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Acetyl salicylic acid (Aspirin) and salicylic acid induce multiple stress tolerance in bean and tomato plants


The hypothesis that physiologically activeconcentrations of salicylic acid (SA) and itsderivatives can confer stress tolerance in plants wasevaluated using bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) andtomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.). Plantsgrown from seeds imbibed in aqueous solutions (0.1--0.5 mM) of salicylic acid or acetyl salicylic acid(ASA) displayed enhanced tolerance to heat, chillingand drought stresses. Seedlings acquired similarstress tolerance when SA or ASA treatments wereapplied as soil drenches. The fact that seedimbibition with SA or ASA confers stress tolerance inplants is more consistent with a signaling role ofthese molecules, leading to the expression oftolerance rather than a direct effect. Induction ofmultiple stress tolerance in plants by exogenousapplication of SA and its derivatives may have asignificant practical application in agriculture,horticulture and forestry.

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Correspondence to Tissa Senaratna.

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Senaratna, T., Touchell, D., Bunn, E. et al. Acetyl salicylic acid (Aspirin) and salicylic acid induce multiple stress tolerance in bean and tomato plants. Plant Growth Regulation 30, 157–161 (2000).

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  • stress tolerance
  • acetyl salicylic acid
  • salicylic acid
  • heat
  • drought
  • cold