The response to abiotic and biotic stresses in plants and crops is considered a multifaceted process. Due to their sessile nature, plants have evolved unique mechanisms to ensure that developmental plasticity remains during their life cycle. Among these mechanisms, post-translational modifications (PTMs) are crucial components of adaptive responses in plants and transduce environmental stimuli into cellular signalling through the modulation of proteins. SUMOylation is an emerging PTM that has received recent attention due to its dynamic role in protein modification and has quickly been considered a significant component of adaptive mechanisms in plants during stress with great potential for agricultural improvement programs. In the present review, we outline the concept that small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-mediated response in plants and crops to abiotic and biotic stresses is a multifaceted process with each component of the SUMO cycle facilitating tolerance to several different environmental stresses. We also highlight the clear increase in SUMO genes in crops when compared with Arabidopsis thaliana. The SUMO system is understudied in crops, given the importance of SUMO for stress responses, and for some SUMO genes, the apparent expansion provides new avenues to discover SUMO-conjugated targets that could regulate beneficial agronomical traits.
Clark, L., Sue-Ob, K., Mukkawar, V., Jones, A., & Sadanandom, A. (2022). Understanding SUMO-mediated adaptive responses in plants to improve crop productivity. Essays in Biochemistry, 66(2), 155-168. https://doi.org/10.1042/ebc20210068