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Plant Physiol. 1999 May;120(1):143-52.

Water stress inhibits hydraulic conductance and leaf growth in rice seedlings but not the transport of water via mercury-sensitive water channels in the root

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1
Plant Physiology Laboratory, Lowdermilk Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.

Abstract

The mechanisms by which moderate water stress (adding polyethylene glycol 6000 to the root medium) induces a sustained inhibition of growth in emerging first leaves of intact rice (Oryza sativa) seedlings was investigated under growth-chamber conditions. Early (24 h) inhibition of leaf growth was not related to changes in root size or in osmotic potential gradients and cell wall-yielding characteristics in the leaf-expansion zone of stressed seedlings. However, reductions in root-to-leaf hydraulic conductance (L) were measured in two rice cultivars after 4 or 24 h at various levels of water stress, and these reductions correlated well with the inhibition of leaf growth. We assayed L by a psychrometric method and, in intact seedlings, by a novel osmotic-jump method. The addition of 0.5 mM HgCl2 to the root medium to inhibit water transport through Hg-sensitive water channels in the roots did not inhibit leaf growth in unstressed seedlings. However, both leaf growth and L were additionally reduced (by 49% and 43%, respectively) within minutes of adding HgCl2 to roots of water-stressed seedlings. Water stress therefore appeared to increase the transport of water via Hg-sensitive water channels. Other mechanisms were apparently involved in inhibiting overall L and leaf growth.

PMID:
10318692
PMCID:
PMC59246
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