Plant and Soil

, Volume 166, Issue 1, pp 31–36 | Cite as

Root-shoot signalling in sunflower plants with confined root systems

  • M. Ternesi
  • A. P. Andrade
  • J. Jorrin
  • M. Benlloch
Research Article


Sunflower plants were grown hydroponically under controlled conditions with the root systems confined in small containers. Root confinement inhibited the growth of sunflower plants as indicated by reduction in both leaf and cotyledon area and root and shoot fresh weight. This effect was more pronounced in shoots. Root confinement favored the accumulation of potassium in the roots and shoots, and the exudation of potassium and water in excised roots. Xylem sap from root confined plants inhibited cotyledon expansion as revealed by bioassay with decapited sunflower seedlings. In addition decapited control plants incubated in ABA solution also showed cotyledon growth reduction. Xylem sap ABA analysis indicated a 7-times higher concentration in root confined than control plants. Our results suggest the synthesis of a chemical signal in the roots of plants subjected to mechanical stress which can be responsible for the inhibition of plant growth.

Key words

Helianthus annuus L. mechanical stress root confinement plant growth root-shoot signalling abscisic acid 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ternesi
    • 1
  • A. P. Andrade
    • 2
  • J. Jorrin
    • 3
  • M. Benlloch
    • 4
  1. 1.Empresa Catarinense de Pesquisa Agropecuária e Difusao de TecnologiaItajaíBrasil
  2. 2.Departamento de solos e Engenharia RuralCentro de Ciências AgráriasBrasil
  3. 3.Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología MolecularUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de AgronomíaUniversidad de CordobaCordobaSpain

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