The increasing occurrence of floods hinders agricultural crop production and threatens global food security. The majority of vegetable crops are highly sensitive to flooding and it is unclear how these plants use flooding signals to acclimate to impending oxygen deprivation (hypoxia). Previous research has shown that the early flooding signal ethylene augments hypoxia responses and improves survival in Arabidopsis. To unravel how cultivated and wild Solanum
species integrate ethylene signaling to control subsequent hypoxia acclimation, we studied the transcript levels of a selection of marker genes, whose upregulation is indicative of ethylene-mediated hypoxia acclimation in Arabidopsis. Our results suggest that ethylene-mediated hypoxia acclimation is conserved in both shoots and roots of the wild Solanum
species bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara
) and a waterlogging-tolerant potato (Solanum tuberosum
) cultivar. However, ethylene did not enhance the transcriptional hypoxia response in roots of a waterlogging-sensitive potato cultivar, suggesting that waterlogging tolerance in potato could depend on ethylene-controlled hypoxia responses in the roots. Finally, we show that ethylene rarely enhances hypoxia-adaptive genes and does not improve hypoxia survival in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum
). We conclude that analyzing genes indicative of ethylene-mediated hypoxia acclimation is a promising approach to identifying key signaling cascades that confer flooding tolerance in crops.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited