6. Mechanism of Sulfur Dioxide Toxicity and Tolerance in Crop Plants

  1. Dr. Narendra Tuteja1,2,
  2. Dr. Sarvajeet Singh Gill1,3,
  3. Prof. Antonio F. Tiburcio4 and
  4. Dr. Renu Tuteja1
  1. Lamabam Peter Singh3,
  2. Sarvajeet Singh Gill1,3,
  3. Ritu Gill2 and
  4. Narendra Tuteja1,2

Published Online: 30 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch6

Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2

Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2

How to Cite

Peter Singh, L., Gill, S. S., Gill, R. and Tuteja, N. (2012) Mechanism of Sulfur Dioxide Toxicity and Tolerance in Crop Plants, in Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2 (eds N. Tuteja, S. S. Gill, A. F. Tiburcio and R. Tuteja), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch6

Editor Information

  1. 1

    International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Plant Molecular Biology Group, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110 067, India

  2. 2

    MD University, Centre for Biotechnology, Rohtak 124 001, Haryana, India

  3. 3

    Aligarh Muslim University, Department of Botany, Aligarh 202 002, Uttar Pradesh, India

  4. 4

    Universitat de Barcelona, Unitat de Fisiologia Vegetal, Facultat de Farmàcia, Av. Joan XXIII, S/N, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Author Information

  1. 1

    International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Plant Molecular Biology Group, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110 067, India

  2. 2

    MD University, Centre for Biotechnology, Rohtak 124 001, Haryana, India

  3. 3

    Aligarh Muslim University, Department of Botany, Aligarh 202 002, Uttar Pradesh, India

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 14 MAR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527328406

Online ISBN: 9783527632930

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Keywords:

  • antioxidant enzymes foliar injury;
  • genotoxicity;
  • plant growth;
  • sulfur dioxide;
  • sulfur deficiency;
  • sulfur uptake

Summary

Air is an important and vital resource both for the sustenance and for the development of every living organism. The composition of its minor constituents often varies as a result of the emission or contaminants from various activities. A huge amount of toxic materials and gas including SO2 is released into the atmosphere originated from different kinds of industries and other human activities that eventually pollute the atmosphere. A mere change in the gaseous composition of the atmosphere has many different impacts on terrestrial plants. Sulfur dioxide pollution is known to have a substantial effect on agricultural production and is still of great significance in many developing countries. Conversely, due to strict regulatory control on SO2 emissions, the level of atmospheric SO2 in developed countries has radically declined causing S-deficiency symptoms in crop plants, resulting in a drastic reduction in crop productivity and quality. Increased uptake of SO2 can impair plant metabolism leading to reduced growth and productivity due to accumulation of sulfite and sulfate within the plant. Phytotoxicity of SO2 is determined by the environmental conditions, the duration of exposure, the atmospheric SO2 concentration, the sulfur status of the soil, the genetic constitution of the plant, and the developmental phase of plants. Plants form a sink for atmospheric SO2, which is taken up by the foliage. Since the internal (mesophyll) resistance to SO2 is low due to its high solubility and rapid dissociation in the cell sap, foliar SO2 uptake is determined by its diffusion through the stomata. Foliar injury may be caused by the negative effects of acidification of tissue/cells after the dissociation of the absorbed SO2 and the reaction of the formed sulfite with cellular components. There is also a wide inter- and intraspecific variation in susceptibility between species; however, the physiological basis for the variation in air pollution response is still largely unresolved. Paradoxically, atmospheric SO2 may also be used as plant nutrient where SO2 absorbed by the leave can enter the S assimilatory pathway directly or after oxidation to SO42− and be reduced to sulfide, incorporated into cysteine and subsequently, organic S compounds, and utilized as S nutrient. Plants may also benefit from SO2 exposure given that it can contribute to the plants' S nutrition, and result in enhanced crop productivity, especially in plants growing in sulfur-deficient soils.