The efficiency of stress-induced adaptive responses of plants depends on intricate coordination of multiple signal transduction pathways that act coordinately or, in some cases, antagonistically. Protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) can regulate protein activity and localization as well as protein–protein interactions in numerous cellular processes, thus leading to elaborate regulation of plant responses to various external stimuli. Understanding responses of crop plants under field conditions is crucial to design novel stress-tolerant cultivars that maintain robust homeostasis even under extreme conditions. In this review, proteomic studies of PTMs in crops are summarized. Although the research on the roles of crop PTMs in regulating stress response mechanisms is still in its early stage, several novel insights have been retrieved so far. This review covers techniques for detection of PTMs in plants, representative PTMs in plants under abiotic stress, and how PTMs control functions of representative proteins. In addition, because PTMs under abiotic stresses are well described in soybeans under submergence, recent findings in PTMs of soybean proteins under flooding stress are introduced. This review provides information on advances in PTM study in relation to plant adaptations to abiotic stresses, underlining the importance of PTM study to ensure adequate agricultural production in the future.
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