Flooding‐Stress in Plants


Flooding is a stress that crop plants frequently encounter and results in huge economic losses. Studies on the effects of flooding at the molecular level may lead to improvements that will result in flood‐tolerant crop plants.

Key concepts

Flooding leads to a deprivation of oxygen in plants. Many plants respond to oxygen deprivation with adaptations that allow short‐term survival. Some plants show excellent tolerance to anoxia.

Keywords: oxygen deprivation; anoxia; hypoxia; flooding; plant stress; gene regulation

Figure 1.

Protein synthesis in a maize primary root during anaerobic treatment. Fluorographs of native–sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) 2‐D polyacrylamide gels that were loaded with extracts from maize primary roots after the following treatments. (a) One hour pulse labelling with [3 H]‐leucine under aerobic conditions. (b–e) Pulse labelling with [3 H]‐leucine during the specified times under anaerobic conditions. The arrow labelled TPs indicates the position of the transition polypeptides. The unlabelled arrow indicates the position of alcohol dehydrogenase‐1 (ADH1). MW, molecular mass.



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Further Reading

Bailey‐Serres J and Chang R (2005) Sensing and signalling in response to oxygen deprivation in plants and other organisms. Annals of Botany 96: 507–518.

Bailey‐Serres J and Voesenek LACJ (2008) Flooding stress: acclimations and genetic diversity. Annual Review of Plant Biology 59: 313–339.

Geigenberger P (2003) Response of plant metabolism to too little oxygen. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 6: 247–256.

Jackson MB (2008) Ethylene‐promoted elongation: an adaptation to submergence stress. Annals of Botany 101: 229–248.

Sachs MM and Vartapetian BB (2007) Plant anaerobic stress I. Metabolic adaptation to oxygen deficiency. Plant Stress 1: 123–135.

Subbaiah CC and Sachs MM (2008) Responses to oxygen deprivation and potential for enhanced flooding tolerance in maize. In: Bennetzen JL and Hake SC (eds) Handbook of Maize: Its Biology. New York: Springer. (in press), http://www.springer.com/life+sci/plant+sciences/book/978‐0‐387‐79417‐4

Vartapetian BB and Crawford RMM (2007) The international society for plant anaerobiosis: history, functions and activity. Plant Stress 1: 1–3.

Vartapetian BB, Sachs MM and Fagerstedt KV (2008) Plant anaerobic stress II. Strategy of avoidance of anaerobiosis and other aspects of plant life under hypoxia and anoxia. Plant Stress 2: 1–19.

Voesenek LACJ, Colmer TD, Pierik R, Millenaar FF and Peeters AJM (2006) How plants cope with complete submergence. New Phytologist 170: 213–226.

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How to Cite close
Sachs, Martin M(Dec 2008) Flooding‐Stress in Plants. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001317.pub2]