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Trends Plant Sci. 2000 Mar;5(3):123-7.

Programmed cell death and aerenchyma formation in roots.

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Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


Lysigenous aerenchyma contributes to the ability of plants to tolerate low-oxygen soil environments, by providing an internal aeration system for the transfer of oxygen from the shoot. However, aerenchyma formation requires the death of cells in the root cortex. In maize, hypoxia stimulates ethylene production, which in turn activates a signal transduction pathway involving phosphoinositides and Ca2+. Death occurs in a predictable pattern, is regulated by a hormone (ethylene) and provides an example of programmed cell death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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