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Plant Physiol. 1995 Jun; 108(2): 623–632.
PMCID: PMC157382

The Physiological Role of Abscisic Acid in Eliciting Turion Morphogenesis.


The exogenous application of hormones has led to their implication in a number of processes within the plant. However, proof of their function in vivo depends on quantitative data demonstrating that the exogenous concentration used to elicit a response leads to tissue hormone levels within the physiological range. Such proof is often lacking in many investigations. We are using abscisic acid (ABA)-induced turion formation in Spirodela polyrrhiza L. to investigate the mechanism by which a hormone can trigger a morphogenic switch. In this paper, we demonstrate that the exogenous concentration of ABA used to induce turions leads to tissue concentrations of ABA within the physiological range, as quantified by both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and high-performance liquid chromatography/gas chromatography-electron capture detection analysis. These results are consistent with ABA having a physiological role in turion formation, and they provide an estimate of the changes in endogenous ABA concentration required if environmental effectors of turion formation (e.g. nitrate deficiency, cold) act via an increased level of ABA. In addition, we show that the (+)- and (-)-enantiomers of ABA are equally effective in inducing turions. Moreover, comparison of the ABA; levels attained after treatment with (+)-, (-)-, and ([plus or minus])-ABA and their effect on turion induction and comparison of the effectiveness of ABA on turion induction under different pH regimes suggest that ABA most likely interacts with a plasmalemma-located receptor system to induce turion formation.

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Selected References

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