Plants varyingly serve as control agents for heavy metal loads in environmental compartments, including soils, by accumulating and partitioning most heavy metals in their organs. However, by doing this wonderful job, the plant health and productivity get affected because of the elevated cellular heavy metals. Therefore, exploration of approaches for strengthening plant's tolerance to cellular heavy metals is very imperative. As an indispensable macronutrient in plants, sulfur (S) is widely known to assist numerous plant functions and is also argued as vital element for various plant metabolic processes both in normal and stressed conditions. However, the discussion on the heavy metal-specific roles of S-containing compounds in plants have been considered least. In this paper, the aspects discussed included the following: (1) heavy metals and their relation with plants; and nutrient-management and S in control of metal stress-impacts in plants are introduced; (2) major insights into S-assimilation and -assimilatory products are overviewed; (3) important roles of assimilatory products in plant tolerance to common heavy metals are highlighted, and (4) metal-specific influence on assimilatory products in plants are discussed.
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Vol. 73 • No. 5