The effect of drought hardening and chilling on ABA content in xylem sap and ABA - delivery rate from root of tomato plant

  • Zofia Starck
  • Danuta Choluj
  • Helena Gawrońska


This paper is a continuation of our studies related to the response of two tomato cultivars: Robin and New Yorker to chilling: the later is more tolerant to chilling than the former one (Starck et al. 1994). The concentration of ABA in the xylem sap and ABA delivery rate (calculated as the amount of ABA exuded in 2h from the cut stump, following shoot removal) were estimated by ELISA. The relative water content (RWC) of the leaf blades and stomatal resistance (RS) were also measured. Tomato plants were grown in a greenhouse, under noncontrolled conditions. Before chilling some of the plants were drought hardened for 10 days (H). As an consequence of water deficit only New Yorker growth slightly decreased. Plants were chilled to 2–5 °C during three consecutive, 16-h nights, preceded by warm days, which caused a decrease in the RWC of leaf blades. Chilling did not decreased leaf blade hydration significantly, but drastically increased the concentration of ABA in the xylem sap in more chilling tolerant cv. New Yorker only. The delivery rate of ABA was markedly enhanced in both cultivars, but much more in New Yorker. Drought hardening increased ABA delivery rate in cv. Robin only, especially after chilling. The lack of correlation between changes in the RWC of leaf blades after low temperature treatment and the concentration of ABA in the xylem sap as well as its delivery rate suggest, that in both tomato cultivars chilling increased ABA level directly, not as an secondery effect of temperature-induced water deficit.

Key words

Abscisic acid chilling drought hardening Lycopersicon esculentum water stress 


  1. Bohnert H.J., Nelson D.E., Jensen R.G. 1995. Adaptations to environmental stresses. The Plant Cell, 7: 1099–1111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bray E.A. 1990. Drought-stress-induced polypeptide accumulation in tomato leaves. Plant Cell Environ., 13: 531–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bray E.A. 1997. Plant responses to water deficit. Trends in Plant Science, 2/2: 48–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brüggeman W., van der Kooij T.A.W., Hasselt P.R. 1992. Long-term chilling of young tomato plants under low light and subsequent recovery. Planta, 186: 172–178.Google Scholar
  5. Capell B., Dörffling K. 1993. Genotype-specific differences in chilling tolerance of maize in relation to chilling-induced changes in water status and abscisic acid accumulation. Physiol. Plant., 88: 638–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Choluj D., Kalaji H.M., Niemyska B. 1997. Analysis of gas exchange components in tomato plants. Photosynthetica, in press.Google Scholar
  7. Correia M.J., Periera J.S., Chaves M.M., Rodrigues M.L., Pacheco C.A. 1995. ABA xylem concentrations determine maximum daily leaf conductance of fieldgrown Vitis vinifera L. plants. Plant Cell Environment, 18: 511–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Daie J., Campbell W.F. 1981. Response of tomato plants to stressfull temperatures. Plant Physiol., 67: 26–29.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Eamus D., Wilson J.M. 1983. ABA levels and effects in chilled and hardened Phaseolus vulgaris. J. Exp. Bot. 34/145: 1000–1006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Else M.A., Davies W.J., Whitford P.N., Hall K.C., Jackson M.B. 1994. Concentrations of abscisic acid and other solutes in xylem sap from root systems of tomato and castor-oil plants are distorted by wounding and variable sap flow rates. J. Exp. Bot., 45: 317–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grau A., Halloy S. 1997. Effect of chilling on CO2 gasexchange in Carica papaya L. and Carica quercifolia (A.St.Hil.) Solms. J. Plant Physiol., 150: 475–480.Google Scholar
  12. Hartung W., Davies W.J. 1991. Drought-induced changes in physiology and ABA. 63–79. In: Abscisic acid: physiology and biochemistry. Eds. Davies W.J., Jones H.G. Bios Sci Publ.Google Scholar
  13. Irigoyen J.J., Perez de Juan J., Sanchez-Diaz M. 1996. Drought enchances chilling tolerance in a chilling-sensitive maize (Zea mays) variety. New Phytol. 134: 53–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Janowiak F., Dörffling K. 1996. Chilling of maize seedlings: changes in water status and abscisic acid content in ten genotypes differing in chilling tolerance. J. Plant Physiol., 147: 582–588.Google Scholar
  15. Jokhan A.D., Else M.A., Jackson B. 1996. Delivery rates of abscisic acid in xylem sap of Ricinus comunis L. plants subjected to part-drying of the soil. J.Exp.Bot., 47: 1595–1599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mäntylä E., Lang V., Palva E.T. 1995. Role of abscisic acid in drought-induced freezing tolerance, cold acclimation, and accumulation of LTI78 and RAB18 proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiol., 107: 141–148.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Markhart A.H., III. 1986. Chilling injury: a review of possible causes. Hort Sci., 21/6: 1329–1333.Google Scholar
  18. McKersie B.D., Leshem Y.Y. 1994. Stress and stress coping in cultivated plants. Kluwer Ac. Publ. Dordrecht, Boton, London.Google Scholar
  19. Mertens R., Deus-Neuman B., Weiler E.W. 1983. Monoclonal antibodies for the detections and quantification of the endogenous plant growth regulator. FEBS letters. 160: 269–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pardossi A., Vernieri P., Tognoni F. 1992. Involvement of abscisic acid in regulating water status in Phaseolus vulgaris L. during chilling. Plant Physiol., 100: 1243–1250.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Pekič S., Stikič R., Tomljanovič L., Andjelkovič V., Ivanovič M., Quarrie S.A. 1995. Characterization of maize lines differing in leaf abscisic acid content in the field. 1 Abscisic acid physiology. Ann. Bot., 75: 67–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Perez de Juan J., Irigoyen J.J., Sanchez-Diaz M. 1997. Chilling of drought-hardened and non-hardened plants of different chilling-sensitive maize lines. Changes in water relations and ABA contents. Plant Science 122: 71–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schulze E.D. 1993. Soil water deficits and atmospheric humidity as environmental signals. In: Smith JA.C. & Griffiths H. (eds.) Water deficits-plant responses from cell to community, 129–131 Bios Scientific Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Smoleńska-Sym G., Gawrońska H., Kacperska A. 1995. Modifications of abscisic acid level in winter oil-seed rape leaves during acclimation of plants to freezing temperatures. Plant Growth Regul., 17: 61–65.Google Scholar
  25. Starck Z., Choluj D., Kalaji H.M. 1994. Photosynthesis and biomass allocation as response to chilling in tomato plants. In: Dörffling K, Brettschneider B., Tantau H., Pithan K (ed): Adaptation To Cool Climates COST 81 Workshop. Pp. 125–132. European Commission. European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research, Brussels-Luxembourg.Google Scholar
  26. Starck Z., Bogdan J., Choluj D. 1997. Effect of phosphorus and patassium supply on tomato plant response to chilling stress. Symp. Crop adaptation to cool climates, COST, in press.Google Scholar
  27. Vernieri P., Pardossi A., Tognoni F. 1989. Chilling-induced water stress in tomato: effect on abscisic acid accumulation. Adv. Hort. Sci., 3: 78–80.Google Scholar
  28. Vernieri P., Pardossi A., Tognoni F. 1991. Influence of chilling and drought on relations and abscisic acid accumulation in bean. Aust. J. Plant Physiol., 18: 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vernieri P., Pardossi A., Serra G., Tognoni F. 1994. Changes in abscisic acid and its glucose ester in Phaseolus vulgaris L. during chilling and water stress. Plant Growth Regul., 15: 157–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wilson J.M. 1976. The mechanism of chill- and drought- hardening of Phaseolus vulgaris leaves. New Phytol., 76: 257–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zhang C-L., Li P.H., Brenner M.L. 1986. Relationship between mefluidide treatment and abscisic acid metabolism in chilled corn leaves. Plant Physiol., 81: 699–701.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhang J., Davies W.J. 1990a. Change in the concentration of ABA in xylem sap as a functions of changing soil water status can account for changes in leaf conductance and growth. Plant Cell Environ., 13: 277–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhang J., Davies W.J. 1990b. Does ABA in the xylem control the rate of leaf growth in soil-dried maize and sunflower plants? J. Exp. Bot., 41: 1125–1132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Department of Plant Physiology 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zofia Starck
    • 1
  • Danuta Choluj
    • 1
  • Helena Gawrońska
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant PhysiologyWarsaw Agricultural UniversityWarsawPoland

Personalised recommendations