Journal Article

Rapid flooding-induced adventitious root development from preformed primordia in <i>Solanum dulcamara</i>

Thikra Dawood, Ivo Rieu, Mieke Wolters-Arts, Emiel B. Derksen, Celestina Mariani and Eric J. W. Visser


Published on behalf of Annals of Botany Company

Volume 6, issue Published in print January 2014 |
Published online February 2014 | e-ISSN: 2041-2851 | DOI:

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Flooding is a common stress factor in both natural and agricultural systems, and affects plant growth by the slow diffusion rate of gases in water. This results in low oxygen concentrations in submerged tissues, and hence in a decreased respiration rate. Understanding the responses of plants to flooding is essential for the management of wetland ecosystems, and may benefit research to improve the flood tolerance of crop species. This study describes the response to partial submergence of bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara). Bittersweet is a Eurasian species that grows both in dry habitats such as coastal dunes, and in wetlands, and therefore is a suitable model plant for studying responses to a variety of environmental stresses. A further advantage is that the species is closely related to flood-intolerant crops such as tomato and eggplant. The species constitutively develops dormant primordia on the stem, which we show to have a predetermined root identity. We investigated adventitious root growth from these primordia during flooding. The synchronized growth of roots from the primordia was detected after 2–3 days of flooding and was due to a combination of cell division and cell elongation. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that the molecular response to flooding began within 2 h and included activation of hypoxia and ethylene signalling genes. Unexpectedly, these early changes in gene expression were very similar in primordia and adjacent stem tissue, suggesting that there is a dominant general response in tissues during early flooding.

Keywords: Adventitious roots; cDNA-AFLP; gene expression; partial submergence; root primordia; soil flooding; Solanum dulcamara; waterlogging.

Journal Article.  6477 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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