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Effects of growth regulators on the induction of Crassulacean acid metabolism in the facultative halophyte Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.

Abstract

The classical induction of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L. by water stress is observed within one week when fourto five-week-old plants (grown under a 16/8 h photoperiod at ca. 600 μmol quanta · m−2 · s−1) are irrigated with 350 mM NaCl. The induction of CAM was evaluated by measuring phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPCase, EC 4.1.1.31) and NADP-malic enzyme (NADP-ME, EC 4.1.1.82) activities and nocturnal increases in malate content and titratable acidity of leaf extracts, and the daily pattern of CO2 exchange and stomatal conductance during the 7-d induction period. Three growth regulators, abscisic acid (ABA), farnesol (an antitranspirant and analog of ABA), and benzylaminopurine (BAP), were found to substitute for NaCl for induction of CAM when fed to plants in nutrient media. Daily irrigation with solutions containing micromolar levels (optimum ca. 10 micromolar) of these growth regulators led to the induction of CAM similar to that by high salt. Application of the growth regulators, like NaCl, caused large increases in the activity of NADP-ME and the activity and level of PEPCase, which are components of the biochemical machinery required for CAM. Western immunoblotting showed that the increased activity of PEPCase on addition of ABA, farnesol and BAP was mainly due to increased levels of the CAM-specific isoforms. Also, dehydration of cut leaves over 8.5 h under light resulted in a severalfold increase in PEPCase activity. An equivalent increase in PEPCase activity in excised leaves was also obtained by feeding 150 mM NaCl, or micromolar levels of ABA or BAP via the petiole, which supports results obtained by feeding the growth regulators to roots. However, the increase in PEPCase activity was inhibited by feeding high levels of BAP to cut leaves prior to dehydration, indicating a more complex response to the cytokinin. Abscisic acid may have a role in induction of CAM in M. crystallinum under natural conditions as there is previous evidence that induction by NaCl causes an increase in the content of ABA, but not cytokinins, in leaves of this species.

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Abbreviations

ABA:

abscisic acid

BAP:

6-benzylaminopurine

CAM:

Crassulacean acid metabolism

Chl:

chlorophyll

2,4D:

2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid

NADP-ME:

NADP-malic enzyme

PEPCase:

phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase

References

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Author information

Correspondence to Gerald E. Edwards.

Additional information

Methyl jasmonate was generously provided by Dr. Vincent Franceschi (Botany Department, Washington State University). The anti-maize leaf PEPCase was kindly supplied by Dr. Tatsuo Sugiyama (Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Nagoya University, Japan) and the anti-Flaveria trinervia leaf PEPCase was kindly supplied by Dr. Samuel Sun (Department of Plant Molecular Physiology, University of Hawaii, Honulu). This work was funded in part by U.S. Department of Agriculture Competitive Grant 90-37280-5706 and an equipment grant (DMB 8515521) from the National Science Foundation. Ziyu Dai was supported in part by Guangxi Agricultural College and Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China

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Dai, Z., Ku, M.S.B., Zhang, D. et al. Effects of growth regulators on the induction of Crassulacean acid metabolism in the facultative halophyte Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.. Planta 192, 287–294 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00198562

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Key words

  • Crassulacean acid metabolism
  • Growth regulator
  • Induction of CAM
  • Mesembryanthemum