Effect of applied gibberellic acid and paclobutrazol on leaf expansion and biomass allocation in two Aegilops species with contrasting leaf elongation rates

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    Abstract

    The role of gibberellin (GA) in leaf elongation has long been known, however, its involvement in whole shoot growth and biomass allocation is much less clear. We studied the effects of exogenously supplied GA3 and paclobutrazol, an inhibitor of GA biosynthesis, on these processes in Aegilops caudata and Aegilops tauschii, species with contrasting leaf growth characteristics. In both species, addition of GA3 increased leaf elongation rate (LER) through its promoting effect on both cell size and cell number, while paclobutrazol decreased it. Similarly, GA3 increased biomass allocation to the leaves, mainly leaf sheaths, at the cost of allocation to the roots, whereas paclobutrazol had the opposite effect in both species. Despite the increase in LER and biomass allocation to the shoot upon GA3 application, the relative growth rate (RGR) remained constant. Specific leaf area (SLA) was only temporarily affected by GA3 addition. Our results show that the inherent differences in LER and biomass allocation between the slow-elongating A. caudata and the fast-elongating A. tauschii are considerably reduced by the exogenous supply of GA3 to the slow-elongating species, or paclobutrazol to the fast-elongating one. This suggests a role for gibberellins in explaining inherent differences in leaf area expansion and biomass allocation between the two species in this study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-151
    JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
    Volume122
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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