Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Hydrogen Sulfide: A Novel Gaseous Molecule for Plant Adaptation to Stress

Ahmed, Mukhtar; Fahad, Shah; Ali, Muhammad Arif; Hussain, Sajjad; Tariq, Muhammad; Ilyas, Fariha; Ahmad, Shakeel; Saud, Shah; Hammad, Hafiz Mohkum; Nasim, Wajid; Wu, Chao; Liu, Hongyan


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has emerged as a novel gaseous signal molecule with multifarious effects on seed germination, plant growth, development, and physiological processes. Due to its dominant role in plant stress tolerance and cross-adaptation, it is getting more attention nowadays, although it has been largely referred as toxic and environmental hazardous gas. In this review work, we are highlighting the importance of H2S as an essential gaseous molecule to help in signaling, metabolism, and stress tolerance in plants. Firstly, production of H2S from different natural and artificial sources were discussed with its transformation from sulfur (S) to sulfate (SO42-) and then to sulfite (SO32-). The importance of different kinds of transporters that helps to take SO42- from the soil solution was presented. Mainly, these transporters are SULTRs (H+/SO42- cotransporters) and multigene family encodes them. Furthermore, these SULTRs have LAST (Low affinity transport proteins), HAST (High affinity transport proteins), vacuole transporters, and plastid transporters. Since it is well known that there is strong relationship between SO42- and synthesis of hydrogen sulfide or dihydrogen sulfide or sulfane in plant cells. Thus, cysteine (Cys) metabolism through which H2S could be generated in plant cell with the role of different enzymes has been presented. Furthermore, H2S in interaction with other molecules could help to mitigate biotic and abiotic stress. Based on this review work, it can be concluded that H2S has potential to induce cross-adaptation to biotic and abiotic stress; thus, it is recommended that it should be considered in future studies to answer the questions like what are the receptors of H2S in plant cell, where in plants the physiological concentration of H2S is high in response to multiple stress and how it induces cross-adaptation by interaction with other signal molecules.


Hydrogen sulfide; Physiological processes; Abiotic stress; Natural and artificial sources; Molecular mechanism

Published in

Journal of Plant Growth Regulation
Publisher: SPRINGER

      SLU Authors

    • Ahmed, Mukhtar

      • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Plant Biotechnology

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)