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Involvement of root ABA and hydraulic conductivity in the control of water relations in wheat plants exposed to increased evaporative demand

Kudoyarova, Guzel, Veselova, Svetlana, Hartung, Wolfram, Farhutdinov, Rashit, Veselov, Dmitry, Sharipova, Guzyal
Planta 2011 v.233 no.1 pp. 87-94
Triticum turgidum subsp. durum, abscisic acid, air, air temperature, cooling, evaporation, hydraulic conductivity, hydroponics, leaves, mercuric chloride, phloem, root hydraulic conductivity, roots, sap, shoots, stomata, stomatal conductance, stomatal movement, water content, wheat, xylem
We studied the possible involvement of ABA in the control of water relations under conditions of increased evaporative demand. Warming the air by 3°C increased stomatal conductance and raised transpiration rates of hydroponically grown Triticum durum plants while bringing about a temporary loss of relative water content (RWC) and immediate cessation of leaf extension. However, both RWC and extension growth recovered within 30 min although transpiration remained high. The restoration of leaf hydration and growth were enabled by increased root hydraulic conductivity after increasing the air temperature. The use of mercuric chloride (an inhibitor of water channels) to interfere with the rise on root hydraulic conductivity hindered the restoration of extension growth. Air warming increased ABA content in roots and decreased it in shoots. We propose this redistribution of ABA in favour of the roots which increased the root hydraulic conductivity sufficiently to permit rapid recovery of shoot hydration and leaf elongation rates without the involvement of stomatal closure. This proposal is based on known ability of ABA to increase hydraulic conductivity confirmed in these experiments by measuring the effect of exogenous ABA on osmotically driven flow of xylem sap from the roots. Accumulation of root ABA was mainly the outcome of increased export from the shoots. When phloem transport in air-warmed plants was inhibited by cooling the shoot base this prevented ABA enrichment of the roots and favoured an accumulation of ABA in the shoot. As a consequence, stomata closed.