Nitric oxide (NO) and other reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are immensely important signalling molecules in plants, being involved in a range of physiological responses. However, the exact way in which NO fits into signal transduction pathways is not always easy to understand. Here, some of the issues that should be considered are discussed. This includes how NO may interact directly with other reactive signals, such as reactive oxygen and sulfur species, how NO metabolism is almost certainly compartmentalised, that threshold levels of RNS may need to be reached to have effects and how the intracellular redox environment may impact on NO signalling. Until better tools are available to understand how NO is generated in cells, where it accumulates and to what levels it reaches, it will be hard to get a full understanding of NO signalling. The interaction of RNS metabolism with the intracellular redox environment needs further investigation. A changing redox poise will impact on whether RNS species can thrive in or around cells. Such mechanisms will determine whether specific RNS can indeed control the responses needed by a cell.
Hancock, J. T. (2019). Considerations of the importance of redox state for reactive nitrogen species action. Journal of Experimental Botany, 70(17), 4323-4331. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erz067