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Accumulation of low molecular weight solutes in water stressed tropical legumes


, : Accumulation of low molecular weight solutes in water stressed tropical legumes. Phytochemistry (Oxford) 23(5): 1007-1016

Fourteen species [Cicer arietinum, Cajanus cajan, Lablab purpureus, Vigna radiata, V. mungo, V. unguiculata, Glycine max, Stylosanthes hamata, S. scabra, Psoralea eriantha, Rhyncosia minima, Macroptilium atropurpureum, G. tomentella, Centrosema pubescens] of tropical legumens, representing 10 genera, were subjected to water stress. Youngest fully expanded leaves of stressed and unstressed plants were analyzed for inorganic ions, sugars, inositols, organic acids, betaines and amino acids. The major compounds which accumulated with water stress were O-methyl-inositols (14 spp.), 2-methyl-2,3,4-trihydroxybutanoic acid-1,4-lactone (10 spp.) and proline (9 spp.). Concentrations of inorganic ions, sugars and organic acids decreased or were unchanged in the majority of the stressed species. The betaines, glycinebetaine, trigonelline and stachydrine were detected in low concentrations in most of the legumes but did not accumulate to any degree during water stress. All the legumes which tolerated low leaf water potentials accumulated the 0-methyl-inositol, pinitol. The other species, with the exception of Siratro, contained ononitrol or O-methyl-scylloinositol but no pinitol. Pinitol accumulation may indicate a legume able to tolerate low leaf water potentials.

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