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Plant J. 2010 Aug;63(4):551-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04262.x.

Hormonal interplay during adventitious root formation in flooded tomato plants.

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Plant Laboratory, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Via Mariscoglio 34, 56124 Pisa, Italy.


Soil flooding, which results in a decline in the availability of oxygen to submerged organs, negatively affects the growth and productivity of most crops. Although tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is known for its sensitivity to waterlogging, its ability to produce adventitious roots (ARs) increases plant survival when the level of oxygen is decreased in the root zone. Ethylene entrapment by water may represent the first warning signal to the plant indicating waterlogging. We found that treatment with the ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and the auxin transport inhibitor 1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA) resulted in a reduction of AR formation in waterlogged plants. We observed that ethylene, perceived by the Never Ripe receptor, stimulated auxin transport. In a process requiring the Diageotropica gene, auxin accumulation in the stem triggered additional ethylene synthesis, which further stimulated a flux of auxin towards to the flooded parts of the plant. Auxin accumulation in the base of the plant induces growth of pre-formed root initials. This response of tomato plants results in a new root system that is capable of replacing the original one when it has been damaged by submergence.

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