Lace plant ethylene receptors, AmERS1a and AmERS1c, regulate ethylene-induced programmed cell death during leaf morphogenesis

Gaolathe Rantong, Rodger Evans, Arunika H.L.A.N. Gunawardena

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The lace plant, Aponogeton madagascariensis, is an aquatic monocot that forms perforations in its leaves as part of normal leaf development. Perforation formation occurs through developmentally regulated programmed cell death (PCD). The molecular basis of PCD regulation in the lace plant is unknown, however ethylene has been shown to play a significant role. In this study, we examined the role of ethylene receptors during perforation formation. We isolated three lace plant ethylene receptors AmERS1a, AmERS1b and AmERS1c. Using quantitative PCR, we examined their transcript levels at seven stages of leaf development. Through laser-capture microscopy, transcript levels were also determined in cells undergoing PCD and cells not undergoing PCD (NPCD cells). AmERS1a transcript levels were significantly lower in window stage leaves (in which perforation formation and PCD are occurring) as compared to all other leaf developmental stages. AmERS1a and AmERS1c (the most abundant among the three receptors) had the highest transcript levels in mature stage leaves, where PCD is not occurring. Their transcript levels decreased significantly during senescence-associated PCD. AmERS1c had significantly higher transcript levels in NPCD compared to PCD cells. Despite being significantly low in window stage leaves, AmERS1a transcripts were not differentially expressed between PCD and NPCD cells. The results suggested that ethylene receptors negatively regulate ethylene-controlled PCD in the lace plant. A combination of ethylene and receptor levels determines cell fate during perforation formation and leaf senescence. A new model for ethylene emission and receptor expression during lace plant perforation formation and senescence is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-227
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 29 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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