, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 3137-3146
Date: 28 Jul 2013

Abscisic acid, indole-3-acetic acid and mineral–nutrient changes induced by drought and salinity in longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) plants

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Abstract

Longan species (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) exhibit a high agronomic potential in many subtropical regions worldwide; however, little is known about its responses to abiotic stress conditions. Drought and salinity are the most environmental factors inducing negative effects on plant growth and development. In order to elucidate the responses of longan to drought and salinity, seedlings were grown under conditions of drought and salt stresses. Drought was imposed by suspending water supply leading to progressive soil dehydration, and salinity was induced using two concentrations of NaCl, 100 and 150 mM in water solution, for 64 days. Data showed that salt concentrations increased foliar abscisic acid (ABA) and only 150 mM NaCl reduced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and increased proline levels. NaCl treatments also increased Na+ and Cl content in plant organs proportionally to salt concentration. Drought increased leaf ABA but did not change IAA concentrations, and also increased proline synthesis. In addition, drought and salt stresses reduced the photosynthesis performance; however, only drought decreased leaf growth and relative leaf water content. Overall, data indicate that under severe salt stress, high ABA accumulation was accompanied by a reduction of IAA levels; however, drought strongly increased ABA but did not change IAA concentrations. Moreover, drought and high salinity similarly increased (or maintained) ion levels and proline synthesis. Data also suggest that ABA accumulation may mitigate the impact of salt stress through inducing stomatal closure and delaying water loss, but did not mediate the effects of long-term drought conditions probably because leaves reached a strong dehydration and the role of ABA at this stage was not effective to detain leaf injuries.

Communicated by H. Li.