Abscisic Acid Control of Lectin Accumulation in Wheat Seedlings and Callus Cultures : Effects of Exogenous ABA and Fluridone

Raikhel, N.V.; Palevitz, B.A.; Haigler, C.H.

Plant Physiology 80(1): 167-171


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0889
PMID: 16664575
DOI: 10.1104/pp.80.1.167
Accession: 014935105

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Wheat germ agglutinin is found in wheat embryos and a similar lectin is present in the roots of older plants. We report here that 10 micromolar abscisic acid (ABA) produces an average two to three-fold enhancement in the amount of lectin in the shoot base and the terminal portion of the root system of hydroponically grown wheat seedlings. Although ABA stunts seedling growth, a similar growth inhibition produced by ancymidol is not accompanied by elevated lectin levels. To further clarify the role of ABA, wheat callus cultures were employed. Callus derived from immature embryos was grown on growth medium containing various combinations of ABA and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Those grown in the presence of 10 micromolar ABA exhibit the largest increases in lectin compared to material grown on other regimes. The involvement of ABA in lectin accumulation was further probed with fluridone, an inhibitor of carotenoid synthesis which has also been linked to depressed levels of endogenous ABA. Wheat seedlings grown in the presence of 1 or 10 milligrams per liter fluridone have few or no carotenoids, and wheat germ agglutinin levels in the shoot base and roots are lower compared to controls. The greatest effect (a 39% reduction in the shoot base) is produced at an herbicide concentration of 10 milligrams per liter. Exogenous 10 micromolar ABA greatly stimulates lectin accumulation in the presence of fluridone, but the levels are not as high as those produced by ABA alone. These results indicate that lectin synthesis is under ABA control in both wheat embryos and adult plants.