Oxygen is a natural acceptor of electrons in the respiratory pathway of aerobic organisms and in many other biochemical reactions. Aerobic metabolism is always associated with the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS may damage biomolecules but are also involved in regulatory functions of photosynthetic organisms. This review presents the main properties of ROS, the formation of ROS in the photosynthetic electron transport chain and in the stroma of chloroplasts, and ROS scavenging systems of thylakoid membrane and stroma. Effects of ROS on the photosynthetic apparatus and their roles in redox signaling are discussed.
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