Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) are enzymes catalyzing the reversible hydration of carbon dioxide with the generation of protons and bicarbonate. The components of the reaction are involved in almost all metabolic processes in higher plants and algae, maintaining the balance of electrolytes and pH, gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, ethylene synthesis, and others. The CAs may take part in transmitting signals to activate cascades of protective response genes. Our findings reveal significant changes in the content of carbonic anhydrase gene transcripts in response to changes in environmental conditions. Here we discuss the functions of CAs located in the plasma membrane, chloroplast envelope, chloroplast stroma, and in thylakoids in plant protection under stress conditions, such as high illumination, low and high concentration of carbon dioxide in the environment, drought, and salinity.
Part of the book: Plant Stress Physiology