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Plant Physiol. 1992 Jul;99(3):1156-61.

On the role of abscisic Acid and gibberellin in the regulation of growth in rice.

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  • 1Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1312.


Submergence induces rapid elongation of rice coleoptiles (Oryza sativa L.) and of deepwater rice internodes. This adaptive feature helps rice to grow out of the water and to survive flooding. Earlier, we found that the growth response of submerged deepwater rice plants is mediated by ethylene and gibberellin (GA). Ethylene promotes growth, at least in part, by increasing the responsiveness of the internodal tissue to GA. In the present work, we examined the possibility that increased responsiveness to GA was based on a reduction in endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) levels. Submergence and treatment with ethylene led, within 3 hours, to a 75% reduction in the level of ABA in the intercalary meristem and the growing zone of deepwater rice internodes. The level of GA(1) increased fourfold during the same time period. An interaction between GA and ABA could also be shown by application of the hormones. ABA inhibited growth of submerged internodes, and GA counteracted this inhibition. Our results indicate that the growth rate of deepwater rice internodes is determined by the ratio of an endogenous growth promoter (GA) and a growth inhibitor (ABA). We also investigated whether ABA is involved in regulating the growth of rice coleoptiles. Rice seedlings were grown on solutions containing fluridone, an inhibitor of carotenoid and, indirectly, of ABA biosynthesis. Treatment with fluridone reduced the level of ABA in coleoptiles and first leaves by more than 75% and promoted coleoptile growth by more than 60%. Little or no enhancement of growth by fluridone was observed in barley, oat, or wheat. The involvement of ABA in determining the growth rate of rice coleoptiles and deepwater rice internodes may be related to the semiaquatic growth habit of this plant.

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