Effects of salicylic acid on growth and stomatal movements ofVicia faba L.: Evidence for salicylic acid metabolization

J Chem Ecol. 1992 Sep;18(9):1525-39. doi: 10.1007/BF00993226.


The influence of salicylic acid on the growth and stomatal movements ofVicia faba L. was investigated. Whereas shoot length, fresh weight, and transpiration rates, which are directly correlated with stomatal pore widths, were only affected at salicylic acid concentrations higher than 3.5 mM after long-term treatments, guard cells in epidermal peels exhibited a high sensitivity at concentrations as low as 0.001 mM, resulting in stomatal closing. HPLC analysis of methanolic extracts from roots and leaves revealed the presence of free salicylic acid and a metabolite, whose amount increased with time in plants previously incubated with a medium containing salicylic acid. The possible ability ofVicia faba to detoxify the phenolic acid may be one explanation of the discrepancy between the stomatal reaction in epidermal peels directly treated with the phenolic acid and after application through the transpiration stream. The results indicate that, under natural conditions, salicylic acid will not act as an allelopathic compound whose toxic properties severely affect the growth ofVicia faba.