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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #225071

Title: Plant anaerobic stress II. Strategy of avoidance of anaerobiosis and other aspects of plant life under hypoxia and anoxia

item Sachs, Martin

Submitted to: Plant Stress
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2008
Publication Date: 7/1/2008
Citation: Vartapetian, B.B., Sachs, M.M., Fagerstedt, K.V. 2008. Plant anaerobic stress II. Strategy of avoidance of anaerobiosis and other aspects of plant life under hypoxia and anoxia. Plant Stress. 2:1-19.

Interpretive Summary: The goal was to characterize molecular and physiological events induced during low oxygen conditions in plants during flooding. The results indicate that flooding causes a number of changes that allow some plants to adapt to a low oxygen environment. Some plants were found to have special adaptations to flooding stress. The understanding of these mechanisms 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: This article is a logical follow-up of previous publications (Vartapetian and Crawford 2007; Sachs and Vartapetian 2007) where an attempt was made to summarize the results of earlier periods of investigations of plant anaerobic stress and the activity of members of the International Society for Plant Anaerobiosis (ISPA) that ultimately brought about the establishment and international recognition of a new scientific discipline in the field of plant ecological physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology devoted to plant life under hypoxia and anoxia. Special attention was also paid to the strategy of metabolic adaptation of plants to hypoxia and anoxia, realized at the molecular level, including both the molecular biological and molecular genetic aspects of the problem. Continuing the discussion of strategies of plant adaptation to anaerobic environments in this review we pay particular consideration to the strategy of adaptation accomplished at the whole plant level by the formation of a continuous network of gas-filled spaces (aerenchyma), which development, provoked by specific signaling systems and programmed cell death, provides facilitated long-distance oxygen transport from aerated plant parts to organs (roots, rhizomes) under anaerobic conditions, that is a strategy of avoidance of anaerobiosis, or the phenomenon of “apparent” tolerance. Additionally, the following important aspects of plant hypoxic and anoxic stress are also considered here: post-anaerobic plant injury by reactive oxygen species and protection against oxidative injury by plant antioxidants; the Davies-Roberts pH-stat theory; alternative electron acceptors; demonstration of the adaptation syndrome in plants under anaerobic stress; genetic and cellular engineering in generating plants tolerant to anaerobic stress.