Plant and Soil

, Volume 230, Issue 2, pp 175–183 | Cite as

Comparison of proline accumulation in two mediterranean shrubs subjected to natural and experimental water deficit

  • F. Ain-Lhout
  • M. ZunzuneguiEmail author
  • M.C. Diaz Barradas
  • R. Tirado
  • A. Clavijo
  • F. Garcia Novo


The effect of water stress on proline accumulation was tested in two contrasted species of Mediterranean scrub: Halimium halimifolium (L.) Willk and Pistacia lentiscus L. Leaf water potential, stomatal resistance and proline content have been measured both in experimental and in natural water stress conditions. Both species accumulated proline in their leaves when leaf water potential dropped below a threshold value of −3.0 MPa, under natural as well as under experimental conditions. In the field, however, a time-lag between decrease of leaf water potential and proline accumulation could be observed. In Halimium halimifolium, proline accumulation appeared to be associated with severe stress conditions as most plants with high proline contents suffered irreversible wilting, especially in the greenhouse. P. lentiscus showed a different pattern, accumulating proline at two different times of the year, as a response to cold or to drought. The results of our study indicated that the role of proline in this species, rather than an osmotic agent, seems to be more related to a protective action in cases of severe stress conditions.

drought Halimium halimifolium leaf water potential Pistacia lentiscus plant responses stomatal resistance 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Ain-Lhout
    • 1
  • M. Zunzunegui
    • 1
    Email author
  • M.C. Diaz Barradas
    • 1
  • R. Tirado
    • 1
  • A. Clavijo
    • 1
  • F. Garcia Novo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología Vegetal y EcologíaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain

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