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Regulation of root anaerobiosis and carbon translocation by light and root aeration in Isoetes alpinus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:B. K. Sorrell
Journal:Plant, Cell and Environment
Pagination:1102 - 1111
Date Published:2004///
Keywords:Alcohol dehydrogenase, Anoxia, Aquatic macrophytes, Assimilates, Lacunae, Oxygen transport, Photosynthesis, Respiration

The activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) was measured in corms and roots of the submerged freshwater macrophyte Isoetes alpinus Kirk. growing in situ, and related to its capacity for internal oxygen transport and to carbohydrate translocation. ADH activity was present in roots but not corms at uniform activity (0.15-0.35 × 10-6 mol g-1 fresh weight s-1) over the entire plant depth range (3-7 m depth), and was intermediate to that developed in excised roots after 1-week exposure to either dissolved oxygen at air-saturation or to anoxia. Responses of photosynthesis and root oxygen release to light intensity confirmed that shoot-to-root oxygen transport saturated at similar light intensities to photosynthetic oxygen evolution, but was positive in the dark and at irradiances below the compensation point for photosynthesis, due to contributions to transport by oxygen diffusion from the external medium. Transport of 14C-labelled photo-assimilates to roots nevertheless ceased when intact plants were exposed to a combination of leaf darkness and root external anoxia, even when high 14C concentrations were present in shoots, but remained high when the roots were provided with external oxygen. The lack of any control over permeability of the root surface to gases in this species suggested that ADH activity and reduced translocation is most likely caused by development of hypoxic tissues in the apical tissue. These results suggest that reductions in ambient light intensity may have indirect effects on I. alpinus viability by increasing the degree of root hypoxia and impairing carbon partitioning.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith