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Trends Plant Sci. 2007 Feb;12(2):43-6. Epub 2007 Jan 5.

Submergence tolerance in rice requires Sub1A, an ethylene-response-factor-like gene.

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Crop Physiology Center, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Via Mariscoglio 34, 56124 Pisa, Italy.


Submergence of rice (Oryza sativa) by flash flooding is a major constraint to rice production in Asia. Rice cultivars vary in their capacity to tolerate complete submergence; quantitative trait loci analyses have revealed that a large portion of this variation in submergence tolerance can be explained by one locus (Sub1) on chromosome 9. Two recently published papers (Takeshi Fukao et al. and Kenong Xu et al.) present evidence that a transcription factor belonging to the B-2 subgroup of the ethylene response factors (ERFs)/ethylene-responsive element binding proteins (EREBPs)/apetala 2-like proteins (AP2) within the Sub1 locus determines submergence tolerance in rice. These genes control highly conserved hormonal, physiological and developmental processes that determine the rate of elongation when submerged.

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