Author(s): Sharp RE, LeNoble ME, Else MA, Thorne ET, Gherardi F
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Abstract To examine whether the reduced shoot growth of abscisic acid (ABA)-deficient mutants of tomato is independent of effects on plant water balance, flacca and notabilis were grown under controlled-humidity conditions so that their leaf water potentials were equal to or higher than those of well-watered wild-type plants throughout development. Most parameters of shoot growth remained markedly impaired and root growth was also greatly reduced. Additional experiments with flacca showed that shoot growth substantially recovered when wild-type levels of ABA were restored by treatment with exogenous ABA, even though improvement in leaf water potential was prevented. The ability of applied ABA to increase growth was greatest for leaf expansion, which was restored by 75\%. The ethylene evolution rate of growing leaves was doubled in flacca compared to the wild type and treatment with silver thiosulphate to inhibit ethylene action partially restored shoot growth. The results demonstrate that normal levels of endogenous ABA are required to maintain shoot development, particularly leaf expansion, in well-watered tomato plants, independently of effects on plant water balance. The impairment of shoot growth caused by ABA deficiency is at least partly attributable to ethylene.
This article was published in J Exp Bot
and referenced in Advances in Crop Science and Technology