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Targeting Glycinebetaine for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants: Physiological Mechanism, Molecular Interaction and Signaling

Mirza Hasanuzzaman1,*, Aditya Banerjee2, M. H. M. Borhannuddin Bhuyan3,4, Aryadeep Roychoudhury2,*, Jubayer Al Mahmud5 and Masayuki Fujita3
1 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
2 Post Graduate Department of Biotechnology, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), 30, Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
3 Laboratory of Plant Stress Responses, Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kagawa University, 2393 Ikenobe, Miki-cho, Kita-gun, Kagawa, Japan.
4 Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Joydebpur, Gazipur, Bangladesh.
5 Department of Agroforestry and Environmental Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2019, 88(3), 185-221.


In the era of climate change, abiotic stresses (e.g., salinity, drought, extreme temperature, flooding, metal/metalloid(s), UV radiation, ozone, etc.) are considered as one of the most complex environmental constraints that restricts crop production worldwide. Introduction of stress-tolerant crop cultivars is the most auspicious way of surviving this constraint, and to produce these types of tolerant crops. Several bioengineering mechanisms involved in stress signaling are being adopted in this regard. One example of this kind of manipulation is the osmotic adjustment. The quarternary ammonium compound glycinebetaine (GB), also originally referred to as betaine is a methylated glycine derivative. Among the betaines, GB is the most abundant one in plants, which is mostly produced in response to dehydration caused by different abiotic stresses like drought, salinity, and extreme temperature. Glycinebetaine helps in decreased accumulation and detoxification of ROS, thereby restoring photosynthesis and reducing oxidative stress. It takes part in stabilizing membranes and macromolecules. It is also involved in the stabilization and protection of photosynthetic components, such as ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, photosystem II and quarternary enzyme and protein complex structures under environmental stresses. Glycinebetaine was found to perform in chaperone-induced protein disaggregation. In addition, GB can confer stress tolerance in very low concentrations, and it acts in activating defense responsive genes with stress protection. Recently, field application of GB has also shown protective effects against environmental adversities increasing crop yield and quality. In this review, we will focus on the role of GB in conferring abiotic stress tolerance and the possible ways to engineer GB biosynthesis in plants.


Osmolytes; compatible solutes; biostimulants; proline; amino acids; stress signaling

Cite This Article

Hasanuzzaman, M., Banerjee, A., H., M., Roychoudhury, A., Mahmud, J. A. (2019). Targeting Glycinebetaine for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants: Physiological Mechanism, Molecular Interaction and Signaling. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 88(3), 185–221.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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