Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 9, Issue 4, 2007; Page No.(879-885)

HEAT SHOCK PROTEINS AND THEIR ROLE IN THERMO TOLERANCE IN PLANTS

R. RANJANI, A.PHANINA SARMA AND S.D.S. MURTHY

Abstract

Plants respond to a sudden increase in temperature by synthesizing a small set of proteins called the heat shock proteins. These are classified in to five types namely HSP 100, FISP 90, HSP 70, HSP 60, and low-molecular weight HSPs (smHSP). These act as molecular chaperones in repairing damaged proteins. Main targets of high temperature stress in plants include membranes, photosynthesis and respiration processes. Photosystemll is affected more; in contrast, photosystemI activity is enhanced due to opening of new site for electron donation. HSPs protect proteins from denaturation, salvage the denatured proteins and target the aberrant proteins for proteolysis. In higher plants, low molecular weight HSPs predominate and play crucial role in heat stress tolerance.

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