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Plant Physiol. 1992 Sep;100(1):131-7.

1-Aminocyclopropane-1-Carboxylic Acid Transported from Roots to Shoots Promotes Leaf Abscission in Cleopatra Mandarin (Citrus reshni Hort. ex Tan.) Seedlings Rehydrated after Water Stress.

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Departament de Citricultura, Institut Valencià d'Investigacions Agràries, 46113, Montcada de l'Horta, València, Spain.


The effect of water stress and subsequent rehydration on 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) content, ACC synthase activity, ethylene production, and leaf abscission was studied in Cleopatra mandarin (Citrus reshni Hort. ex Tan.) seedlings. Leaf abscission occurred when drought-stressed plants were allowed to rehydrate, whereas no abscission was observed in plants under water stress conditions. In roots of water-stressed plants, a high ACC accumulation and an increase in ACC synthase activity were observed. Neither increase in ACC content nor significant ethylene production were detected in leaves of water-stressed plants. After rehydration, a sharp rise in ACC content and ethylene production was observed in leaves of water-stressed plants. Content of ACC in xylem fluid was 10-fold higher in plants rehydrated for 2 h after water stress than in nonstressed plants. Leaf abscission induced by rehydration after drought stress was inhibited when roots or shoots were treated before water stress with aminooxyacetic acid (AOA, inhibitor of ACC synthase) or cobalt ion (inhibitor of ethylene-forming enzyme), respectively. However, AOA treatments to shoots did not suppress leaf abscission. The data indicate that water stress promotes ACC synthesis in roots of Cleopatra mandarin seedlings. Rehydration of plants results in ACC transport to the shoots, where it is oxidized to ethylene. Subsequently, this ethylene induces leaf abscission.

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