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Ethylene inhibits rice root elongation in compacted soil via ABA- and auxin-mediated mechanisms

Huang, Guoqiang; Kilic, Azad; Karady, Michal; Zhang, Jiao; Mehra, Poonam; Song, Xiaoyun; Sturrock, Craig J.; Zhu, Wanwan; Qin, Hua; Hartman, Sjon; Schneider, Hannah M.; Bhosale, Rahul; Dodd, Ian C.; Sharp, Robert E.; Huang, Rongfeng; Mooney, Sacha J.; Liang, Wanqi; Bennett, Malcolm J.; Zhang, Dabing; Pandey, Bipin K.


Guoqiang Huang

Azad Kilic

Michal Karady

Jiao Zhang

Marie Sklodowska -Curie Individual Fellow

Xiaoyun Song

Wanwan Zhu

Hua Qin

Sjon Hartman

Hannah M. Schneider

Ian C. Dodd

Robert E. Sharp

Rongfeng Huang

Professor of Soil Physics

Wanqi Liang

Dabing Zhang


Soil compaction represents a major agronomic challenge, inhibiting root elongation and impacting crop yields. Roots use ethylene to sense soil compaction as the restricted air space causes this gaseous signal to accumulate around root tips. Ethylene inhibits root elongation and promotes radial expansion in compacted soil, but its mechanistic basis remains unclear. Here, we report that ethylene promotes abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and cortical cell radial expansion. Rice mutants of ABA biosynthetic genes had attenuated cortical cell radial expansion in compacted soil, leading to better penetration. Soil compaction-induced ethylene also up-regulates the auxin biosynthesis gene OsYUC8. Mutants lacking OsYUC8 are better able to penetrate compacted soil. The auxin influx transporter OsAUX1 is also required to mobilize auxin from the root tip to the elongation zone during a root compaction response. Moreover, osaux1 mutants penetrate compacted soil better than the wild-type roots and do not exhibit cortical cell radial expansion. We conclude that ethylene uses auxin and ABA as downstream signals to modify rice root cell elongation and radial expansion, causing root tips to swell and reducing their ability to penetrate compacted soil.


Huang, G., Kilic, A., Karady, M., Zhang, J., Mehra, P., Song, X., …Pandey, B. K. (2022). Ethylene inhibits rice root elongation in compacted soil via ABA- and auxin-mediated mechanisms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(30), Article e2201072119.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 18, 2022
Publication Date Jul 26, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 19, 2023
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Print ISSN 0027-8424
Electronic ISSN 1091-6490
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 119
Issue 30
Article Number e2201072119
Keywords Multidisciplinary
Public URL
Publisher URL


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