Risk-taking plants: Anisohydric behavior as a stress-resistance trait

Nir Sade, Alem Gebremedhin, Menachem Moshelion*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


Water scarcity is a critical limitation for agricultural systems. Two different water management strategies have evolved in plants: an isohydric strategy and an anisohydric strategy. Isohydric plants maintain a constant midday leaf water potential (Ψleaf) when water is abundant, as well as under drought conditions, by reducing stomatal conductance as necessary to limit transpiration. Anisohydric plants have more variable Ψleaf and keep their stomata open and photosynthetic rates high for longer periods, even in the presence of decreasing leaf water potential. This risk-taking behavior of anisohydric plants might be beneficial when water is abundant, as well as under moderately stressful conditions. However, under conditions of intense drought, this behavior might endanger the plant. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these two water-usage strategies and their effects on the plant's ability to tolerate abiotic and biotic stress. The involvement of plant tonoplast AQPs in this process will also be discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)767-770
Number of pages4
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr Maggie Levy for providing the spore and inoculation chambers. This study was partially supported by grant #FE 552/12-1; OR309/1-1 from the German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP).


  • Abiotic stress
  • Anisohydric
  • Aquaporins
  • Biotic stress
  • Isohydric
  • Leaf water potential
  • Relative water content


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