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Physiology, gene expression, and metabolome of two wheat cultivars with contrasting submergence tolerance

Herzog, Max, Fukao, Takeshi, Winkel, Anders, Konnerup, Dennis, Lamichhane, Suman, Alpuerto, Jasper Benedict, Hasler‐Sheetal, Harald, Pedersen, Ole
Plant, cell and environment 2018 v.41 no.7 pp. 1632-1644
Triticum aestivum, cultivars, ethylene, flooded conditions, flooding tolerance, gene expression, leaves, lipid peroxidation, malondialdehyde, metabolome, metabolomics, mortality, physiology, porosity, reactive oxygen species, rice, soil, starch, submergence, sugars, wheat
Responses of wheat (Triticum aestivum) to complete submergence are not well understood as research has focused on waterlogging (soil flooding). The aim of this study was to characterize the responses of 2 wheat cultivars differing vastly in submergence tolerance to test if submergence tolerance was linked to shoot carbohydrate consumption as seen in rice. Eighteen‐day‐old wheat cultivars Frument (intolerant) and Jackson (tolerant) grown in soil were completely submerged for up to 19 days while assessing responses in physiology, gene expression, and shoot metabolome. Results revealed 50% mortality after 9.3 and 15.9 days of submergence in intolerant Frument and tolerant Jackson, respectively, and significantly higher growth in Jackson during recovery. Frument displayed faster leaf degradation as evident from leaf tissue porosity, chlorophyllₐ, and metabolomic fingerprinting. Surprisingly, shoot soluble carbohydrates, starch, and individual sugars declined to similarly low levels in both cultivars by day 5, showing that cultivar Jackson tolerated longer periods of low shoot carbohydrate levels than Frument. Moreover, intolerant Frument showed higher levels of phytol and the lipid peroxidation marker malondialdehyde relative to tolerant Jackson. Consequently, we propose to further investigate the role of ethylene sensitivity and deprivation of reactive O₂ species in submerged wheat.