Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 3137–3146 | Cite as

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

  • Jalel Mahouachi
  • Domingo Fernández-Galván
  • Aurelio Gómez-Cadenas
Original Paper


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.


Mineral elements Photosynthetic rate Plant hormones Proline Stomatal conductance 


  1. Alarcon JJ, Sanchez-Blanco MJ, Bolarin MC, Torrecillas A (1994) Growth and osmotic adjustment of two tomato cultivars during and after saline stress. Plant Soil 166:75–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arbona V, Argamasilla R, Gómez-Cadenas A (2010) Common and divergent physiological, hormonal and metabolic responses of Arabidopsis thaliana and Thellungiella halophila to water and salt stress. J Plant Physiol 167:1342–1350PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashraf MY, Azhar N, Hussain M (2006) Indole acetic acid (IAA) induced changes in growth, relative water contents and gas exchange attributes of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grown under water stress conditions. Plant Growth Regul 50:85–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aswath CR, Kim SH, Mo SY, Kim DH (2005) Transgenic plants of creeping bent grass harboring the stress inducible gene, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, are highly tolerant to drought and NaCl stress. Plant Growth Regul 47:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bates LS, Waldren RP, Teare ID (1973) Rapid determination of free proline for water-stress studies. Plant Soil 39:205–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bohnert HJ, Nelson DE, Jensen RG (1995) Adaptations to environmental stress. Plant Cell 7:1099–1111PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bray EA (2004) Genes commonly regulated by water-deficit stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. J Exp Bot 55:2331–2341PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carden DE, Walter DJ, Flowers TJ, Millar AJ (2003) Single-cell measurements of the contributions of cytosolic Na and K to salt tolerance. Plant Physiol 131:676–683PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chapman HD, Pratt PR (1961) Methods of Analysis for soils, plants, and waters. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen SL, Li JK, Wang SS, Huttermann A, Altman A (2001) Salt, nutrient uptake and transport, and ABA of Populus euphratica; a hybrid in response to increasing soil NaCl. Trees 15:186–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cuartero J, Fernández-Muñoz R (1999) Tomato and salinity. Sci Hortic 78:83–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Davies WJ, Kudoyarova G, Hartung W (2005) Long-distance ABA signaling and its relation to other signaling pathways in the detection of soil drying and the mediation of the plant’s response to drought. J Plant Growth Regul 24:285–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Costa W, Zörb C, Hartung W, Schubert S (2007) Salt resistance is determined by osmotic adjustment and abscisic acid in newly developed maize hybrids in the first phase of salt stress. Physiol Plant 131:311–321PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. De Pascale S, Ruggiero C, Barbieri G, Maggio A (2003) Physiological responses of pepper to salinity and drought. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 128:48–54Google Scholar
  15. Dunlap JR, Binzel ML (1996) NaCl reduces indole-3-acetic acid levels in the roots of tomato plants independent of stress-induced abscisic acid. Plant Physiol 12:379–384Google Scholar
  16. Durgbanshi A, Arbona V, Pozo O, Miersch O, Sancho JV, Gómez-Cadenas A (2005) Simultaneous determination of multiple phytohormones in plant extracts by liquid chromatography–electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. J Agric Food Chem 53:8437–8442PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Egamberdieva D (2007) Alleviation of salt stress by plant growth regulators and IAA producing bacteria in wheat. Acta Physiol Plant 31:861–864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Epstein E (1998) How calcium enhances plant salt tolerance. Science 280:1906–1907PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Erlandsson G (1975) Rapid effects on ion and water uptake induced by changes of water potential in young wheat plants. Physiol Plant 35:256–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Farooqi A, Fatima S, Khan A, Sharma S (2005) Ameliorative effect of chlormequat and IAA on drought stressed plants of Cymbopogon martinii and C. winterianus. Plant Growth Regul 46:277–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Flexas J, Bota J, Loreto F, Cornic G, Sharkey TD (2004) Diffusive and metabolic limitations to photosynthesis under drought and salinity in C-3 plants. Plant Biol 6:269–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Garcia-Sanchez F, Syvertsen JP, Martinez V, Melgar JC (2006) Salinity tolerance of ‘Valencia’ orange trees on rootstocks with contrasting salt tolerance is not improved by moderate shade. J Exp Bot 57:3697–3706PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gómez-Cadenas A, Tadeo FR, Primo-Millo E, Talon M (1998) Involvement of abscisic acid and ethylene in the responses of citrus seedlings to salt shock. Physiol Plant 103:475–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grattan SR, Grieve CM (1994) Mineral nutrient acquisition and response by plants grown in saline environments. In: Pessarakli M (ed) Handbook of Plant and Crop Stress. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 203–229Google Scholar
  25. Hasegawa PM, Bressan RA, Zhu JK, Bohnert HJ (2000) Plant cellular and molecular responses to high salinity. Ann Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 51:463–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hu Y, Schmidhalter U (2005) Drought and salinity: a comparison of their effects on mineral nutrition of plants. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 168:541–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Huang XM, Lu HM, Wang HC, Zhang CL, Xie L, Yang RT, Li HG, Huang HB (2006) Nitrate reduces the detrimental effect of potassium chlorate on longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) trees. Sci Hortic 108:151–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Iuchi S, Kobayashi M, Taji T, Naramoto M, Seki M, Kato T, Tabata S, Kakubari Y, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K (2001) Regulation of drought tolerance by gene manipulation of 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, a key enzyme in abscisic acid biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Plant J 27:325–333PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Javid MG, Sorooshzadeh A, Moradi F, Modarres Sanavy S, Allahdadi I (2011) The role of phytohormones in alleviating salt stress in crop plants. Aust J Crop Sci 5:726–734Google Scholar
  30. Kim TH, Böhmer M, Hu HH, Nishimura N, Schroeder JI (2010) Guard cell signal transduction network: advances in understanding abscisic acid, CO2, and Ca2+ signaling. Annu Rev Plant Biol 61:561–591PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Knight H, Trewavas AJ, Knight MR (1997) Calcium signalling in Arabidopsis thaliana responding to drought and salinity. Plant J 12:1067–1078PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lu CM, Jiang GM, Wang BS, Kuang TY (2003) Photosystem II photochemistry and photosynthetic pigment composition in salt-adapted halophyte Artemisia anethifolia grown under outdoor conditions. J Plant Physiol 160:403–408PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Luan S (2002) Signalling drought in guard cells. Plant Cell Environ 25:229–237PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mahouachi J (2007) Growth and mineral nutrient content of developing fruit on banana plants (Musa acuminata AAA, ‘Grand Nain’) subjected to water stress and recovery. J Hortic Sci Biotechnol 82:839–844Google Scholar
  35. Mahouachi J, Gómez-Cadenas A, Primo-Millo E, Talón M (2005) Antagonistic changes between abscisic acid and gibberellins in citrus fruits subjected to a series of different water conditions. J Plant Growth Regul 24:179–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mahouachi J, Socorro AR, Talón M (2006) Responses of papaya seedlings (Carica papaya L.) to water stress and re-hydration: growth, photosynthesis and mineral nutrient imbalance. Plant Soil 281:137–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mahouachi J, Arbona V, Gómez-Cadenas A (2007) Hormonal changes in papaya seedlings subjected to progressive water stress and re-watering. Plant Growth Regul 53:43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mahouachi J, Argamasilla R, Gómez-Cadenas A (2012) Influence of exogenous glycine betaine and abscisic acid on papaya in responses to water-deficit stress. J Plant Growth Regul 31:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mäkelä P, Munns R, Colmer TD, Peltonen-Sainio P (2003) Growth of tomato and its ABA-deficient mutant (sitiens) under saline conditions. Physiol Plant 117:58–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marschner H (1995) Mineral nutrition of higher plants. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Montero E, Cabot C, Barcelo J, Poschenrieder C (1997) Endogenous abscisic acid levels are linked to decreased growth of bush bean plants treated with NaCl. Physiol Plant 101:17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Munns R (2002) Comparative physiology of salt and water stress. Plant Cell Environ 25:239–250PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Munns R, Tester M (2008) Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Ann Rev Plant Biol 59:651–681CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Navarro A, Banon S, Olmos E, Sanchez-Blanco MJ (2007) Effects of sodium chloride on water potential components, hydraulic conductivity, gas exchange and leaf ultrastructure of Arbutus unedo plants. Plant Sci 172:473–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nilsen ET, Orcutt DM (1996) The physiology of plants under stress abiotic factors. John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp 118–130Google Scholar
  46. O’Neill DP, Davidson SE, Clarke VC, Yamauchi Y, Yamaguchi S, Kamiya Y, Reid JB, Ross JJ (2010) Regulation of the gibberellin pathway by auxin and DELLA proteins. Planta 232:1141–1149PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Parida AK, Das AB, Mittra B (2004) Effects of salt on growth, ion accumulation, photosynthesis and leaf anatomy of the mangrove, Bruguiera parviflora. Trees 18:167–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Qin X, Zeevaart JAD (2002) Overexpression of a 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase gene in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia increases abscisic acid and phaseic acid levels and enhances drought tolerance. Plant Physiol 128:544–551PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Raghavendra AS, Gonugunta VK, Christmann A, Grill E (2011) ABA perception and signalling. Trends Plant Sci 15:395–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rock CD, Sun X (2005) Crosstalk between ABA and auxin signaling pathways in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Planta 222:98–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schwartz SH, Qin XQ, Zeevaart JAD (2003) Elucidation of the indirect pathway of abscisic acid biosynthesis by mutants, genes, and enzymes. Plant Physiol 131:1591–1601PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Taylor IB, Sonneveld T, Bugg TDH, Thompson AJ (2005) Regulation and manipulation of the biosynthesis of abscisic acid, including the supply of xanthophyll precursors. J Plant Growth Regul 24:253–273Google Scholar
  53. Tester M, Davenport R (2003) Na+ tolerance and Na+ transport in higher plants. Ann Bot 91:503–527PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Thompson AJ, Jackson AC, Parker RA, Morpeth DR, Burbidge A, Taylor IB (2000) Abscisic acid biosynthesis in tomato: regulation of zeaxanthin epoxidase and 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase mRNAs by light/dark cycles, water stress and abscisic acid. Plant Mol Biol 42:833–845PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Voisin A, Reidy B, Parent B, Rolland G, Redondo E, Gerentes D, Tardieu F, Muller B (2006) Are ABA, ethylene or their interaction involved in the response of leaf growth to soil water deficit? An analysis using naturally occurring variation or genetic transformation of ABA production in maize. Plant Cell Environ 29:1829–1840PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wei WX, Bilsborrow PE, Hooley P, Fincham DA, Lombi E, Forster BP (2003) Salinity induced differences in growth, ion distribution and partitioning in barley between the cultivar Maythorpe and its derived mutant golden promise. Plant Soil 250:183–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zekri M, Parsons LR (1989) Growth and root hydraulic conductivity of several citrus rootstocks under salt and polyethylene glycol stresses. Physiol Plant 77:99–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhang J, Jia W, Yang J, Ismail AM (2006) Role of ABA in integrating plant responses to drought and salt stresses. Field Crop Research 97:111–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zhao GQ, Ma BL, Ren CZ (2007) Growth, gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, and ion content of naked oat in response to salinity. Crop Sci 47:123–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zhu JK (2002) Salt and drought signal transduction in plants. Annu Rev Plant Biol 53:247–273PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zörb C, Geilfus CM, Mühling KH, Jutta Ludwig-Müller J (2013) The influence of salt stress on ABA and auxin concentrations in two maize cultivars differing in salt resistance. J Plant Physiol 170:220–224PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jalel Mahouachi
    • 1
  • Domingo Fernández-Galván
    • 2
  • Aurelio Gómez-Cadenas
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería, Producción y Economía AgrariaUniversidad de La LagunaLa LagunaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Fruticultura TropicalInstituto Canario de Investigaciones AgrariasLa LagunaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciencias Agrarias y del Medio NaturalUniversidad Jaume ICastelló de la PlanaSpain

Personalised recommendations