, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 291-300

Abnormal stomatal behavior and root resistance, and hormonal imbalance in three wilty mutants of tomato

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Three wilty mutants of tomato, flacca, sitiens, and notabilis, were compared with two control normal cultivars, Rheinlands Ruhm and Lukullus, for concentration of abscisic acid and root resistance to water flow. In addition, the three mutants treated with abscisic acid during development were compared with control mutant plants for stomatal opening and root resistance. The hormonal concentration was estimated by coleoptile assay and gas chromatography. Stomatal opening was estimated by measuring rate of transpiration and by examining leaf imprints. Root resistance was estimated by measuring the amount of exudate from roots of decapitated plants and the difference between the osmotic pressure of the exudate and the root medium. A lower level of abscisic acid was found in all three mutants as compared with the control normal plants. In addition, root resistance to water flow was higher in the three mutants than in the control normal types. All three mutants completely reverted to normal phenotypically, including stomatal and root resistances, when treated with abscisic acid. It has been suggested that the first hormonal change in the mutants is that of abscisic acid, and from it proceed the other changes.