Journal Article

Wait or escape? Contrasting submergence tolerance strategies of <i>Rorippa amphibia</i>, <i>Rorippa sylvestris</i> and their hybrid

Melis Akman, Amit V. Bhikharie, Elizabeth H. McLean, Alex Boonman, Eric J. W. Visser, M. Eric Schranz and Peter H. van Tienderen

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 109, issue 7, pages 1263-1276
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs059
Wait or escape? Contrasting submergence tolerance strategies of Rorippa amphibia, Rorippa sylvestris and their hybrid

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

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Background and Aims

Differential responses of closely related species to submergence can provide insight into the evolution and mechanisms of submergence tolerance. Several traits of two wetland species from habitats with contrasting flooding regimes, Rorippa amphibia and Rorippa sylvestris, as well as F1 hybrid Rorippa × anceps were analysed to unravel mechanisms underlying submergence tolerance.

Methods

In the first submergence experiment (lasting 20 d) we analysed biomass, stem elongation and carbohydrate content. In the second submergence experiment (lasting 3 months) we analysed survival and the effect of re-establishment of air contact on biomass and carbohydrate content. In a separate experiment we analysed expression of two carbohydrate catabolism genes, ADH1 and SUS1, upon re-establishment of air contact following submergence.

Key Results

All plants had low mortality even after 3 months of submergence. Rorippa sylvestris was characterized by 100 % survival and higher carbohydrate levels coupled with lower ADH1 gene expression as well as reduced growth compared with R. amphibia. Rorippa amphibia and the hybrid elongated their stems but this did not pay-off in higher survival when plants remained submerged. Only R. amphibia and the hybrid benefited in terms of increased biomass and carbohydrate accumulation upon re-establishing air contact.

Conclusions

Results demonstrate contrasting ‘escape’ and ‘quiescence’ strategies between Rorippa species. Being a close relative of arabidopsis, Rorippa is an excellent model for future studies on the molecular mechanism(s) controlling these strategies.

Keywords: Rorippa; submergence tolerance; escape and quiescence strategies; flooding; carbohydrate reserves; survival

Journal Article.  8193 words.  Illustrated.

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

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