Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Bot. 2010 Sep;106(3):429-35. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcq138. Epub 2010 Jul 4.

A kinetic analysis of hyponastic growth and petiole elongation upon ethylene exposure in Rumex palustris.

Author information

  • 1Plant Ecophysiology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Complete submergence is an important stress factor for many terrestrial plants, and a limited number of species have evolved mechanisms to deal with these conditions. Rumex palustris is one such species and manages to outgrow the water, and thus restore contact with the atmosphere, through upward leaf growth (hyponasty) followed by strongly enhanced petiole elongation. These responses are initiated by the gaseous plant hormone ethylene, which accumulates inside plants due to physical entrapment. This study aimed to investigate the kinetics of ethylene-induced leaf hyponasty and petiole elongation.


Leaf hyponasty and petiole elongation was studied using a computerized digital camera set-up followed by image analyses. Linear variable displacement transducers were used for fine resolution monitoring and measurement of petiole growth rates.


We show that submergence-induced hyponastic growth and petiole elongation in R. palustris can be mimicked by exposing plants to ethylene. The petiole elongation response to ethylene is shown to depend on the initial angle of the petiole. When petiole angles were artificially kept at 0 degrees, rather than the natural angle of 35 degrees, ethylene could not induce enhanced petiole elongation. This is very similar to submergence studies and confirms the idea that there are endogenous, angle-dependent signals that influence the petiole elongation response to ethylene.


Our data suggest that submergence and ethylene-induced hyponastic growth and enhanced petiole elongation responses in R. palustris are largely similar. However, there are some differences that may relate to the complexity of the submergence treatment as compared with an ethylene treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk