We examined the gibberellin (GA) and ethylene regulation of submergence-induced elongation in seedlings of the submergence-tolerant lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.) cvs Senia and Bomba. Elongation was enhanced after germination to facilitate water escape and reach air. We found that submergence-induced elongation depends on GA because it was counteracted by paclobutrazol (an inhibitor of GA biosynthesis), an effect that was negated by GA3. Moreover, in the cv Senia, submergence increased the content of active GA1and its immediate precursors (GA53, GA19and GA20) by enhancing expression of several GA biosynthesis genes (OsGA20ox1 and -2, and OsGA3ox2), but not by decreasing expression of several OsGA2ox (GA inactivating genes). Senia seedlings, in contrast to Bomba seedlings, did not elongate in response to ethylene or 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic-acid (ACC; an ethylene precursor) application, and submergence-induced elongation was not reduced in the presence of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; an ethylene perception inhibitor). Ethylene emanation was similar in Senia seedlings grown in air and in submerged-grown seedlings following de-submergence, while it increased in Bomba. The expression of ethylene biosynthesis genes (OsACS1, -2 and -3, and OsACO1) was not affected in Senia, but expression of OsACS5 was rapidly enhanced in Bomba upon submergence. Our results support the conclusion that submergence elongation enhancement of lowland rice is due to alteration of GA metabolism leading to an increase in active GA (GA1) content. Interestingly, in the cv Senia, in contrast to cv Bomba, this was triggered through an ethylene-independent mechanism. © 2010.
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