Salicylic acid and photosynthesis: signalling and effects

Tibor Janda, Orsolya Kinga Gondor, Rusina Yordanova, Gabriella Szalai, Magda Pál

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

74 Citations (Scopus)


Salicylic acid (SA) is a well-known signalling molecule playing a role in local and systemic acquired resistance against pathogens as well as in acclimation to certain abiotic stressors. As a stress-related signalling compound, it may directly or indirectly affect various physiological processes, including photosynthesis. The effects of exogenously applied SA on plant physiological processes under optimal environmental conditions are controversial. Several studies suggest that SA may have a positive effect on germination or plant growth in various plant species. However, SA may also act as a stress factor, having a negative influence on various physiological processes. Its mode of action depends greatly on several factors, such as the plant species, the environmental conditions (light, temperature, etc.) and the concentration. Exogenous SA may also alleviate the damaging effects of various stress factors, and this protection may also be manifested as higher photosynthetic capacity. Unfavourable environmental conditions have also been shown to increase the endogenous SA level in plants. Recent results strongly suggest that controlled SA levels are important in plants for optimal photosynthetic performance and for acclimation to changing environmental stimuli. The present review discusses the effects of exogenous and endogenous SA on the photosynthetic processes under optimal and stress conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2537-2546
Number of pages10
JournalActa Physiologiae Plantarum
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Fluorescence quenching
  • Net photosynthesis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Salicylic acid
  • Stomatal conductivity
  • Stress responses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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