Stomatal closure is induced rather by prevailing xylem abscisic acid than by accumulated amount of xylem-derived abscisic acid

Wensuo Jia, Jianhua ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


We have studied the stomatal response in relation to the xylem-derived abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in sunflower leaves. When ABA was introduced into detached leaves of the sunflower through xylem flux, stomatal conductance was regulated, water flux was changed as a result and at the same time the xylem-derived ABA was metabolised in the leaves. We computed the xylem-derived ABA accumulation in the leaves as a function of time by taking into account the variation of ABA flux into the leaves (the product of water flux and ABA concentration) and a continuing ABA metabolism. We found that ABA accumulation was rapid during an initial lag phase, much slowed down during the decreasing phase of stomatal conductance, but still substantial when stomatal conductance reached a new stable state. The results show a poor link between the kinetics of ABA-induced stomatal closure and the xylem-derived ABA accumulation. Xylem-derived ABA was metabolised rapidly in the leaves. Tetcyclacis, as an inhibitor, substantially inhibited this process. Two hours after ABA was fed into a leaf, about 70% of the fed ABA was metabolised, but when tetcyclacis was added into the feeding solution, less than 30% of ABA was metabolised, even after 24 h of incubation. The inhibition of ABA metabolism by tetcyclacis did not lead to more stomatal closure, which was still concentration-dependent. Since the accumulation of xylem-derived ABA was enhanced substantially by the presence of tetcyclacis, these results strongly indicate that stomata mainly respond to the prevailing ABA concentration in the xylem stream, rather than to the accumulated amount of xylem-derived ABA in the leaves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-275
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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