To determine whether ABA accumulation inhibits or promotes shoot growth under stress, an ABA-deficient mutant tomato, sitiens, and its wild-type, the cultivar Rheinlands Rhum, were exposed to moderate salinity stress. Plants were grown at 75 mM NaCl for 2 weeks under conditions of moderate or high relative humidity (70% and 95% RH, respectively). At 70% RH, shoot DW and relative growth rate were reduced more in sitiens than in the cultivar, but the major difference between genotypes was in the degree of injury suffered by older leaves. Most leaves of sitiens died after 2 weeks, but those of the cultivar remained alive. When plants were grown at 95% RH, to maximize the leaf water status of both genotypes, there was no significant effect of salt on shoot DW of either genotype. However, there was still considerable leaf death in sitiens whereas no visible injury appeared in the cultivar. Cl- accumulated to higher levels in leaf tissues than Na+, but to similar concentrations in both genotypes, and so could not explain the injury in the sidens leaves. The results indicate that ABA maintains rather than inhibits new growth under stress, and has a major effect on preservation of older leaves.
|Publication status||Published - 2003|