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Botany science fair project:
The effect of soil salt stress on plant health, plant ethylene and ABA production

Science Fair Project Information
Title: The effect of soil salt stress on plant health, plant ethylene and ABA production
Subject: Botany
Grade level: High School - Grades 10-12
Academic Level: Advanced
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Medium
Awards: First Place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (2006)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Description: The growing conditions of the plant A. thaliana and its phytohormonal mutants were all kept constant. The salt concentrations in the agar (seed growing) were varied and the different plant hormone mutants were grown on agars of varying concentrations. Thus, the different plant mutants and the effect of salt stress on them could be examined through this experiment.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2006/sund6a2/
Short Background

Plants affected by salt stress are unable to take water from soil, due to an osmotic imbalance between soil and plant.

Salinity imposes two stresses on the cell: one is the loss of turgor due to the hypertonicity of the extracellular medium, and the other is a direct effect of toxic ions on metabolism. Therefore plants have developed several defence mechanisms. The Na/H+ antiporter is heavily involved and is powered by the action of the H+-ATPase which is highly expressed in leafs and roots during salt stress.

Location and timing of ABA biosynthesis

  • Released during desiccation of the vegetative tissues and when roots encounter soil compaction.
  • Synthesized in green fruit and seeds at the beginning of the wintering period
  • Mobile within the leaf and can be rapidly translocated from the roots to the leaves by the transpiration stream in the xylem.
  • Produced in response to environmental stress, such as heat stress, water stress, salt stress.
  • Synthesized in all plant parts, e.g. roots, flowers, leaves and stems

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

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