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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00263

Humic substances: Determining the potential molecular regulatory processes in plants

  • 1Department of Biotechnology, Chonnam National University, South Korea
  • 2Department of Arid Land Agriculture, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Humic substances (HS) have considerable effects on soil fertility and crop productivity owing to their unique physiochemical and biochemical properties, and play a vital role in establishing biotic and abiotic interactions within the plant rhizosphere. A comprehensive understanding of the mode of action and tissue distribution of HS is, however, required, as this knowledge could be useful for devising advanced rhizospheric management practices. These substances trigger various molecular processes in plant cells, and can strengthen the plant’s tolerance to various kinds of abiotic stresses. HS manifest their effects in cells through genetic, post-transcriptional, and post-translational modifications of signaling entities that trigger different molecular, biochemical, and physiological processes. Understanding of such fundamental mechanisms will provide a better perspective for defining the cues and signaling crosstalk of HS that mediate various metabolic and hormonal networks operating in plant systems. Various regulatory activities and distribution strategies of HS have been discussed in this review.

Keywords: Humic acid, epigenetic modifications, Genotoxicity, hormonal regulations, Nod factors, signaling crosstalk

Received: 01 Nov 2017; Accepted: 14 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Stefano Cesco, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

Reviewed by:

Riccardo Scotti, Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria (CREA), Italy
Serenella Nardi, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy  

Copyright: © 2018 Chung, Shah, Rehman and Yang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Gyuhwa Chung, Chonnam National University, Department of Biotechnology, Gwangju, South Korea, chung@chonnam.ac.kr