Wolfram Hartung 1 , John W. Radin and Donald L. Hendrix United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 Western Cotton Research Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 Abstract Leaves of cotton ( Gossypium hirsutum L.) were subjected to overpressures in a pressure chamber, and the exuded sap was collected and analyzed. The exudate contained low concentrations of solutes that were abundant in total leaf extracts, and photosynthetic rates and stomatal conductance were completely unaffected by a cycle of pressurization and rehydration. These criteria and others indicate that the experimental techniques inflicted no damage upon the leaf cells. The pH and abscisic acid (ABA) content of the apoplastic fluid both increased greatly with pressure-induced dehydration. Although ABA concentrations did not reach a steady state, the peak levels were above 1 micromolar, an order of magnitude greater than bulk ABA concentrations of the leaf blades. Treatment of leaves with fusicoccin decreased the K + concentration, greatly reduced the pH rise, and completely eliminated the increase in ABA in the apoplast upon dehydration. When water-stressed leaves were pressurized, the pH of the exuded sap was increased by 0.2 units per 1 megapascal decrease in initial leaf water potential. Buffer capacity of the sap was least in the pH range of interest (6.5-7.5), allowing extremely small changes in H + fluxes to create large changes in apoplastic pH. The data indicate that dehydration causes large changes in apoplastic pH, perhaps by effects on ATPases; the altered pH then enhances the release of ABA from mesophyll cells into the apoplastic fluid.
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