Although flooding is one of the most important environmental stresses worldwide, not all plant species are intolerant to its effects. Species from semi-aquatic environments, such as rice, have the capacity to cope with flooding stress. Heat-shock proteins (Hsps) are thought to contribute to cellular homeostasis under both optimal and adverse growth conditions. Studies of gene expression in plants exposed to low levels of oxygen revealed the up-regulation of Hsp genes.
Myricaria laxiflora is distributed along the riverbanks of the Yangtze River valley. The Three Gorges Dam has dramatically changed the habitat of M. laxiflora, which has evolved to develop increased resistance to flooding stress. In order to elucidate the relationship between plant endophytic fungi and flooding stress, we isolated and taxonomically characterized the endophytic fungi of M. laxiflora. One hundred and sixty-three fungi were isolated from healthy stems, leaves and roots of M. laxiflora grown under pre- and post-flooding conditions.