Biologia Plantarum

, 52:401

Physiology and biochemistry of waterlogging tolerance in plants

  • R. K. Sairam
  • D. Kumutha
  • K. Ezhilmathi
  • P. S. Deshmukh
  • G. C. Srivastava


Waterlogging is a serious problem, which affects crop growth and yield in low lying rainfed areas. The main cause of damage under waterlogging is oxygen deprivation, which affect nutrient and water uptake, so the plants show wilting even when surrounded by excess of water. Lack of oxygen shift the energy metabolism from aerobic mode to anaerobic mode. Plants adapted to waterlogged conditions, have mechanisms to cope with this stress such as aerenchyma formation, increased availability of soluble sugars, greater activity of glycolytic pathway and fermentation enzymes and involvement of antioxidant defence mechanism to cope with the post hypoxia/anoxia oxidative stress. Gaseous plant hormone ethylene plays an important role in modifying plant response to oxygen deficiency. It has been reported to induce genes of enzymes associated with aerenchyma formation, glycolysis and fermentation pathway. Besides, nonsymbiotic-haemoglobins and nitric oxide have also been suggested as an alternative to fermentation for maintaining lower redox potential (low NADH/NAD ratio), and thereby playing an important role in anaerobic stress tolerance and signaling.

Additional key words

anoxia antioxidative enzymes ethylene fermentation flooding glycolysis hypoxia nitric oxide non-symbiotic haemoglobin oxidative stress sugars 





1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid


alcohol dehydrogenase


adenylate energy charge


anaerobic protein


ascorbate peroxidase




dihydroascorbate peroxidase


glutathione reductase






cytosolic nitrate reductase


lactate dehydrogenase


monodihzdroascorbate peroxidase


plasma membrane nitrate reductase


plasma membrane nitrite nitric oxide reductase


nicotine amide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-reduced


nitrite reductase


nitric oxide


pyruvate decarboxylase


superoxide dismutase


sucrose synthase


xyloglucan endo-trans-glucosylase


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Sairam
    • 1
  • D. Kumutha
    • 1
  • K. Ezhilmathi
    • 1
  • P. S. Deshmukh
    • 1
  • G. C. Srivastava
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Plant PhysiologyIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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