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Xylem sap collection and extraction methodologies to determine in vivo concentrations of ABA and its bound forms by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Article number11
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/03/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Plant Methods
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)-
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Accurate quantification of xylem sap ABA concentrations is important to underpin models of root-to-shoot ABA signalling to predict the physiological effects of soil drying. Growing tomato plants in a whole plant pressure chamber allowed sequential xylem sap collection from a detached leaf, the petiole stub of an otherwise intact plant and finally the de-topped root system of the same plant, to determine the impact of xylem sap sampling methodology on xylem ABA concentration. Since xylem sap can contain bound forms of ABA, a novel gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) procedure was developed to chemically separate free ABA from two in planta bound ABA forms known as Adducts I and II and ABA-glucose-ester (ABA-GE).

Results: Xylem sap ABA concentrations were highly dependent on the sampling methodology used: the highest concentrations were detected in sap collected by applying an overpressure to detached leaves following the measurement of leaf water potential. Irrespective of xylem sap source, the wild-type cultivars Ailsa Craig and Rheinlands Ruhm had higher free ABA concentrations than a range of ABA-deficient mutants (notabilis, flacca and sitiens). However, in the mutants, concentrations of bound forms of ABA were similar to wild-type plants, and similar to free ABA concentrations.

Conclusions: Although xylem concentrations of these bound ABA forms and ABA-GE suggest they have a limited physiological impact on ABA homeostasis in tomato, the methods developed here will allow a more complete understanding of ABA biochemistry and root-to-shoot signalling in species known to have higher concentrations of these compounds.

Bibliographic note

© 2012 Netting et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.