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Plant Physiol. 2001 Jul;126(3):1196-204.

Nitric oxide induces stomatal closure and enhances the adaptive plant responses against drought stress.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, CC 1245, 7600 Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Erratum in

  • Plant Physiol. 2009 May;150(1):531. García Mata, C [corrected to García-Mata, C].


Nitric oxide (NO) is a very active molecule involved in many and diverse biological pathways where it has proved to be protective against damages provoked by oxidative stress conditions. In this work, we studied the effect of two NO donors, sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine SNP-treated on the response of wheat (Triticum aestivum) to water stress conditions. After 2 and 3 h of drought, detached wheat leaves pretreated with 150 microM SNP retained up to 15% more water than those pretreated with water or NO(2)(-)/NO(3)(-). The effect of SNP treatment on water retention was also found in wheat seedlings after 7 d of drought. These results were consistent with a 20% decrease in the transpiration rate of SNP-treated detached wheat leaves for the same analyzed time. In parallel experiments, NO was also able to induce a 35%, 30%, and 65% of stomatal closure in three different species, Tradescantia sp. (monocotyledonous) and two dicotyledonous, Salpichroa organifolia and fava bean (Vicia faba), respectively. In SNP-treated leaves of Tradescantia sp., the stomatal closure was correlated with a 10% increase on RWC. Ion leakage, a cell injury index, was 25% lower in SNP-treated wheat leaves compared with control ones after the recovery period. Carboxy-PTIO (2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide), a specific NO scavenger, reverted SNP action by restoring the transpiration rate, stomatal aperture, and the ion leakage to the level found in untreated leaves. Northern-blot analysis showed that SNP-treated wheat leaves display a 2-fold accumulation of a group three late embryogenesis abundant transcript with respect to control leaves both after 2 and 4 h of drought periods. All together, these results suggest that the exogenous application of NO donors might confer an increased tolerance to severe drought stress conditions in plants.

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