The formation of aquatic adventitious roots is a common response of terrestrial plants to flooding. Previous research has found that aquatic adventitious roots on submerged plants can absorb water and nutrients, but no experimental evidence hitherto has shown that adventitious roots can absorb oxygen, which benefits the submerged plants.
In this study, Ayi et al. demonstrate that the aquatic adventitious roots of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) formed upon submergence can absorb O2 from ambient water, thereby increasing the oxygen content in plant tissues. This enables the efficient utilization of carbohydrates for vigorous root growth and extending the plant’s life-cycle.
This paper is part of the Root Biology Special Issue.
Qiaoli Ayi, Bo Zeng, Jianhui Liu, Siqi Li, Peter M. van Bodegom, Johannes H. C. Cornelissen, 2016, 'Oxygen absorption by adventitious roots promotes the survival of completely submerged terrestrial plants', Annals of Botany, vol. 118, no. 4, pp. 675-683 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw051