Changes in the water status and osmotic solute contents in response to drought and salicylic acid treatments in four different cultivars of wheat (Triticum aestivum).J Plant Res 2012; 125(1):173-84JP
Salicylic acid (SA) controls growth and stress responses in plants. It also induces drought tolerance in plants. In this paper, four wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars with different drought responses were treated with SA in three levels of drain (90, 60, 30% of maximum field capacity) to examine its interactive effects on drought responses and contents of osmotic solutes that may be involved in growth and osmotic adjustment. Under drought condition, the cultivars Geza 164 and Sakha 69 had the plant biomass and leaf relative water content (LRWC) greater than the cultivars Gemaza 1 and Gemaza 3. In all cultivars, drought stress decreased the biomass, LRWC, and the contents of inorganic solutes (Ca, K, Mg) and largely increased the contents of organic solutes (soluble sugars and proline). By contrast, SA increased the biomass, LRWC and the inorganic and organic solute contents, except proline. Correlation analysis revealed that the LRWC correlated positively with the inorganic solute contents but negatively with proline in all cultivars. SA caused maximum accumulations of soluble sugars in roots under drought. These results indicated that SA-enhanced tolerance might involve solute accumulations but independently of proline biosynthesis. Drought-sensitive cultivars had a trait lowering Ca and K levels especially in shoots. Possible functions of the ions and different traits of cultivars were discussed.