Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Reveal Mechanisms in Air Channels Formation in Submerged Plants

February 9, 2022

Researchers from Nagoya University investigated the formation of air channels in wetland plants. Their findings are reported in Trends in Plant Science.

Wetland plants exhibit high tolerance to flooding because of their ability to form air channels called lysigenous aerenchyma, which help transfer gases to the submerged roots. Aside from withstanding flooding, these air channels also help plants during drought and nutrient deficiency. To understand the mechanism behind the formation of these air channels, the research team conducted the study which could provide insights on how to develop more resilient crops.

The team found that the plant hormone auxin is necessary for the formation of the air channels during normal root growth and identified two factors that lead to the formation of the air channels. First, the roots are submerged under aerobic conditions. Then, when there is an impediment in gas exchange, ethylene builds up in the roots, leading to the production of an enzyme responsible for reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. The ROS triggers cell death in the tissues, leading to the formation of cavities where the gasses pass through.

Read more findings from Nagoya University and Trends in Plant Science.

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