The glyoxalase pathway is required for detoxification of cytotoxic metabolite MG (methylglyoxal) that would otherwise increase to lethal concentrations under adverse environmental conditions. Since its discovery 100 years ago, several roles have been assigned to glyoxalases, but, in plants, their involvement in stress response and tolerance is the most widely accepted role. The plant glyoxalases have emerged as multigene family and this expansion is considered to be important from the perspective of maintaining a robust defence machinery in these sessile species. Glyoxalases are known to be differentially regulated under stress conditions and their overexpression in plants confers tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses. In the present article, we review the importance of glyoxalases in plants, discussing possible roles with emphasis on involvement of the glyoxalase pathway in plant stress tolerance.

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