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Mol Biol Rep. 2013 Sep;40(9):5339-49. doi: 10.1007/s11033-013-2634-z. Epub 2013 May 14.

Comparative study of putative 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase and abscisic acid accumulation in the responses of Sunki mandarin and Rangpur lime to water deficit.

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Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus, BA, Brazil.


Abscisic acid is a plant hormone that participates in essential plant physiological processes, especially during adaptation to many environmental stresses, such as water deficit. The relationship between ABA accumulation and the expression of putative carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD) genes was investigated in the pot-cultivated leaves and roots of the 'Rangpur' lime and 'Sunki Maravilha' mandarin plants. Transpiration, stomatal resistance and leaf growth were evaluated when these genotypes were subjected to continuous water deficit. Under water deficit conditions, the 'Rangpur' lime extracts used greater amounts of water when compared to the 'Sunki Maravilha' plants, which reached the greatest stomatal resistance 5 days before 'Rangpur' lime. When subjected to water deficit, the roots and leaves of 'Sunki Maravilha' showed a progressive increase in ABA accumulation; however, in 'Rangpur' lime, alternations between high and low ABA concentrations were observed. These results suggest a retroactive feeding regulation by ABA. In 'Rangpur' lime the NCED2, NCED3 and CCD4a genes were expressed at the highest levels in the roots, and NCED5 was highly expressed in the leaves; in 'Sunki Maravilha', the NCED2 and NCED5 genes were most highly expressed in the roots, and NCED2 was most highly expressed in the leaves. However, for both genotypes, the transcription of these genes only correlated with ABA accumulation during the most severe water deficit conditions. The 'Rangpur' lime behaved as a vigorous rootstock; the leaf growth remained unaltered even when water was scarce. However, 'Sunki Maravilha' adaptation was based on the equilibrium of the response between the root and the aerial tissues due to water restriction. The use of the Sunki mandarin in combination with a scion with similar characteristics as its own, which responds to water deficit stress by accumulating ABA in the leaves, may display good drought tolerance under field conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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