Date of this Version
The Plant Journal (2015) 83, 149–159
Drought, salinity, extreme temperature variations, pathogen and herbivory attacks are recurring environmental stresses experienced by plants throughout their life. To survive repeated stresses, plants provide responses that may be different from their response during the first encounter with the stress. A different response to a similar stress represents the concept of ‘stress memory’. A coordinated reaction at the organismal, cellular and gene/genome levels is thought to increase survival chances by improving the plant’s tolerance/ avoidance abilities. Ultimately, stress memory may provide a mechanism for acclimation and adaptation. At the molecular level, the concept of stress memory indicates that the mechanisms responsible for memory-type transcription during repeated stresses are not based on repetitive activation of the same response pathways activated by the first stress. Some recent advances in the search for transcription ‘memory factors’ are discussed with an emphasis on super-induced dehydration stress memory response genes in Arabidopsis.