Plants have evolved to live in environments where they are often exposed to different stress factors. Being sessile, they have developed specific mechanisms that allow them to detect precisely environmental changes and respond to complex conditions, minimizing damage while conserving valuable resources for growth and reproduction. The cell wall polysaccharide β-D-glucan observed in some species of Poales can determine responses to various environmental factors in specific plant developmental stages. It is located in the outer epidermal layer, at the place of stress attack and therefore its metabolism could relate to response of plant to environmental factors within moderate, physiological range. Putative protective role of β-D-glucan during heat stress was indicated through naked oats with higher content of β-D-glucan. It appeared that oats with higher β-D-glucan content are better adapted to stress conditions. The presented article discusses the β-D-glucan as a possible protective mechanism in oat during (heat) stress conditions.
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