Effects of salicylic acid on plant-water relationships


Soybean seedlings [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] were used as the test species to study the allelopathic influence of salicylic acid (SA) on short- and long-term plant water status. Plants were grown in greenhouse conditions in nutrient culture medium amended with SA. Treatments were initiated 10 days after germination and continued for either 14 or 28 days. The threshold for inhibition of seedling growth over a 28-day treatment was 0.15 mM SA. Seedlings grown with 0.3 mM SA consistently had higher leaf diffusive resistance and lower transpiration and water potentials than control plants. The stable carbon isotope ratio (13C:12C) in tissue from both the 0.15 and 0.30 mM SA-treated plants was significantly higher than control seedlings, indicating SA caused a chronic water stress during the 28-day treatment. These data show that an interference with plant-water relationships is one mechanism whereby this allelochemical inhibits plant growth.

Document Type





13 C, allelopathy, carbon isotopes, Glycine max, plant-water status, Salicylic acid, soybean, water stress

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Chemical Ecology