Angiosperm Flora of India

Endogenous Abscisic Acid as a Key Switch for Natural Variation in Flooding-Induced Shoot Elongation

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2010
Authors:CHEN, X, Pierik, R, Peeters, AJM, POORTER, HENDRIK, Visser, EJW, HUBER, HEIDRUN, De Kroon, H, Voesenek, LACJ
Journal:Plant Physiology
Date Published:2010
ISBN Number:00320889
Keywords:Rumex, Rumex acetosa

Elongation of leaves and stem is a key trait for survival of terrestrial plants during shallow but prolonged floods that completely submerge the shoot. However, natural floods at different locations vary strongly in duration and depth, and, therefore, populations from these locations are subjected to different selection pressure, leading to intraspecific variation. Here, we identified the signal transduction component that causes response variation in shoot elongation among two accessions of the wetland plant Rumex palustris. These accessions differed 2-fold in petiole elongation rates upon submergence, with fast elongation found in a population from a river floodplain and slow elongation in plants from a lake bank. Fast petiole elongation under water consumes carbohydrates and depends on the (inter)action of the plant hormones ethylene, abscisic acid, and gibberellic acid. We found that carbohydrate levels and dynamics in shoots did not differ between the fast and slow elongating plants, but that the level of ethylene-regulated abscisic acid in petioles, and hence gibberellic acid responsiveness of these petioles explained the difference in shoot elongation upon submergence. Since this is the exact signal transduction level that also explains the variation in flooding-induced shoot elongation among plant species (namely, R. palustris and Rumex acetosa), we suggest that natural selection results in similar modification of regulatory pathways within and between species.

Short Title:Plant Physiology
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