Salt-stress-induced ABA accumulation is more sensitively triggered in roots than in shoots

W. Jia, Y. Wang, S. Zhang, Jianhua ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

173 Citations (Scopus)


Salt-stress-induced ABA accumulation in maize root tissues was compared with that in leaf tissues. While salt stress with NaCl resulted in a significant ABA accumulation in root tissues (up to 10-fold), the same stress only led to a small ABA accumulation in leaf tissues (about 1-fold). Pretreatment with ethylene glycol (EG), a permeable and inert monomer of PEG, could prevent the shrinkage of cell volume and completely block the ABA accumulation in leaf tissues under salt stress, but substantial salt-induced ABA accumulation was still observed in root tissues following such pretreatment. Hypotonic salt solutions, i.e. below 100 mM NaCl, still induced a significant ABA accumulation (more than 3-fold) in roots, but showed no effect on that in leaf tissues. Results suggest that the salt-stress-induced ABA accumulation in roots may also be triggered by an osmosensing mechanism, which is in addition to the perception of the changes in reduced cellular volume or plasmalemma tension that leads to ABA accumulation in leaves. When leaf and root tissues were immersed into salt solutions, salt entered into the cells as a function of time and salt concentrations. Such entrance apparently led to a loss of sensitivity of leaf tissues to accumulate ABA under the salt stress, and also prevented the leaf tissues from responding to further air-drying in terms of ABA accumulation. Roots showed no such responses. Results suggest that the entrance of salt into leaf cells brought about some toxic effect that might have reduced the capability of leaf cells to produce ABA under dehydration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2201-2206
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number378
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2002

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Osmosensor
  • Signal perception
  • Tissue dehydration
  • Water deficit
  • Zea mays


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