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New Phytol. 2011 Apr;190(2):351-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03535.x. Epub 2010 Nov 22.

Identification of genes expressed in maize root cortical cells during lysigenous aerenchyma formation using laser microdissection and microarray analyses.

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Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


• To adapt to waterlogging in soil, some gramineous plants, such as maize (Zea mays), form lysigenous aerenchyma in the root cortex. Ethylene, which is accumulated during waterlogging, promotes aerenchyma formation. However, the molecular mechanism of aerenchyma formation is not understood. • The aim of this study was to identify aerenchyma formation-associated genes expressed in maize roots as a basis for understanding the molecular mechanism of aerenchyma formation. Maize plants were grown under waterlogged conditions, with or without pretreatment with an ethylene perception inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), or under aerobic conditions. Cortical cells were isolated by laser microdissection and their mRNA levels were examined with a microarray. • The microarray analysis revealed 575 genes in the cortical cells, whose expression was either up-regulated or down-regulated under waterlogged conditions and whose induction or repression was suppressed by pretreatment with 1-MCP. • The differentially expressed genes included genes related to the generation or scavenging of reactive oxygen species, Ca(2+) signaling, and cell wall loosening and degradation. The results of this study should lead to a better understanding of the mechanism of root lysigenous aerenchyma formation.

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