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Journal Articles Global Change Biology Year : 2018

Pivotal roles of environmental sensing and signaling mechanisms in plant responses to climate change


Climate change reshapes the physiology and development of organisms through phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic modifications and genetic adaptation. Under evolutionary pressures of the sessile lifestyle, plants possess efficient systems of phenotypic plasticity and acclimation to environmental conditions. Molecular analysis, especially through omics approaches, of these primary lines of environmental adjustment in the context of climate change has revealed the underlying biochemical and physiological mechanisms, thus characterising the links between phenotypic plasticity and climate change responses. Efficiency of adaptive plasticity under climate change indeed depends on the realization of such biochemical and physiological mechanisms, but the importance of sensing and signaling mechanisms that can integrate perception of environmental cues and transduction into physiological responses are often overlooked. Recent progress opens the possibility of considering plant phenotypic plasticity and responses to climate change through the perspective of environmental sensing and signaling. This review aims to analyse present knowledge on plant sensing and signaling mechanisms and discuss how their structural and functional characteristics lead to resilience or hypersensitivity under conditions of climate change. Plant cells are endowed with arrays of environmental and stress sensors and with internal signals that act as molecular integrators of the multiple constraints of climate change, thus giving rise to potential mechanisms of climate change sensing. Moreover, mechanisms of stress-related information propagation lead to stress memory and acquired stress tolerance that could withstand different scenarios of modifications of stress frequency and intensity. However, optimal functioning of existing sensors, optimal integration of additive constraints and signals, or memory processes can be hampered by conflicting interferences between novel combinations and novel changes of intensity and duration of climate-change-related factors. Analysis of these contrasted situations emphasises the need for future research on the diversity and robustness of plant signaling mechanisms under climate change conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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hal-01880088 , version 1 (24-09-2018)



Servane Bigot, Julie Buges, Lauriane Gilly, Cécile Jacques, Pauline Le Boulch, et al.. Pivotal roles of environmental sensing and signaling mechanisms in plant responses to climate change. Global Change Biology, 2018, 24 (12), pp.5573-5589. ⟨10.1111/gcb.14433⟩. ⟨hal-01880088⟩
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