Issue 5, 2021

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.

Graphical abstract: Measuring ROS and redox markers in plant cells

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Review Article
31 Mar 2021
28 Jun 2021
First published
29 Jun 2021
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Chem. Biol., 2021,2, 1384-1401

Measuring ROS and redox markers in plant cells

S. Akter, M. S. Khan, E. N. Smith and E. Flashman, RSC Chem. Biol., 2021, 2, 1384 DOI: 10.1039/D1CB00071C

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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