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ABA-based chemical signalling : the co-ordination of responses to stress in plants.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/2002
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Journal number2
Volume25
Number of pages16
Pages195-210
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is now strong evidence that the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays an important role in the regulation of stomatal behaviour and gas exchange of droughted plants. This regulation involves both long-distance transport and modulation of ABA concentration at the guard cells, as well as differential responses of the guard cells to a given dose of the hormone. We will describe how a plant can use the ABA signalling mechanism and other chemical signals to adjust the amount of water that it loses through its stomata in response to changes in both the rhizospheric and the aerial environment. The following components of the signalling process can play an important part in regulation: (a) ABA sequestration in the root; (b) ABA synthesis versus catabolism in the root; (c) the efficiency of ABA transfer across the root and into the xylem; (d) the exchange of ABA between the xylem lumen and the xylem parenchyma in the shoot; (e) the amount of ABA in the leaf symplastic reservoir and the efficiency of ABA sequestration and release from this compartment as regulated by factors such as root and leaf-sourced changes in pH; (f) cleavage of ABA from ABA conjugates in the leaf apoplast; (g) transfer of ABA from the leaf into the phloem; (h) the sensitivity of the guard cells to the [ABA] that finally reaches them; and lastly (i) the possible interaction between nitrate stress and the ABA signal.