Ural Federal University: Scientists Tell How Plants Survive Stress and Adapt to New Conditions

On August 23, the 3rd International Symposium “Molecular Aspects of Plant Redox Metabolism” and the School for Young Scientists “The Role of Reactive Oxygen Forms in Plant Life” started at UrFU. The participants will talk about redox metabolism and plant stress, formation and detoxification of reactive forms of oxygen and nitrogen, oxidative modification of macromolecules and other aspects. In particular, how plants survive under new conditions, how their genes change, what an oxidative burst is, etc.

“There is a very high level of heavy metal pollution in the Middle Urals. Therefore, historically, within the walls of the Ural Federal University are engaged in issues of adaptation and adaptation of plants to heavy metals. In addition to heavy metals, plants are also affected by acidic gases, which precipitate as acid precipitates and significantly damage plants. These are phenols in wastewater, surfactants, everything that fertilizers bring: nitrates, nitrites, ammonium,” explains Irina Kiseleva, Head of the Department of Experimental Biology and Biotechnology at the Ural Federal University.

Under such conditions, plants must develop coping mechanisms, biologists state. It may be genetic changes, in which case plants adapt and natural selection takes place. However, there may be other options for adaptation, such as acclimation, which is based on physiological and biochemical processes.

“They also allow plants to adapt to unfamiliar and stressful conditions, to new industrial influences that were not previously observed in the environment. In any case, with acclimation or over many decades of adaptation, plants survive the harsh conditions. Those that failed to adapt become rare or even endangered species,” says Irina Kiseleva.

Knowledge of plant redox metabolism, molecular mechanisms and physiological consequences of redox transformations will help scientists understand how to target changes in plant growth and immunity processes.

The conference will last until August 27. Scientists from more than 30 cities in Russia, as well as from Belarus, Poland, South Africa and India are taking part in it.

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