ABSTRACT To investigate the physiological basis of salt adaptation in poplar, we compared the effect of salt stress on wood anatomy and auxin physiology of the salt‐resistant Populus euphratica and salt‐sensitive Populus × canescens. Both poplar species showed decreases in vessel lumina associated with increases in wall strength in response to salt, however, in P. euphratica at three‐fold higher salt concentrations than in P. × canescens. The predicted hydraulic conductivity of the wood formed under salt stress decreased in P. × canescens, while in P. euphratica, no significant effects of salt on conductivity and transpiration were observed. The concentration of free indole‐3‐acetic acid (IAA) decreased under salt stress in the xylem of both poplar species, but to a larger extent in P. × canescens than in P. euphratica. Only salt‐treated P. euphratica exhibited an increase in IAA‐conjugates in the xylem. Genes homologous to the auxin‐amidohydrolase ILL3 were isolated from the xylems of P. euphratica and P. × canescens. For functional analysis, the auxin‐amidohydrolase from P. × canescens was overexpressed in Arabidopsis. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants were more resistant to salt stress than the wild‐type plants. Increased sensitivity of the transgenic Arabidopsis to IAA‐Leu showed that the encoded hydrolase used IAA‐Leu as a substrate. These results suggest that poplar can use IAA‐amidoconjugates in the stem as a source of auxin to balance the effects of salt stress on auxin physiology.
Plant Cell & Environment – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2006
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