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Effects of abscisic acid application on the growth and chilling injury tolerance in cucumber

Li, S., Liu, W., Tanino, K.K.
Acta horticulturae 2002 no.588 pp. 103-110
Cucumis sativus, abscisic acid, chilling injury, cold tolerance, cucumbers, foliar spraying, leaf area, leaves, plant growth, roots, seedlings
Abscisic acid at 10(-4) M was applied as a root drench and a foliar spray to cucumber (Cucumis sativus cv. ‘Morden Early’) seedlings at the 2-3 true leaf stage to investigate the effect on chilling tolerance enhancement and the influence on the growth of the plants. Application method did not affect the chilling tolerance efficacy. Meaningful amelioration of chilling injury can last up to 48 hours following ABA application with significant protection up to 96 hours. However, there are inhibitory influences of ABA on plant growth and these influences were more evident when applied to the leaves than to the roots. When applied as a foliar spray, cucumber plants showed symptoms of smaller leaf area of the 2nd and/or the 3rd true leaf, smaller total leaf area and shorter plant height than the controls. When applied as a root drench, this retarding effect was limited to the 2nd true leaf and only persisted for about 1 week after ABA application. Growers may be able to apply ABA as a root drench for up to 48 hours in advance of potential chilling stress and prevent significant injury or growth reductions in young cucumber seedlings.