A new economy is emerging. An economy that is transforming the fundamental rules of business. An economy based on exploiting knowledge and innovation. An economy where knowledge is the main source of wealth for regions, nations, enter prises and people. This new economy is based on economic values far removed from those of the industrial economy. Value has shifted towards intangibles and in particular towards increasing value by incorporating knowledge into services and products. The advent of this new economy is rapidly changing the role and structure of global business. Winning enterprises are those best able to harness the benefits and opportunities of information and communication technology, capitalize on their knowledge base and move at the speed of the market. Knowledge management lies at the heart of the European Community´s competi tiveness strategy. The European Commission facilitates and supports applied research in knowledge management through its Information Society Technologies (1ST) programme, a major theme of research and technological development within the European Union´s Research and Technology Development Framework Programme. Specifically, the New Methods of Work and Electronic Commerce action of the 1ST programme supports long-term applied research in areas combin ing technological innovation with new work practices and advanced business and work models.
During the last ten years, knowledge about the multitude of adaptive responses of plants to low oxygen stress has grown immensely. The oxygen sensor mechanism has been discovered, the knowledge about the interaction network of gene expression is expanding and metabolic adaptations have been described in detail. Furthermore, morphological changes were investigated and the regulative mechanisms triggered by plant hormones or reactive oxygen species have been revealed. This book provides a broad overview of all these aspects of low oxygen stress in plants. It integrates knowledge from different disciplines such as molecular biology, biochemistry, ecophysiology and agricultural / horticultural sciences to comprehensively describe how plants cope with low oxygen stress and discuss its ecological and agronomical consequences. This book is written for plant scientists, biochemists and scientists in agriculture and ecophysiology.