Approaches to investigate crop responses to ozone pollution: from O3-FACE to satellite-enabled modeling

Christopher M. Montes, Hannah J. Demler, Shuai Li, Duncan G. Martin, Elizabeth A. Ainsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ozone (O3) is a damaging air pollutant to crops. As one of the most reactive oxidants known, O3 rapidly forms other reactive oxygen species (ROS) once it enters leaves through stomata. Those ROS in turn can cause oxidative stress, reduce photosynthesis, accelerate senescence, and decrease crop yield. To improve and adapt our feed, fuel, and food supply to rising O3 pollution, a number of Free Air Concentration Enrichment (O3-FACE) facilities have been developed around the world and have studied key staple crops. In this review, we provide an overview of the FACE facilities and highlight some of the lessons learned from the last two decades of research. We discuss the differences between C3 and C4 crop responses to elevated O3, the possible trade-off between productivity and protection, genetic variation in O3 response within and across species, and how we might leverage this observed variation for crop improvement. We also highlight the need to improve understanding of the interaction between rising O3 pollution and other aspects of climate change, notably drought. Finally, we propose the use of globally modeled O3 data that are available at increasing spatial and temporal resolutions to expand upon the research conducted at the limited number of global O3-FACE facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-446
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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