Measuring ROS and redox markers in plant cells†
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced throughout plant cells as a by-product of electron transfer processes. While highly oxidative and potentially damaging to a range of biomolecules, there exists a suite of ROS-scavenging antioxidant strategies that maintain a redox equilibrium. This balance can be disrupted in the event of cellular stress leading to increased ROS levels, which can act as a useful stress signal but, in excess, can result in cell damage and death. As crop plants become exposed to greater degrees of multiple stresses due to climate change, efforts are ongoing to engineer plants with greater stress tolerance. It is therefore important to understand the pathways underpinning ROS-mediated signalling and damage, both through measuring ROS themselves and other indicators of redox imbalance. The highly reactive and transient nature of ROS makes this challenging to achieve, particularly in a way that is specific to individual ROS species. In this review, we describe the range of chemical and biological tools and techniques currently available for ROS and redox marker measurement in plant cells and tissues. We discuss the limitations inherent in current methodology and opportunities for advancement.