Effects of Osmotic Stress on Polar Auxin Transport in Avena Mesocotyl Sections
Planta 145, 113-117 (1979)
by Rupert Sheldrake


Segments of mesocotyls of Avena sativa L. transported (1-14C) indol-3yl-acetic acid (IAA)with strictly basipetal polarity. Treatment of the segments with solutions of sorbitol caused a striking increase in basipetal auxin transport, which was greatest at concentrations around 0.5M. Similar effects were observed with mannitol or quebrachitol as osmotica, but with glucose or sucrose the increases were smaller. Polar transport was still detectable in segments treated with 1.2M sorbitol. The effects of osmotic stress on the polar transport of auxin were reversible, but treatment with sorbital solutions more concentrated than 0.5M reduced the subsequent ability of mesocotyl segments to grow in response to IAA. The increased transport of auxin in the osmotically stressed segments could not be explained in terms of an increased uptake from donor blocks. The velocity of transport declined with higher concentrations of osmoticum. The reasons for the enhancement of auxin transport by osmotic stress are not known.