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- LEAF GROWTH AND HYDRAULIC PROCESSES
- AN EFFECT OF ABA ON EXPANSIVE GROWTH VIA THE LIMITATION OF STOMATAL CONDUCTANCE
- AN EFFECT OF ABA ON GROWTH VIA THE INCREASE IN HYDRAULIC CONDUCTANCE TO THE WATER TRANSPORT FROM SOIL TO LEAVES
- NON-HYDRAULIC EFFECTS OF ABA ON LEAF GROWTH
- CONCLUDING REMARKS: TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE GENETIC VARIABILITY OF ABA SYNTHESIS FOR LEAF GROWTH MAINTENANCE?
Abscisic acid (ABA) affects plant metabolism and water transfers via multiple mechanisms at cell, organ and whole plant levels. These mechanisms translate into contradictory effects on leaf growth, so the literature reports positive, null or negative effects of ABA on leaf growth upon water deficit. We review evidences based on genetic manipulations of ABA biosynthesis, feeding the plant with artificial ABA or partial root drying and provide elements to avoid confusions of effects. We propose that ABA has mainly three effects on growth. (i) Via its controlling effect on stomatal aperture and transpiration rate, an increased concentration of ABA tends to buffer the day-night alternations of leaf growth rate and the negative effect of evaporative demand. (ii) ABA tends to improve leaf growth via an increase in the conductance to water transfer in the plant as a result of increased tissue hydraulic conductivity. (iii) ABA has also a modest non-hydraulic effect which is negative in plants subjected to water deficit, either manipulated for ABA synthesis or fed with artificial ABA, but can be positive in well watered plants deficient of ABA. The overall effect of increasing ABA biosynthesis depends on the relative weight of each of these effects under different environmental scenarios.