Ethylene-promoted adventitious rooting and development of cortical air spaces (aerenchyma) in roots may be adaptive responses to flooding in Zea mays L
Received: 28 May 1979 Accepted: 09 July 1979 DOI:
Cite this article as: Drew, M.C., Jackson, M.B. & Giffard, S. Planta (1979) 147: 83. doi:10.1007/BF00384595 Abstract
The roots and stem base of intact, 10 day old maize (
Zea mays L. cv. LG11) plants, grown in nutrient solution, were continuously aerated either with ethylene (5 μl l -1) in air or with air alone. Ethylene treatment hastened the emergence of adventitious (nodal) roots from the base of the shoot, but slowed their subsequent extension. Ethylene also promoted the collapse of cells in the cortex of these roots, with lysigenous development of prominent air spaces (aerenchyma). Non-aeration of the nutrient solution caused endogenously produced ethylene to accumulate in the roots, and stimulated both the emergence of adventitious roots and the formation of cortical air spaces in them. With non-aeration the concentration of oxygen did not fall below 1% in the equilibrium gas phase (air=20.8%). Complete deoxygenation of the nutrient solution, produced by passing oxygen-free nitrogen gas, prevented both air space formation and the evolution of ethylene by root segments.
These results suggest that adventitious rooting and cortical air space formation in nodal roots in
Zea mays may be stimulated by enhanced concentrations of endogenous ethylene arising either from entrapment of the gas by unstirred water layers around the roots and/or by increased biosynthesis. These responses are considered conducive to survival in waterlogged soil. Key words Adventitious roots Air spaces (aerenchyma) Ethylene Oxygen Zea References
Armstrong, W.: Radial oxygen losses from intact rice roots as affected by distance from the apex, respiration and waterlogging. Physiol. Plant.
, 192–197 (1971)
Bateman, D.F.: Plant cell wall hydrolysis by pathogens. In: Biochemical aspects of plant-parasite relationship. pp. 79–103, Friend, J., Threlfall, D.R., eds. London: Academic Press 1976
Beyer, E.M., Morgan, P.W.: A method for determining the concentration of ethylene in the gas phase of vegetative plant tissue. Plant Physiol.
, 352–354 (1970)
Bradford, K.J., Dilley, D.R.: Effects of root anaerobiosis on ethylene production, epinasty, and growth of tomato plants. Plant Physiol.
, 506–509 (1978)
Burg, S.P., Burg, E.A.: Gas exchange in fruits. Physiol. Plant.
, 870–884 (1965)
Coutts, M.P., Armstrong, W.: Role of oxygen transport in the tolerance of trees to waterlogging. In: Tree physiology and yield improvement. pp. 361–385, Cannell, M.G.R., Last, F.T., eds. London: Academic Press 1978
Grable, A.R.: Soil aeration and plant growth. Adv. Agron.
, 57–106 (1966)
Harvey, E.M.: The castor bean plant and laboratory air. Bot. Gaz.
, 439–442 (1913)
Jackson, M.B., Campbell, D.J.: Movement of ethylene from roots to shoots, a factor in the responses of tomato plants to waterlogged soil conditions. New Phytol.
, 397–406 (1975)
Jackson, M.B., Campbell, D.J.: Waterlogging and petiole epinasty in tomato: the role of ethylene and low oxygen. New Phytol.
, 21–29 (1976)
Jackson, M.B., Gales, K., Campbell, D.J.: Effect of waterlogged soil conditions on the production of ethylene and on water relationships in tomato plants. J. Exp. Bot.
, 183–193 (1978)
Jackson, M.B., Osborne, D.J.: Ethylene, the natural regulator of leaf abscissions. Nature
, 1019–1025 (1970)
Jackson, M.B., Osborne, D.J.: Abscisic acid, auxin, and ethylene in explant abscission. J. Exp. Bot.
, 849–862 (1972)
Kawase, M.J.: Effect of flooding on ethylene concentration in horticultural plants. J. Am. Soc. Hort. Sci.
, 584–588 (1972)
Kawase, M.J.: Role of ethylene in induction of flooding damage in sunflower. Physiol. Plant.
, 29–38 (1974)
Kawase, M.J.: Anaerobic elevation of ethylene concentration in waterlogged plants. Am. J. Bot.
, 736–740 (1978)
Kawase, M.J.: Role of cellulase in aerenchyma development in sunflower. Am. J. Bot.
, 183–190 (1979)
Konings, H., Jackson, M.B.: A relationship between rates of ethylene production by roots and the promoting or inhibiting effects of exogenous ethylene and water on root elongation. Z. Pflanzenphysiol.
, 385–397 (1979)
Kramer, P.J.: Causes of injury to plants resulting from flooding of the soil. Plant Physiol.
, 722–736 (1951)
Kramer, P.J.: Plant and soil water relationships. New York: McGraw-Hill 1969
Ku, A.S., Suge, H., Rappaport, L., Pratt, H.K.: Stimulation of rice coleoptile growth by ethylene. Planta
, 333–339 (1970)
PubMed Google Scholar
Mapson, L.W.: Biogenesis of ethylene. Biol. Rev.
, 155–187 (1969)
Musgrave, A., Jackson, M.B., Ling, E.:
stem elongation is controlled by ethylene and gibberellin. Nature New Biol.
, 93–96 (1972)
Smith, K.A., Russell, R.S.: Occurrence of ethylene, and its significance, in anaerobic soil. Nature
, 769–771 (1969)
Wallace, R.H.: The production of intumescences upon apple twigs by ethylene gas. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club
, 385–402 (1926)
Wample, R.L., Reid, D.M.: Effect of aeration on the floodinduced formation of adventitious roots and other changes in sunflower (
, 263–270 (1975)
Williams, W.T., Barber, D.A.: The functional significance of aerenchyma in plants. In: Mechanisms in biological competition. Symposium Soc. Exp. Biol.
15, 132–144 (1961)
Wood, R.K.S.: Killing of protoplasts. In: Biochemical aspects of plant-parasite relationships, pp. 105–116, Friend, J., Threlfall, D.R., eds. London: Academic Press 1976
Zimmerman, P.W., Hitchcock, A.E.: Initiation and stimulation of adventitions roots caused by unsaturated hydrocarbon gases. Contrib. Boyce Thompson Inst.
, 351–369 (1933)