, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 187-197

Effects of abscisic acid (ABA) on grain filling processes in wheat

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Abstract

The effect of in situ water stress on the endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) content of the endosperm and the in vitro application of ABA on some important yield regulating processes in wheat have been studied. Water stress resulted in a marked increase in the ABA content of the endosperm at the time close to cessation of growth. Application of ABA to the culture medium of detached ears reduced grain weight. Exogenously applied ABA, at the highest concentration (0.1 mM) reduced transport of sucrose into the grains and lowered the starch synthesis ability of intact grains. In vitro sucrose uptake and conversion by isolated grains was stimulated by low ABA concentrations (0.001 mM) in the medium but was inhibited by higher concentrations. ABA application had no effect on sucrose synthase (SS) and uridine diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase (UDP-Gppase) activities, whereas adenosine diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase (ADP-Gppase), soluble starch synthase (SSS), and granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS) activities were reduced. These results raise the possibility that water stress-induced elevated levels of endogenous ABA contribute to reduced grain growth.