Reduction in turgid water volume in jack pine, white spruce and black spruce in response to drought and paclobutrazol

Tree Physiol. 2000 May;20(10):701-707. doi: 10.1093/treephys/20.10.701.


Significant reductions in needle water content were observed in white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill) B.S.P.), and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) seedlings in response to a 10-day drought, although turgor was apparently maintained. When the seedlings were re-watered after the drought, jack pine needles regained their original saturated volume, whereas white spruce and black spruce needles did not. Significant drought-induced reductions in turgor-loss volume (i.e., tissue volume at the point of turgor loss) were observed in shoots of all three species, especially jack pine. Repeated exposure to 7 days of drought or treatment with the cytochrome P(450) inhibitor, paclobutrazol ((2RS,3RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)-pentan-3-ol), reduced seedling height relative to that of untreated controls in all three species. The reductions in saturated and turgor-loss needle volumes in the paclobutrazol-treated seedlings were comparable with those of seedlings subjected to a 10-day drought. The treatment-induced reductions in shoot and needle water contents enabled seedlings to maintain turgor with tissue volumes close to, or below, the turgor-loss volume of untreated seedlings. Paclobutrazol-treated seedlings subsequently survived drought treatments that were lethal to untreated seedlings.