Submitted to: Annals Of Botany
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2002
Publication Date: 1/15/2003
Citation: Subbaiah, C., Sachs, M. 2003. Molecular and cellular adaptations of maize to flooding stress. Annuals of Botany. 91:119-127. Interpretive Summary: 1) Rationale: The goal here was to characterize molecular events induced during low oxygen conditions in maize during flooding. 2) Accomplishments: The results indicate that flooding causes a release of Calcium ions and this signals genes that induce structural and cellular changes in maize plants. The process appears to be involved in the mechanism of how a seedling responds during flooding stress. 3) Significance: The understanding of this mechanism in a plant's response to low oxygen-stress conditions will allow for a greater understanding of how plants attempt to cope with this stress and may allow for effective methods to produce crop plants that are tolerant to flooding.
Technical Abstract: Anaerobic treatment dramatically alters the patterns of gene expression in maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings. During anaerobiosis there is an immediate repression of preexisting protein synthesis, with the concurrent initiation of a selective synthesis of approximately twenty proteins. Among these anaerobic proteins (ANPs) are enzymes involved in glycolysis and related processes. However, inducible genes that have different functions were also found; which may function in other, perhaps more long-term, processes of adaptations to flooding, such as aerenchyma formation and root-tip death. Our recent research has addressed two questions: how these gene expression changes are initiated and how they lead to adaptation to flooding-stress. Our results indicate that an early rise in cytosolic Ca2+ as well as a quick establishment of ionic homeostasis may be essential for the induction of adaptive changes at the cellular as well as organismal level.