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Summary

The distribution and activity patterns of several enzymes of glycolytic and respiratory metabolism are considered in nineteen species of higher plants previously classified as tolerant or intolerant of experimental flooding. These results are combined with previous work on glycolysis, the inductive properties of alcohol dehydrogenase, and on tissue malic acid levels, to formulate a metabolic system of flooding tolerance. This system is based mainly on: (1) the control of glycolysis through the inductive and kinetic properties of alcohol dehydrogenase; and (2) a diversion from ethanol to malate accumulation, dependent upon the presence or absence of ‘malic’ enzyme.