Evolutionary flexibility in flooding response circuitry in angiosperms ($) (Science)

Flooding is unpredictable and can lead to plant death due to insufficient oxygen (hypoxia). Some plant species and varieties are better able to survive periods of submergence. Here, Reynoso et al. looked at gene networks induced transcriptionally and translationally by flooding in rice, Medicago and two Solanum species. They identified several gene families with at least one submergence up-regulated member (submergence up-regulated families; SURFs) conserved across the four species. The authors also identified four enriched transcription factor binding sites across the hypoxia-induced genes. Syntenic genes (positionally conserved across species)  showed more coordinated expression than non-syntenic genes. Although the four species show some differences in their flooding responses, this work also identified four highly conserved submergence activated modules and seven SURF loci that can be valuable breeding targets. (Summary by Mary Williams) Science 10.1126/science.aax8862