AoB PLANTS is pleased to announce the publication of a Special Issue entitled Plant Responses to Low-Oxygen Environments, edited by Michael Jackson (University of Bristol, UK) and Abdelbagi Ismail (International Rice Research Institute, Philippines). Flooding and submergence impose widespread and unpredictable environmental stresses on plants and depress the yield of most food crops. The problem is increasing, as is the need for greater food production from an expanding human population. The incompatibility of these opposing trends creates an urgent need to improve crop resilience to flooding in its multifarious forms. The 13 papers in the special issue address the responses of diverse plant species to various types of flooding and low oxygen stress. Topics covered include morphological and anatomical adaptations to low-oxygen environments, involving the use of non-model crops to disclose novel adaptive mechanisms that could be exploited in future breeding programmes to develop tolerant crop varieties for waterlogged and flood affected areas. Metabolic adaptations to flooding are considered, along with the tolerance of partial and complete submergence in rice and mechanisms associated with tolerance. The tolerance of waterlogging in dryland crops such as legumes and cotton is also examined. The papers in this special issue point to how achieving improvements in flooding tolerance is progressing and indicate certain adaptive characteristics in non-crop species that could be harnessed in the future while also being of botanical interest in their own right.
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