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Keywords:

  • DNA repair;
  • excision repair;
  • genotoxic stress;
  • photoreactivation;
  • plant

Contents

  • Summary 1

  • I. 
    Introduction 1
  • II. 
    Photoreactivation 4
  • III. 
    Excision repair pathways: BER, NER, mismatch repair 7
  • IV. 
    DNA double-strand break repair 10
  • V. 
    Molecular responses to genotoxic stress 13
  • VI. 
    Conclusions and future prospects 14
  • Acknowledgements 15

  • References 15

Summary

As obligate phototrophs, plants harness energy from sunlight to split water, producing oxygen and reducing power. This lifestyle exposes plants to particularly high levels of genotoxic stress that threatens genomic integrity, leading to mutation, developmental arrest and cell death. Plants, which with algae are the only photosynthetic eukaryotes, have evolved very effective pathways for DNA damage signalling and repair, and this review summarises our current understanding of these processes in the responses of plants to genotoxic stress. We also identify how the use of new and emerging technologies can complement established physiological and ecological studies to progress the application of this knowledge in biotechnology.