Much early writing on the effects of drought on plant growth and crop production emphasized the damaging effects of water deficits on many 1040-2519/91/0601-0055$02.00 DAVIES & ZHANG aspects of shoot growth and functioning. It is now clear that well before this type of damage becomes apparent, soil drying exerts many regulatory effects, including reduced rates of cell division and cell growth previously considered to be examples of damage to plants. Much of this regulation of growth and development in response to soil drying involves gene action (10,21,83). It is likely that in the next few years we will greatly increase our understanding of the molecular biology of drought responses, but such progress will be of little benefit without increased understanding of the biochemistry and physiology of droughted plants. Here we address the factors regulating the development of the whole plant growing in drying soil. We extend certain arguments outlined in an earlier Annual Review chapter (89), but differ from most reviews in this area by proposing an important role for the root in sensing the amount of water available in the soil. CHEMICAL AND HYDRAULIC SIGNALING Soil Drying and Leaf Water Status For many years now it has
Annual Review of Plant Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 1, 1991
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