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Partial phenotypic reversion of ABA-deficient flacca tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) scions by a wild-type rootstock: normalising shoot ethylene relations promotes leaf area but does not diminish whole plant transpiration rate.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Botany
Issue number14
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)4029-4039
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


To evaluate the role of root-synthesized ABA in regulating growth and stomatal behaviour under well-watered conditions, isogenic wild-type (WT) and ABA-deficient flacca (flc) tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) were reciprocally and self-grafted just below the cotyledonary node. Since flc scions had lower leaf water potentials due to higher transpiration rates, a subset of all graft combinations was grown under a shoot misting treatment to minimize differences in shoot water status. Misting did not alter the relative effects of the different graft combinations on leaf area. WT scions had the greatest leaf area and lowest whole plant transpiration rate irrespective of the rootstock, implying that shoot ABA biosynthesis was sufficient to account for a WT shoot phenotype. In WT scions, the rootstock had no effect on detached leaf ethylene evolution or xylem concentrations of ABA or the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC). In flc scions, although the WT rootstock suppressed stomatal conductance of individual leaves, there was no detectable effect on whole plant transpiration rate. However, leaf area of flc/WT (scion/rootstock) plants increased 1.6-fold compared to flc self-grafts. WT rootstocks increased xylem ABA concentration in flc scions (relative to flc self-grafts) up to 3-fold, and resulted in xylem ACC concentrations and detached leaf ethylene evolution similar to WT scions. Since the WT rootstock normalized shoot ethylene relations but only partially restored the leaf area of flc scions (relative to that of WT scions), shoot ABA biosynthesis can directly promote leaf area via an unknown, ethylene-independent, mechanism.