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Understanding SUMO-mediated adaptive responses in plants to improve crop productivity

Clark, Lisa; Sue-Ob, Kawinnat; Mukkawar, Vaishnavi; Jones, Andrew R.; Sadanandom, Ari

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Lisa Clark
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

Kawinnat Sue-Ob

Andrew R. Jones


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 5, 2022
Publication Date 2022-08
Deposit Date Aug 18, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 18, 2022
Journal Essays in Biochemistry
Print ISSN 0071-1365
Electronic ISSN 1744-1358
Publisher Portland Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 66
Issue 2
Pages 155-168


Published Journal Article (1.9 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
© 2022 The Author(s).
This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY). Open access for the present article was enabled by the participation of Durham University in an all-inclusive Read & Publish agreement with Portland Press and the Biochemical Society under a transformative agreement with JISC.

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