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The stimulating effects of ethylene and auxin on petiole elongation and on hyponastic curvature are independent processes in submerged Rumex palustris

Authors

  • MARJOLEIN C. H. COX,

    1. Plant Ecophysiology, Utrecht University, Sorbonnelaan 16, 3584 CA Utrecht, the Netherlands
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      Present address: Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia.

  • ANTON J. M. PEETERS,

    1. Plant Ecophysiology, Utrecht University, Sorbonnelaan 16, 3584 CA Utrecht, the Netherlands
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  • LAURENTIUS A. C. J. VOESENEK

    Corresponding author
    1. Plant Ecophysiology, Utrecht University, Sorbonnelaan 16, 3584 CA Utrecht, the Netherlands
      Laurentius A. C. J. Voesenek. Fax: +31 30 2518366; e-mail: L.A.C.J.Voesenek@bio.uu.nl
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Laurentius A. C. J. Voesenek. Fax: +31 30 2518366; e-mail: L.A.C.J.Voesenek@bio.uu.nl

ABSTRACT

The flooding-tolerant plant species Rumex palustris (Sm.) responds to complete submergence with stimulation of petiole elongation mediated by the gaseous hormone ethylene. We examined the involvement of auxin in petiole elongation. The manipulation of petiolar auxin levels by removing the leaf blade, or by addition of synthetic auxins or auxin transport inhibitors, led to the finding that auxin plays an important role in submergence-induced petiole elongation in R. palustris. A detailed kinetic analysis revealed a transient effect of removing the auxin source (leaf blade), explaining why earlier studies in which less frequent measurements were taken failed to identify any role for auxin in petiole elongation. We previously showed that the onset of stimulated petiole elongation depends on a more upright petiole angle being reached by means of hyponastic (upward) curvature, a differential growth process that is also regulated by ethylene and auxin. This raised the possibility that both ethylene and auxin stimulate elongation only indirectly by influencing hyponastic growth. We show here that the action of ethylene and auxin in promoting petiole elongation in submerged R. palustris is independent of the promoting effect that these hormones also exert on the hyponastic curvature of the same petiole.

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