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Plant Physiol. 1983 May;72(1):251-5.

Water Relations and Growth of the flacca Tomato Mutant in Relation to Abscisic Acid.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Biology, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia.


The flacca mutant in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv Rheinlands Ruhm) was employed to examine the effects of a relatively constant diurnal water stress on leaf growth and water relations. As the mutant is deficient in abscisic acid (ABA) and can be phenotypically reverted to the wild type by applications of the growth substance, inferences can be made concerning the involvement of ABA in responses to water stress. Water potential and turgor were lower in leaves of flacca than of Rheinlands Ruhm, and were increased by ABA treatment. ABA decreased transpiration rates by causing stomatal closure and also increased the hydraulic conductance of the sprayed plants. Osmotic adjustment did not occur in flacca plants despite the daily leaf water deficits. Stem elongation was inhibited by ABA, but leaf growth was promoted. It is concluded that, in some cases, ABA may promote leaf growth via its effect on leaf water balance.

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