PloS one

Endogenous abscisic acid promotes hypocotyl growth and affects endoreduplication during dark-induced growth in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.).

PMID 25695830


Dark-induced growth (skotomorphogenesis) is primarily characterized by rapid elongation of the hypocotyl. We have studied the role of abscisic acid (ABA) during the development of young tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedlings. We observed that ABA deficiency caused a reduction in hypocotyl growth at the level of cell elongation and that the growth in ABA-deficient plants could be improved by treatment with exogenous ABA, through which the plants show a concentration dependent response. In addition, ABA accumulated in dark-grown tomato seedlings that grew rapidly, whereas seedlings grown under blue light exhibited low growth rates and accumulated less ABA. We demonstrated that ABA promotes DNA endoreduplication by enhancing the expression of the genes encoding inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases SlKRP1 and SlKRP3 and by reducing cytokinin levels. These data were supported by the expression analysis of the genes which encode enzymes involved in ABA and CK metabolism. Our results show that ABA is essential for the process of hypocotyl elongation and that appropriate control of the endogenous level of ABA is required in order to drive the growth of etiolated seedlings.