Adventitious root development is a complex process regulated through a variety of signaling molecules. Hydrogen gas (H2) and nitric oxide (NO), two new signaling molecules are both involved in plant development and stress tolerance.
To investigate the mechanism of adventitious root development induced by hydrogen-rich water (HRW), a combination of fluorescence microscopy and molecular approaches was used to study cell cycle activation and cell cycle-related gene expression in cucumber (Cucumis sativus 'Xinchun 4') explants. The results revealed that the effect of HRW on adventitious root development was dose-dependent, with maximal biological responses at 50 % HRW. HRW treatment increased NO content in a time-dependent fashion. The results also indicated that HRW and NO promoted the G1-to-S transition and up-regulated cell cycle-related genes: CycA (A-type cyclin), CycB (B-type cyclin), CDKA (cyclin-dependent kinase A) and CDKB (cyclin-dependent kinase B) expression. Additionally, target genes related to adventitious rooting were up-regulated by HRW and NO in cucumber explants. While, the responses of HRW-induced adventitious root development and increase of NO content were partially blocked by a specific NO scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide potassium salt, NO synthase (NOS)-like enzyme inhibitor N(G) -nitro-L-arginine methylester hydrochloride, or nitrate reductase inhibitors tungstate and NaN3. These chemicals also partially reversed the effect of HRW on cell cycle activation and the transcripts of cell cycle regulatory genes and target genes related adventitious root formation.
Together, NO may emerge as a downstream signaling molecule in H2-induced adventitious root organogenesis. Additionally, H2 mediated cell cycle activation via NO pathway during adventitious root formation.