Molecular and cellular adaptations of maize to flooding stress

Chalivendra C. Subbaiah, Martin M. Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Anaerobic treatment dramatically alters the patterns of gene expression in maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings. During anaerobiosis there is an immediate repression of pre-existing protein synthesis, with the concurrent initiation of a selective synthesis of approx. 20 proteins. Among these anaerobic proteins are enzymes involved in glycolysis and related processes. However, inducible genes that have different functions were also found; these may function in other, perhaps more long-term, processes of adaptations to flooding, such as aerenchyma formation and root-tip death. In this article we review our recent work on maize responses to flooding stress, which has addressed two questions: how are these gene expression changes initiated and how do they lead to adaptation to flooding stress? Our results indicate that an early rise in cytosolic Ca2+, as well as a quick establishment of ionic homeostasis, may be essential for the induction of adaptive changes at the cellular as well as organismal level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of botany
Issue numberSPEC. ISS. JAN.
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Aerenchyma
  • Anoxia
  • Calcium
  • Flooding tolerance
  • Glutamate decarboxylase
  • Ionic homeostasis
  • Maize (Zea mays L.)
  • Protease
  • Review
  • Root tip death
  • Signal transduction
  • Sucrose synthase
  • XET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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