department of Biology, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  • 2Institute of Vegetables, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou, China

A large body of evidence shows that sugars function both as nutrients and signals to regulate fruit and seed set under normal and stress conditions including heat and drought. Inadequate sucrose import to, and its degradation within, reproductive organs cause fruit and seed abortion under heat and drought. As nutrients, sucrose-derived hexoses provide carbon skeletons and energy for growth and development of fruits and seeds. Sugar metabolism can also alleviate the impact of stress on fruit and seed through facilitating biosynthesis of heat shock proteins (Hsps) and non-enzymic antioxidants (e.g., glutathione, ascorbic acid), which collectively maintain the integrity of membranes and prevent programmed cell death (PCD) through protecting proteins and scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS). In parallel, sugars (sucrose, glucose, and fructose), also exert signaling roles through cross-talk with hormone and ROS signaling pathways and by mediating cell division and PCD. At the same time, emerging data indicate that sugar-derived signaling systems, including trehalose-6 phosphate (T6P), sucrose non-fermenting related kinase-1 (SnRK), and the target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase complex also play important roles in regulating plant development through modulating nutrient and energy signaling and metabolic processes, especially under abiotic stresses where sugar availability is low. This review aims to evaluate recent progress of research on abiotic stress responses of reproductive organs focusing on roles of sugar metabolism and signaling and addressing the possible biochemical and molecular mechanism by which sugars regulate fruit and seed set under heat and drought.

Keywords: sugar metabolism and signaling, fruit and seed set, heat and drought, cell division, hormones, programmed cell death, reactive oxygen species, non-enzymic antioxidant

Citation: Liu Y-H, Offler CE and Ruan Y-L (2013) Regulation of fruit and seed response to heat and drought by sugars as nutrients and signals. Front. Plant Sci. 4:282. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00282

Received: 09 April 2013; Paper pending published: 02 May 2013;
Accepted: 10 July 2013; Published online: 01 August 2013.

Edited by:

Sergey Shabala, University of Tasmania, Australia

Reviewed by:

Gabriel Krouk, CNRS, France
Matthew Paul, Rothamsted Research, UK

Copyright © 2013 Liu, Offler and Ruan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Yong-Ling Ruan, Department of Biology, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia e-mail: yong-ling.ruan@newcastle.edu.au