Journal Article

A kinetic analysis of hyponastic growth and petiole elongation upon ethylene exposure in <i>Rumex palustris</i>

Zohreh Heydarian, Rashmi Sasidharan, Marjolein C. H. Cox, Ronald Pierik, Laurentius A. C. J. Voesenek and Anton J. M. Peeters

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 106, issue 3, pages 429-435
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcq138
A kinetic analysis of hyponastic growth and petiole elongation upon ethylene exposure in Rumex palustris

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Complete submergence is an important stress factor for many terrestrial plants, and a limited number of species have evolved mechanisms to deal with these conditions. Rumex palustris is one such species and manages to outgrow the water, and thus restore contact with the atmosphere, through upward leaf growth (hyponasty) followed by strongly enhanced petiole elongation. These responses are initiated by the gaseous plant hormone ethylene, which accumulates inside plants due to physical entrapment. This study aimed to investigate the kinetics of ethylene-induced leaf hyponasty and petiole elongation.

Methods

Leaf hyponasty and petiole elongation was studied using a computerized digital camera set-up followed by image analyses. Linear variable displacement transducers were used for fine resolution monitoring and measurement of petiole growth rates.

Key Results

We show that submergence-induced hyponastic growth and petiole elongation in R. palustris can be mimicked by exposing plants to ethylene. The petiole elongation response to ethylene is shown to depend on the initial angle of the petiole. When petiole angles were artificially kept at 0°, rather than the natural angle of 35°, ethylene could not induce enhanced petiole elongation. This is very similar to submergence studies and confirms the idea that there are endogenous, angle-dependent signals that influence the petiole elongation response to ethylene.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that submergence and ethylene-induced hyponastic growth and enhanced petiole elongation responses in R. palustris are largely similar. However, there are some differences that may relate to the complexity of the submergence treatment as compared with an ethylene treatment.

Keywords: Rumex palustris; submergence; ethylene; hyponastic growth; petiole elongation

Journal Article.  3702 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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