ABSTRACT: Rice (Oryza sativa L.) can successfully germinate and grow even when flooded. Rice varieties possessing the submergence 1A (Sub1A) gene display a distinct flooding-tolerant phenotype, associated with lower carbohydrate consumption and restriction of the fast-elongation phenotype typical of flooding-intolerant rice varieties. Calcineurin B-like interacting protein kinase 15 (CIPK15) was recently indicated as a key regulator of alpha-amylases under oxygen deprivation, linked to both rice germination and flooding tolerance in adult plants. It is still unknown whether the Sub1A- and CIPK15-mediated pathways act as complementary processes for rice survival under O(2) deprivation. In adult plants Sub1A and CIPK15 may perhaps play an antagonistic role in terms of carbohydrate consumption, with Sub1A acting as a starch degradation repressor and CIPK15 as an activator. In this study, we analysed sugar metabolism in the stem of rice plants under water submergence by selecting cultivars with different traits associated with flooding survival. The relation between the Sub1A and the CIPK15 pathways was investigated. The results show that under O(2) deprivation, the CIPK15 pathway is repressed in the tolerant, Sub1A-containing, FR13A variety. CIPK15 is likely to play a role in the up-regulation of Ramy3D in flooding-intolerant rice varieties that display fast elongation under flooding and that do not possess Sub1A.
PLANT BIOLOGY. 13(4):611-619.