, Volume 217, Issue 6, pp 880–887 | Cite as

Effects of ethylene and abscisic acid upon heterophylly in Ludwigia arcuata (Onagraceae)

  • Asuka Kuwabara
  • Keiichi Ikegami
  • Tomokazu Koshiba
  • Toshiyuki Nagata
Original Article


In this study, we examined the effects of ethylene and abscisic acid (ABA) upon heterophyllous leaf formation of Ludwigia arcuata Walt. Treatment with ethylene gas resulted in the formation of submerged-type leaves on terrestrial shoots of L. arcuata, while treatments with ABA induced the formation of terrestrial-type leaves on submerged shoots. Measurement of the endogenous ethylene concentration of submerged shoots showed that it was higher than that of terrestrial ones. In contrast, the endogenous ABA concentration of terrestrial shoots was higher than that of submerged ones. To clarify interactions of ethylene and ABA, simultaneous additions of these two plant hormones were examined. When L. arcuata plants were treated with these two plant hormones, the effects of ABA dominated that of ethylene, resulting in the formation of terrestrial-type leaves. This suggests that ABA may be located downstream of ethylene in signal transduction chains for forming heterophyllous changes. Further, ethylene treatment induced the reduction of endogenous levels of ABA in tissues of L. arcuata, resulting in the formation of submerged-type leaves. Thus the effects of ethylene and ABA upon heterophyllous leaf formation are discussed in relationship to the cross-talk between signaling pathways of ethylene and ABA.


Abscisic acid Ethylene Heterophylly Ludwigia Plant hormonal interactions Submergence 



abscisic acid


1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid

L/W ratio

ratio of leaf length to width


leaf number





We thank Dr. Richard Thompson (INRA, Dijon, France) for his critical reading of the manuscript. Thanks are also due to Prof. Noriaki Kondo of the University of Tokyo and Dr. Nobuyoshi Nakajima of National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan, for their valuable advice in exposing plants to ethylene gas and allowing us to use their gas chromatographs and other equipment. Some of the experiments were technically assisted by Mr. Kenro Imamura and Ms. Erika Oka of the University of Tokyo. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (T.N.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asuka Kuwabara
    • 1
  • Keiichi Ikegami
    • 2
  • Tomokazu Koshiba
    • 2
  • Toshiyuki Nagata
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceTokyo Metropolitan UniversityTokyoJapan

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