Book Chapter

Osmotic adjustment under drought conditions

GJ Sanders, SK Arndt

Plant Responses to Drought Stress: From Morphological to Molecular Features | Published : 2012

Abstract

In broad terms, plants adapt to drought either by decreasing water loss (reduced stomatal conductance) or by maintaining water uptake. The latter process is facilitated within plant cells by osmotic adjustment (OA), a biochemical mechanism that helps plants to acclimatize to dry and saline conditions. OA results in a net increase of the number of osmotically active substances in the cell. This increase in solutes leads to a more negative osmotic potential, which in turn can improve the degree of cell hydration, maintaining turgor in leaf tissue and in other metabolically active cells. In other words, plants can survive longer and maintain metabolic processes in drying soil if OA occurs. In p..

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