Flooding of the apoplast is a key factor in the development of hyperhydricity

N. van den Dries, S. Gianni, A. Czerednik, F.A. Krens, G.J.M. de Klerk

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43 Citations (Scopus)


The physiological disorder hyperhydricity occurs frequently in tissue culture and causes several morphological abnormalities such as thick, brittle, curled, and translucent leaves. It is well known that hyperhydric shoots are characterized by a high water content, but how this is related to the abnormalities is not clear. It was observed that water accumulated extensively in the apoplast of leaves of hyperhydric Arabidopsis seedlings and flooded apoplastic air spaces almost completely. In hyperhydric Arabidopsis seedlings, the volume of apoplastic air was reduced from 85% of the apoplast to only 15%. Similar results were obtained with hyperhydric shoots of statice. The elevated expression of hypoxia-responsive genes in hyperhydric seedlings showed that the water saturation of the apoplast decreased oxygen supply. This demonstrates a reduced gas exchange between the symplast and its surroundings, which will consequently lead to the accumulation of gases in the symplast, for example ethylene and methyl jasmonate. The impairment of gas exchange probably brings about the symptoms of hyperhydricity. Interestingly, stomatal aperture was reduced in hyperhydric plants, a previously reported response to injection of water into the apoplast. Closure of the stomata and the accumulation of water in the apoplast may be the reasons why seedlings with a low level of hyperhydricity showed improved acclimatization after planting into soil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5221-5230
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • micropropagated carnation shoots
  • in-vitro
  • oxidative stress
  • stomatal closure
  • culture vessels
  • tissue-culture
  • l. shoots
  • vitrification
  • plants
  • leaves

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