Miguel Lpez Gmez and Carmen Lluch

Abstract

Trehalose is a nonreducing disaccharide present in diverse organisms ranging from bacteria and fungi to invertebrates, in which it serves as an energy source as well as an osmolyte and/or protein/membrane protectant. Until recently, trehalose was not thought to be of any real significance in plants, although genetic studies have confirmed the existence of surprising abundance of genes for trehalose metabolism in plants, which have led to propose trehalose pathway as a central metabolic regulator. Multiple studies have linked trehalose to abiotic stress tolerance in plants and different research groups have attempted to create stress tolerant plants by introducing trehalose biosynthetic genes in important crops such as rice, tomato, and potato. Particular cases of the trehalose metabolism are plant symbiotic interactions such as the rhizobia-legume symbiosis, where trehalose has been described as a major carbohydrate in root nodules of some species. The discovery of trehalose metabolism in the recent years has pointed out the importance of trehalose biosynthesis in stress responses in plants.

Keywords

Abiotic stress • Mycorrhizal symbiosis • Osmoprotector • Rhizobium-legume symbiosis • Trehalose metabolism • Trehalose biosynthesis

M. López-Gómez (H) • C. Lluch Departamento de Fisiología Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva s/n, Granada 18071, Spain 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_14, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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