Leafless cut Superstar roses ( Rosa hyb. ) were kept in a 1% sucrose solution. During the first few days of treatment, the abscisic acid content and the water deficit in the petals was higher in treated flowers than in controls kept in water. Later and up to the termination of the flower's life, ABA content and water deficit values were lower in petals of sucrose-treated flowers than in controls. Water stress treatments resulted in higher water deficit values and higher ABA content of petals. An 8-day sucrose treatment following temporary water stress improved the quality of flowers and reduced the level of ABA in the petals. We conclude that the effect which sucrose has on the ABA content of rose petals is at least partly due to its effect on changes in water deficit in the petals. This happens in spite of the fact that rose petals have no stomata, and therefore, ABA is not involved in regulating water balance via the stomata.
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