Background and Aims Anoxia-tolerant plant tissues synthesize a number of proteins during anoxia, in addition to the 'classical anaerobic proteins' involved in glycolysis and fermentation. The present study used a model system of rice coleoptile tips to elucidate patterns of protein synthesis in this anoxia-tolerant plant tissue.Methods Coleoptile tips 7-11 mm long were excised from intact seedlings exposed to anoxia, or excised from hypoxically pre-treated seedlings and then exposed to anoxia for 72 h. Total proteins or S-35-labelled proteins were extracted, separated using two-dimensional isoelectric focusing/SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and analysed using mass spectrometry.Key Results The coleoptile tips excised after intact seedlings had been exposed to anoxia for 72 h had a similar proteome to tips that were first excised and then exposed to anoxia. After 72 h anoxia, Bowman-Birk trypsin inhibitors and a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein decreased in abundance, whereas a nucleoside diphosphate kinase and several proteins with unknown functions were strongly enhanced. Using [S-35]methionine as label, proteins synthesized at high levels in anoxia, and also in aeration, included a nucleoside diphosphate kinase, a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein, a putative elicitor-inducible protein and a putative actin-depolymerizing factor. Proteins synthesized predominately in anoxia included a pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK), alcohol dehydrogenase 1 and 2, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase and a protein of unknown function.Conclusion The induction of PPDK in anoxic rice coleoptiles might, in combination with pyruvate kinase (PK), enable operation of a 'substrate cycle' producing PPi from ATP. Production of PPi would (a) direct energy to crucial transport processes across the tonoplast (i.e. the H+-PP(i)ase); (b) be required for sucrose hydrolysis via sucrose synthase; and (c) enable acceleration of glycolysis, via pyrophosphate:fructose 6-phosphate 1-phosphotransferase (PFP) acting in parallel with phosphofructokinase (PFK), thus enhancing ATP production in anoxic rice coleoptiles; ATP production would need to be increased if there was a substantial requirement for PPi.