* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received August 13, 2015; Revision received December 5, 2015
Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are key enzymes functioning as the first line of antioxidant defense by virtue of the ability to convert highly reactive superoxide radicals to hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen. SOD plays a central role in protecting plants against the toxic effects of reactive oxygen species generated during normal cellular metabolic activity or as a result of various environmental stresses. Our review focuses on the characteristics of expression of SOD genes, the mechanisms regulating expression of SOD genes at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and translation levels, and their functional role(s) during development and in response to biotic or abiotic stresses. We propose two important research directions: studying SOD at the genome-wide or proteome-wide level, and improving plant stress tolerances by selecting varieties using transgenic technology.
KEY WORDS: superoxide dismutase, reactive oxygen species, plants, stress tolerance, expression and regulation