Changes in water relation parameters under osmotic and salt stresses in maize and sorghum

László Erdei, Edith Taleisnik

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A relatively drought tolerant cultivar of maize (Zea mays L. cv. Pioneer 3950) and a drought tolerant line of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench cv. ICSV 112) were grown hydroponically for 11 days. Treatments for non‐ionic osmotic and salt stresses were started at the 8th day by addition of polyethylene glycol 6000 and NaCl, respectively, at 200 mOsm equivalent concentrations in the presence or absence of 0. 1 μM abscisic acid. Relative growth rate was depressed by both stress factors, more severely for maize than sorghum. Abscisic acid increased the growth rate and reverted the negative effect of NaCl in maize, while sorghum was only slightly affected. In general, sorghum had higher levels of K+ and lower levels of Na+ and the K+/Na+ ratio was further increased by abscisic acid treatment. From the pressure‐volume curves, osmotic potential, the water potential at turgor loss point, bulk elastic modulus and the water saturation deficit at initial turgor loss were estimated. Most significantly, sorghum had a higher elastic modulus than maize and it decreased under osmotic treatment, while in maize it increased under NaCl stress. The results suggest that bulk tissue turgor was not limiting growth under these conditions and underscores the possible implications of changes in the elastic condition of the cell walls in stress responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1993



  • Abscisic acid
  • Sorghum bicolor
  • Zea mays
  • maize
  • osmotic stress
  • polyethylene glycol
  • potassium
  • salt stress
  • sodium
  • water relations parameters
  • water stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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