J Integr Plant Biol ›› 2018, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (1): 16-33.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12605

• Plant-abiotic Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Long-distance ABA transport can mediate distal tissue responses by affecting local ABA concentrations

Wenrao Li1, Carlos de Ollas2† and Ian C Dodd2*   

  1. 1College of Life Sciences, Henan University, Kaifeng, 475004, China
    2Plant & Crop Sciences, Lancaster Environment Center, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom
  • Received:2017-08-01 Accepted:2017-10-16 Published:2017-10-20
  • About author:Current address: Departamento de Ciencias Agrarias del Medio Natural. Universitat Jaume I, Spain
    *Correspondences: Email: Ian C Dodd (i.dodd@lancaster.ac.uk)


Environmental stresses that perturb plant water relations influence abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations, but it is unclear whether long-distance ABA transport contributes to changes in local ABA levels. To determine the physiological relevance of ABA transport, we made reciprocal- and self-grafts of ABA-deficient flacca mutant and wild-type (WT) tomato plants, in which low phosphorus (P) conditions decreased ABA concentrations while salinity increased ABA concentrations. Whereas foliar ABA concentrations in the WT scions were rootstock independent under conditions, salinity resulted in long-distance transport of ABA: flacca scions had approximately twice as much ABA when grafted on WT rootstocks compared to flacca rootstocks. Root ABA concentrations were scion dependent: both WT and flacca rootstocks had less ABA with the flacca mutant scion than with the WT scion under conditions. In WT scions, whereas rootstock genotype had limited effects on stomatal conductance under conditions, a flacca rootstock decreased leaf area of stressed plants, presumably due to attenuated root-to-shoot ABA transport. In flacca scions, a WT rootstock decreased stomatal conductance but increased leaf area of stressed plants, likely due to enhanced root-to-shoot ABA transport. Thus, long-distance ABA transport can affect responses in distal tissues by changing local ABA concentrations.

Since phosphorus and salt stresses change ABA concentrations throughout the plant, wild-type and ABA-deficient mutant tomatoes were reciprocally grafted to compare local versus long-distance ABA effects. Rootstock genotype affected stomatal conductance, leaf area and shoot biomass, while scion genotype affected root biomass, by changing local ABA concentrations in distal tissues.
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