Sequential response of whole plant water relations to prolonged soil drying and the involvement of xylem sap ABA in the regulation of stomatal behaviour of sunflower plants

Jianhua ZHANG, W. J. DAVIES*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sunflower plants (Helianihus animus cv. Tall Single Yellow} were grown in the greenhouse in drain pipes (100 mm inside diameter and 1 m long) rilled with John Innes No. 2 compost. When the fifth leaf had emerged, half of the plants were left unwatered for 6 days, rewatered for 2 days and then not watered for another 12 days. Measurements of water relations and abaxial stomatal conductance were made at each leaf position at regular intervals during the experimental period. Estimates were also made of soil water potentials along the soil profile and of ABA concentrations in xylem sap and leaves. Soil drying led to some reduction in stomatal conductance alter only 3 days but leaf turgors were not reduced until day 13 (6 days after rewatering). When the water relations of leaves did change, older leases became substantially dehydrated while high turgors were recorded in younger leaves. Leaf ABA content measured on the third youngest leaf hardly changed over the first 13 days of the experiment, despite substantial soil drying, while xylem ABA concentrations changed very significantly and dynamically as soil water status varied, even when there was no effect of soil drying on leaf water relations. We argue that the highest ABA concentrations in the xylem, found as a result of substantial soil drying, arise from synthesis in both the roots and the older leaves, and act to delay the development of water deficit in younger leases. In other experiments ABA solutions were watered on to the root systems of sunflower plants to increase ABA concentrations in xylem sap. The stomatal response to applied ABA was quantitatively very similar to that to ABA generated as a result of soil drying. There was a log‐linear relationship between the reduction of leaf conductance and the increase of ABA concentration m xylem sap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1989

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • ABA
  • Helianthus annuus
  • leaf conductance
  • leaf water relations
  • Soil drying
  • sunflower

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Sequential response of whole plant water relations to prolonged soil drying and the involvement of xylem sap ABA in the regulation of stomatal behaviour of sunflower plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this