Two glasshouse experiments were conducted at the Department of Plant Production, University of Helsinki, Finland, to study the effect of foliar application of aqueous 0.1 and 0.3M glycinebetaine on leaf growth of drought-stressed tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) cv. Samsun. Leaf nitrogen and glycinebetaine concentrations were estimated periodically. After 16 days of treatment, leaves were harvested, and fresh and dry weights, and area determined. The number of total and green leaves was also recorded. Significant increases in leaf fresh and dry weights, and area were associated with glycinebetaine application, especially when drought was induced early. The application of 0.3M glycinebetaine reduced leaf area duration. Residual leaf glycinebetaine content remained high 16 days after application. The results indicate that exogenous glycinebetaine has the potential to improve the drought tolerance of leaf tobacco.
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