Flooding stress: signalling through perturbations in oxygen, ethylene, nitric oxide and light

20 – 21 June 2015, Ravenstein, the Netherlands


Rationale and scope:


A grand challenge in the coming decades is to feed the rapidly growing world population. A second “green revolution” is needed to increase agricultural productivity and that too in the face of global climate change. Climate change models predict an increasingly wetter world with frequent and severe flooding events in several major farming regions. In general, prolonged wet conditions hamper plant growth and yield enormously. Annual global losses in crop yield due to flooding are now comparable to that caused by drought stress. The development of high yielding crop cultivars that are more flood tolerant is therefore urgent.


In the last decade, research on molecular mechanisms that control flooding tolerance has progressed rapidly. Molecular regulators of the quiescence (SUB1A) and escape (SNORKEL1/2) survival strategies were discovered in rice. The elusive mechanism of oxygen sensing involving Ethylene Response transcription Factors was unravelled and studies on naturally tolerant wild species revealed previously unknown tolerance mechanisms. The importance of these findings were underscored by their publication in high-end journals. But many key questions about oxygen sensing and downstream networks remain unanswered. Considering this rapid momentum in the research field and the urgency of the ultimate goal of food security, it is required that researchers meet, discuss and update each other more frequently.


Despite this strong progress, there are major challenges in understanding and improving aeration of roots, regulation of anoxia metabolism and post-anoxia recovery. Currently researchers of the flooding research community meet every three years at a conference organized by the International Society of Plant Anaerobiosis (ISPA). We believe this frequency is too low and a small-scale workshop bringing together the leading researchers in the field to present their latest findings will facilitate optimal exchange of ideas, data, materials and people and result in a further boost to research progress in this area.


Organising committee:


Rens Voesenek (Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands)

Rashmi Sasidharan (Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands)

Julia Bailey-Serres (University of California Riverside, CA, USA)

Eric Visser (Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands)

(Click on names to visit their personal homepages)



Note that participation in this workshop is by invitation only. For more information please contact us by email: np-symposia@lancaster.ac.uk.