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NaCI Reduces Indole-3-Acetic Acid Levels In The Roots Of Tomato Plants Independent Of Stress-Induced Abscisic Acid

J. R. Dunlap, M. L. Binzel

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Abstract Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) was measured in leaves and roots of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) genotypes subjected to salt stress. An abscisic acid (ABA)-deficient mutant of tomato (sitiens), the genetic parent (Rheinlands Ruhm, RR), and a commercial variety (Large Cherry Red, LCR) of tomato were treated with 50 to 300 mM NaCl in nutrient culture. Both LCR and RR had significantly higher levels of IAA in the roots compared with that in sitiens prior to treatment. The initial levels of IAA in the roots of LCR and RR declined by nearly 75% after exposure to NaCl, whereas those in roots from the sitiens mutant remained unchanged. IAA levels in the leaves of all genotypes remained unchanged or increased slightly in response to NaCl. ABA was highest in leaves from the normal genotypes after exposure to NaCl. ABA levels in the roots of sitiens were similar to the levels in the normal genotypes, whereas levels in the leaves were only 10% of the levels found in normal genotypes regardless of the salt treatment. Treatment of LCR and sitiens with exogenous ABA increased the ABA levels in leaves and roots, but there were no measurable changes in endogenous IAA. Therefore, the reduction in IAA appears to result from an ABA-independent effect of NaCl on IAA metabolism in the roots of stressed plants.