Water Relations, Stomatal Conductance, and Abscisic Acid Content of Young Apple Trees in Response to Antitranspirant Treatment

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Oregon State Univ., Ag & Life Sciences Bldg. 4017, Corvallis, OR 97331.

Potted apple trees (Malus domestica L. `Gala') were drenched with either water or an antitranspirant (N-2001). After treatment, no additional water was applied to the plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content of immature and mature leaves was determined by radioimmunoassay after 0, 1, 3, and 5 h and 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, and 9 days after treatment. ABA content of mature and immature leaves of antitranspirant-treated plants peaked 1 and 4 days after treatment, respectively, and remained constant thereafter. In contrast, with increasing water stress, the ABA content of mature and immature leaves of control plants without antitranspirant peaked at 7 and 8 days, respectively. The overall level of ABA in mature leaves of both treatment groups was significantly greater than in immature leaves. The water saturation deficit increased, water and turgor potentials of leaves decreased, and stomatal conductance decreased in response to antitranspirant application. The changes in water relations parameters and stomatal conductance were highly correlated with changes in leaf ABA content.