Physiological and biochemical responses of Eucalyptus seedlings to hypoxia

  • Eduardo F. MedinaEmail author
  • Gustavo C. V. Mayrink
  • Cleide R. Dias
  • Camilo E. Vital
  • Dimas M. Ribeiro
  • Ivo R. Silva
  • Andrew Merchant
Research Paper


Key message

Hypoxia promoted distinct changes in the levels of hormones, amino acids and organic acids in the roots and shoots of a seedling from 2 Eucalyptus clones. These results indicate that modulation of hormone production, as well as specific chemical constituents associated with primary metabolism, contributes to the regulation of growth of Eucalyptus seedlings under hypoxic conditions.


Although floods in areas under Eucalyptus cultivation in Brazil negatively affect plant growth, chemical markers and/or indicators of hypoxia contributes to the regulation.s


This study aimed to evaluate the hormonal and metabolic alterations induced by hypoxia on seedling growth.


Seedlings of Eucalyptus urograndis clones VCC 975 and 1004 were grown in liquid solution and submitted to bubbling with air or with nitrogen. Levels of indol-3-acetic acid (IAA), abscisic acid (ABA), ethylene, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), primary metabolite profile and photosynthetic parameters were evaluated after fourteen days.


Hypoxia did not affect shoot dry mass of the seedlings. However, it decreased stomatal conductance and photosynthetic CO2 assimilation rate, and increased levels of ABA in the shoot. Hypoxia greatly reduced the dry mass and volume of roots, concomitantly with higher ACC and ethylene production. Moreover, hypoxia promoted distinct changes in IAA levels, and in amino acid and organic acid metabolism in roots and shoots.


The biosynthesis of ABA, ethylene and IAA and its quantity in root tissues indicates the regulation of metabolism in response to hypoxia in Eucalyptus clones.


Growth inhibition Hormones Photosynthetic response Primary metabolism 



Discussions with Professor Timothy Colmer (University of Western Australia) were highly valuable in the development of this work. My gratitude is also extended to the NUBIOMOL (Núcleo de Análises de Biomoléculas) for the support with the LC-MS analysis.


EFM would like to thank CAPES (Coordination of Personal Improvement at the Higher Level) and CNPq (Brazilian Council for Advancement of Science and Technology) for the financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

13595_2018_789_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 Supplementary figures and tables (DOCX 1712 kb)
13595_2018_789_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (48 kb)
Supplementary material 2 Two-Way ANOVA data (PDF 47 kb)


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Solos e Nutrição de PlantasUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de EntomologiaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  3. 3.Núcleo de Análises de BiomoléculasViçosaBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de Biologia VegetalUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  5. 5.Faculty of ScienceThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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