Molecular and physiological mechanisms of flooding avoidance and tolerance in rice

A. M. Almeida, W. H. Vriezen, D. Van Der Straeten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Submergence is one of the major constraints in rice production. The main factor limiting rice survival during submergence is oxygen deprivation. To cope with flooding conditions, rice has developed two survival strategies: either rapid elongation of the submerged tissues to keep up with the rising water level or no elongation to save carbohydrate resources for maintenance of energy production under submerged and concomitant hypoxic conditions. The survival strategies used by rice have been studied quite extensively and the role of several phytohormones in the elongation response has been established. The mechanisms of submergence tolerance include metabolic changes, for instance, the shift to an ethanolic fermentation pathway, reduced elongation growth to save carbohydrates and energy for maintenance processes, and protective antioxidant systems. Current molecular technology can provide tools for the understanding of mechanisms developed by rice to survive submergence. In addition, cloning of genes related to submergence tolerance might open new ways to genetic improvement of this crop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-751
Number of pages9
JournalRussian Journal of Plant Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2003


  • Ethylene
  • Flooding
  • Gibberellins
  • Hypoxia
  • Oryza sativa
  • Submergence
  • Transgenic rice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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