Plants have to adjust, grow and establish themselves in various changing environmental conditions. Additionally, the sessile life-style of plants requires the development of response mechanisms for their adaptation in such environmental cues. Under biotic and abiotic stress, plant growth is negatively affected mainly as a result of cell cycle inhibition. The perception of stress involves the activation of signaling cascades that result in a prolonged S-phase and delayed entry into mitosis. Although the molecular interactions that link the cell cycle machinery to perception of stress are not fully understood, recent studies indicated the involvement of Cyclin Dependent Kinases (CDKs) in the plant response machinery. CDKs are core cell cycle regulators but their activity has been implicated in additional diverse cellular processes. Here we review the impact of different types of abiotic stress on plant cell cycle progression and CDK activity, and discuss the contribution of CDK function in the signaling control of stress tolerance
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