Endogenous ABA level modulates the effects of CO2 elevation and soil water deficit on growth, water and nitrogen use efficiencies in barley and tomato plants

By Zhenhua Wei et al.


• Endogenous ABA level may modulate the response of tomato and barley plants to soil water deficit and e[CO2].

• Soil water deficit decreased leaf area, but enhanced WUE in all genotypes.

e[CO2] reduced specific leaf area and N concentration while improved WUE and NUE in wild genotypes, but not in ABA-deficient mutants.


Atmospheric CO2 elevation (e[CO2]) could alleviate the impact of soil water deficit, yet the underlying mechanisms remains largely elusive. This study aimed to investigate whether different endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) level modulates the response of barley and tomato plants to soil water deficit combined with e[CO2]. Wild type (WT) genotypes (Steptoe barley and AC tomato) and their corresponding ABA-deficient mutants (Az34 barley and AC-flacca) were grown in pots separately in greenhouse cells with ambient (a[CO2], 400 ppm) and e[CO2] (800 ppm) and were either well-watered or exposed to soil water deficit. The results showed that, compared to well-watered regime, soil water deficit decreased aboveground dry matter (ADM), leaf area (LA) and specific leaf area (SLA) while enhanced water use efficiency (WUE) in all genotypes. e[CO2] increased ADM and LA in tomato genotypes. Moreover, it reduced SLA, leaf N concentration while improved WUE and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in WT plants, not in ABA-deficient mutants. These results indicate that endogenous ABA level played an important role in modulating the response of WUE and NUE of barley and tomato to e[CO2] environment, which advances our knowledge on the physiological mechanisms of crop plants adapt to future climate changed scenarios.

The full (paywalled) article appeared on the Agricultural Water Management website at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378377421000731?via%3Dihub


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