Abscisic acid accumulation in the roots of nutrient-limited plants: its impact on the differential growth of roots and shoots

Lidiya B Vysotskaya, Alla V Korobova, Guzel R Kudoyarova
Journal of Plant Physiology 2008 August 25, 165 (12): 1274-9
We describe the involvement of abscisic acid (ABA) in the control of differential growth of roots and shoots of nutrient limited durum wheat plants. A ten-fold dilution of the optimal concentration of nutrient solution inhibited shoot growth, while root growth remained unchanged, resulting in a decreased shoot/root ratio. Addition of fluridone (inhibitor of ABA synthesis) prevented growth allocation in favour of the roots. This suggests the involvement of ABA in the redirecting of growth in favour of roots under limited nutrient supply. The ABA content was greater in shoots and growing apical root parts of starved plants than in nutrient sufficient plants. Accumulation of ABA in shoots of nutrient deficient plants was linked to a decrease in leaf turgor. Increased flow of ABA in the phloem apparently contributed to the accumulation of ABA in the apical part of the roots. Thus, partitioning of growth between roots and shoots of wheat plants limited in mineral nutrients appears to be modulated by accumulation of ABA in roots. This ABA may originate in the shoots, where its synthesis is stimulated by the loss of leaf turgor.

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