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Ahmet Korkmaz

Abstract

Studies on compounds capable of enhancing tolerance of crop species to abiotic stresses are of great importance. Although first discovered as possessing herbicidal properties, latest studies have demonstrated that 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) has both growth promoting and stress enhancing capabilities. ALA is known as the precursor of all porphyrins compounds such as vitamin B12, chlorophyll, heme, and phytochrome, and it is naturally found in plants, animals, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. As a precursor of chlorophyll, exogenous application of ALA at low concentrations increases chlorophyll content of plants, promoting photo-synthetic capacity and yield of crops. When applied in proper concentrations, ALA is also reported to provide significant tolerance against abiotic stresses such as chilling, salinity, and drought. The ability of ALA to boost abiotic stress tolerance is due to elevated activities of enzymatic or nonen-zymatic antioxidant system providing significant protection to the membranes against harmful reactive oxygen species within tissues. This review provides a comprehensive coverage of the effects exerted by ALA in relation to plant productivity and abiotic stress tolerance.

Keywords

5-Aminolevulinic acid • Abiotic stress • Plant productivity • Antioxidant system

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, Kahramanmaras 46100, Turkey e-mail: [email protected]

P. Ahmad and M.N.V. Prasad (eds.), Abiotic Stress Responses in Plants: Metabolism, Productivity and Sustainability, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-0634-1_12, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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