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Received September 20, 2013; Revision received December 8, 2013
Oxylipins are signaling molecules formed enzymatically or spontaneously from unsaturated fatty acids in all aerobic organisms. Oxylipins regulate growth, development, and responses to environmental stimuli of organisms. The oxylipin biosynthesis pathway in plants includes a few parallel branches named after first enzyme of the corresponding branch as allene oxide synthase, hydroperoxide lyase, divinyl ether synthase, peroxygenase, epoxy alcohol synthase, and others in which various biologically active metabolites are produced. Oxylipins can be formed non-enzymatically as a result of oxygenation of fatty acids by free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Spontaneously formed oxylipins are called phytoprostanes. The role of oxylipins in biotic stress responses has been described in many published works. The role of oxylipins in plant adaptation to abiotic stress conditions is less studied; there is also obvious lack of available data compilation and analysis in this area of research. In this work we analyze data on oxylipins functions in plant adaptation to abiotic stress conditions, such as wounding, suboptimal light and temperature, dehydration and osmotic stress, and effects of ozone and heavy metals. Modern research articles elucidating the molecular mechanisms of oxylipins action by the methods of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics are reviewed here. Data on the role of oxylipins in stress signal transduction, stress-inducible gene expression regulation, and interaction of these metabolites with other signal transduction pathways in cells are described. In this review the general oxylipin-mediated mechanisms that help plants to adjust to a broad spectrum of stress factors are considered, followed by analysis of more specific responses regulated by oxylipins only under certain stress conditions. New approaches to improvement of plant resistance to abiotic stresses based on the induction of oxylipin-mediated processes are discussed.
KEY WORDS: oxylipins, jasmonate, abiotic stress, wounding, light, temperature, dehydration