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Plant Physiol. 2002 Mar;128(3):962-9.

Ethylene enhances water transport in hypoxic aspen.

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Department of Renewable Resources, 4-42 Earth Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E3.


Water transport was examined in solution culture grown seedlings of aspen (Populus tremuloides) after short-term exposures of roots to exogenous ethylene. Ethylene significantly increased stomatal conductance, root hydraulic conductivity (L(p)), and root oxygen uptake in hypoxic seedlings. Aerated roots that were exposed to ethylene also showed enhanced L(p). An ethylene action inhibitor, silver thiosulphate, significantly reversed the enhancement of L(p) by ethylene. A short-term exposure of excised roots to ethylene significantly enhanced the root water flow (Q(v)), measured by pressurizing the roots at 0.3 MPa. The Q(v) values in ethylene-treated roots declined significantly when 50 microM HgCl(2) was added to the root medium and this decline was reversed by the addition of 20 mM 2-mercaptoethanol. The results suggest that the response of Q(v) to ethylene involves mercury-sensitive water channels and that root-absorbed ethylene enhanced water permeation through roots, resulting in an increase in root water transport and stomatal opening in hypoxic seedlings.

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