Gas exchange by pods and subtending leaves and internal recycling of CO(2) by pods of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) subjected to water deficits.
Terminal drought markedly reduces leaf photosynthesis of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) during seed filling. A study was initiated to determine whether photosynthesis and internal recycling of CO(2) by the pods can compensate for the low rate of photosynthesis in leaves under water deficits. The influence of water deficits on the rates of photosynthesis and transpiration of pods and subtending leaves in chickpea (cv. Sona) was investigated in two naturally-lit, temperature-controlled glasshouses. At values of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) of 900 micromol m(-2) s(-1) and higher, the rate of net photosynthesis of subtending leaves of 10-d-old pods was 24 and 6 micromol m(-2) s(-1) in the well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) plants when the covered-leaf water potential (Psi) was -0.6 and -1.4 MPa, respectively. Leaf photosynthesis further decreased to 4.5 and 0.5 micromol m(-2) s(-1) as Psi decreased to -2.3 and -3.3 MPa, respectively. At 900--1500 micromol m(-2) s(-1) PAR, the net photosynthetic rate of 10-d-old pods was 0.9-1.0 micromol m(-2) s(-1) in the WW plants and was -0.1 to -0.8 micromol m(-2) s(-1) in the WS plants. The photosynthetic rates of both pods and subtending leaves decreased with age, but the rate of transpiration of the pods increased with age. The rates of respiration and net photosynthesis inside the pods were estimated by measuring the changes in the internal concentration of CO(2) of covered and uncovered pods during the day. Both the WW and WS pods had similar values of internal net photosynthesis, but the WS pods showed significantly higher rates of respiration suggesting that the WS pods had higher gross photosynthetic rates than the WW pods, particularly in the late afternoon. When (13)CO(2) was injected into the gas space inside the pod, nearly 80% of the labelled carbon 24 h after injection was observed in the pod wall in both the WW and WS plants. After 144 h the proportion of (13)C in the seed had increased from 19% to 32% in both treatments. The results suggest that internal recycling of CO(2) inside the pod may assist in maintaining seed filling in water-stressed chickpea. (+info)
Leaf ureide degradation and N(2) fixation tolerance to water deficit in soybean.
Accumulation of ureides in leaves is associated with the sensitivity of N(2) fixation in soybean to soil water deficit. Consequently, ureide degradation in leaves may be a key to increasing soybean tolerance to dry soils. Previous research indicated that allantoic acid degradation is catalysed by different enzymes in cultivars Maple Arrow and Williams. The enzyme found in Williams requires manganese as a cofactor. The first objective of this study was to determine if the two degradation pathways were associated with differences in N(2) sensitivity to soil water deficits. N(2) fixation of Williams grown on low-Mn soil was sensitive to stress, but it was relatively tolerant when grown on soil amended with Mn. N(2) fixation in Maple Arrow was relatively tolerant of soil drying regardless of the Mn treatment. The second objective of this study was to expand the study of the degradation pathway to nine additional genotypes. Based on ureide degradation in the presence and absence of Mn, these genotypes also segregated for the two degradation pathways. Those genotypes with the Mn-dependent pathway tended to have drought-sensitive N(2) fixation, but there was one exception. The genotypes not requiring Mn for ureide degradation were drought-tolerant except for one genotype. These results demonstrated the possibility for increasing N(2) fixation tolerance to soil water deficits in soybean by selection of lines with high ureide degradation rates, which were commonly associated with the Mn-independent pathway. (+info)
Identification of causal relationships among traits related to drought resistance in Stylosanthes scabra using QTL analysis.
Previous studies have shown that a negative relationship exists between transpiration efficiency (TE) and carbon isotope discrimination (Delta) and between TE and specific leaf area (SLA) in Stylosanthes scabra. A glasshouse experiment was conducted to confirm these relationships in an F(2) population and to study the causal nature of these relationships through quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis. One hundred and twenty F(2) genotypes from a cross between two genotypes within S. scabra were used. Three replications for each genotype were maintained through vegetative propagation. Water stress was imposed by maintaining plants at 40% of field capacity for about 45 d. To facilitate QTL analysis, a genetic linkage map consisting of 151 RAPD markers was developed. Results from this study show that Delta was significantly and negatively correlated with TE and biomass production. Similarly, SLA showed significant negative correlation with TE and biomass production. Most of the QTL for TE and Delta were present on linkage groups 5 and 11. Similarly, QTL for SLA, transpiration and biomass productivity traits were clustered on linkage groups 13 and 24. One unlinked marker was also associated with these traits. There were several markers coincident between different traits. At all the coincident QTL, the direction of QTL effects was consistent with phenotypic data. At the coincident markers between TE and Delta, high alleles of TE were associated with low alleles of Delta. Similarly, low alleles of SLA were associated with high alleles of biomass productivity traits and transpiration. At the coincident markers between trans-4-hydroxy-N:-methyl proline (MHP) and relative water content (RWC), low alleles of MHP were associated with high alleles of RWC. This study suggests the causal nature of the relationship between TE and Delta. Phenotypic data and QTL data show that SLA was more closely associated with biomass production than with TE. This study also shows that a cause-effect relationship may exist between SLA and biomass production. (+info)
Abscisic acid induces a decline in nitrogen fixation that involves leghaemoglobin, but is independent of sucrose synthase activity.
Sucrose synthase (SS) activity has been suggested to be a key point of regulation in nodule metabolism since this enzyme is down-regulated in response to different stresses which lead to decreased nitrogen fixation. In soybean, a dramatic decline of SS transcripts has been observed within 1 d from the onset of drought. Such a quick response suggests mediation by a signal transduction molecule. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a likely candidate to act as such a molecule as it mediates in a significant number of plant responses to environmental constraints. The hypothesis of ABA controlling nodule metabolism was approached in this work by assessing nodule responses to exogenous ABA supply in pea. Under the experimental conditions, ABA did not affect plant biomass, nodule numbers or dry weight. However, nitrogen fixation rate was reduced by 70% within 5 d and by 80% after 9 d leading to a reduced plant organic nitrogen content. Leghaemoglobin (Lb) content declined in parallel with that of nitrogen fixation. SS activity, however, was not affected by ABA treatment, and neither were the activities of the enzymes aspartate amino transferase, alkaline invertase, malate dehydrogenase, glutamate synthase, uridine diphosphoglucose pyrophosphorylase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, and glutamine synthetase. Nodule bacteroid-soluble protein content was reduced in nodules only after 9 d of ABA treatment. These results do not support the hypothesis that ABA directly regulates SS activity. However, they do suggest the occurrence of at least two different control pathways in nodules under environmental constraints, which include ABA being involved in a Lb/oxygen-related control of nitrogen fixation. (+info)
Acclimation of plants to light gradients in leaf canopies: evidence for a possible role for cytokinins transported in the transpiration stream.
The mechanism of response of plants to vertical light intensity gradients in leaf canopies was investigated. Since shaded leaves transpire less than leaves in high light, it was hypothesized that cytokinins (CKs) carried by mass transport in the transpiration stream would be distributed over the leaf area of partially shaded plants parallel to the gradient in light intensity. It was also hypothesized that this causes the distribution of leaf growth, leaf N and photosynthetic capacity, and possibly chloroplast acclimation as observed in plants growing in leaf canopies. In a field experiment, the distribution of Ca, N and CKs in a bean leaf canopy of a dense and an open stand supported the concept of a role for CKs in the response of N allocation to the light gradient when a decreasing sensitivity for CKs with increasing leaf age is assumed. Both shading of one leaf of the pair of primary bean leaves and independent reduction of its transpiration rate in a growth cabinet experiment caused lower dry mass, N and Ca per unit leaf area in comparison to the opposite not treated leaf. Shading caused a parallel reduction in CK concentration, which supports the hypothesis, but independent reduction of transpiration rate failed to do the same. Application of benzylaminopurine (BA) counteracted the reduction caused by shade of leaf N, photosynthetic capacity and leaf area growth. The experiments show an important role for the transpiration stream in the response of plants to light gradients. Evidence is presented here that CKs carried in the transpiration stream may be important mediators for the acclimation of plants to leaf canopy density. (+info)
Distribution and mobility of aluminium in an Al-accumulating plant, Fagopyrum esculentum Moench.
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench. cv. Jianxi) accumulates high concentrations of Al in the leaves without showing any toxicity. To understand the accumulation mechanism of Al in buckwheat, the distribution and mobility of Al in buckwheat were investigated. Relatively long-term treatment (28 d) with Al led to a decrease in Al concentration from old to young leaves, while a short-term (1 d) exposure to Al resulted in a uniform distribution of Al in the leaves. When the fourth leaf was wrapped inside a transparent plastic bag to suppress transpiration, the Al concentration of this leaf was only one-quarter of that in the corresponding leaf without wrapping. Within a leaf, the Al concentration at the margins was much higher than that in the centre. These results indicate that Al distribution in the leaves is controlled by both rate and duration of transpiration. The mobility of Al between old and new leaves was studied by first growing plants in a solution with Al, followed by culture in a solution without Al. The Al content in the two new leaves appeared after removal of external Al was very low, whereas that in the old leaves did not decrease but continued to increase. The increased Al content was found to be translocated from Al remaining in the roots. It is concluded that Al is not mobile once it is accumulated in the leaf. (+info)
Boron supply into wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Wilgoyne) ears whilst still enclosed within leaf sheaths.
The present study investigates whether there is significant remobilization of (10)B previously loaded in the flag and penultimate leaves into the young, actively growing ear enclosed within the sheaths of flag and penultimate leaves. It also explores whether B transport into the enclosed ear declines when air humidity in the shoot canopy increases. After 5 d (10)B labelling during the period from early to full emergence of the flag leaf, the plants were transferred into nutrient solutions containing either 10 microM (11)B or no added B for 3 d. Regardless of the subsequent B supply levels to the roots, (10)B contents in the ear continued to increase by up to 5-fold 3 d after the end of (10)B supply in the nutrient solution. During these 3 d, the ear experienced a rapid increase in biomass. However, the majority of B in the ear during the 3 d treatment period was from the newly acquired (11)B from root uptake, rather than retranslocation of (10)B previously deposited in the leaves. By comparing the relative distribution of (10)B, Rb (xylem-to-phloem transfer marker) and Sr (xylem-marker) in the ear and the flag leaf, the distribution of (10)B resembled that of Rb more than Sr. Canopy cover treatment greatly suppressed leaf transpiration and decreased the amount of newly acquired (10)B in the flag leaf and the ear, but not in the upper stem segments. The results suggest that whilst the young ear was still fully enclosed within the leaf sheaths without any significant transpiration activity, B transport into the ear is predominantly dependent on the long-distance B transport in the xylem driven by leaf transpiration and, therefore, on concurrent B uptake from the roots. (+info)
Transpiration rate. An important factor controlling the sucrose content of the guard cell apoplast of broad bean.
Evaporation of water from the guard cell wall concentrates apoplastic solutes. We hypothesize that this phenomenon provides two mechanisms for responding to high transpiration rates. First, apoplastic abscisic acid is concentrated in the guard cell wall. Second, by accumulating in the guard cell wall, apoplastic sucrose (Suc) provides a direct osmotic feedback to guard cells. As a means of testing this second hypothesized mechanism, the guard cell Suc contents at a higher transpiration rate (60% relative humidity [RH]) were compared with those at a lower transpiration rate (90% RH) in broad bean (Vicia faba), an apoplastic phloem loader. In control plants (constant 60% RH), the guard cell apoplast Suc content increased from 97 +/- 81 femtomol (fmol) guard cell pair(-1) to 701 +/- 142 fmol guard cell pair(-1) between daybreak and midday. This increase is equivalent to approximately 150 mM external, which is sufficient to decrease stomatal aperture size. In plants that were shifted to 90% RH before daybreak, the guard cell apoplast Suc content did not increase during the day. In accordance, in plants that were shifted to 90% RH at midday, the guard cell apoplast Suc content declined to the daybreak value. Under all conditions, the guard cell symplast Suc content increased during the photoperiod, but the guard cell symplast Suc content was higher (836 +/- 33 fmol guard cell pair(-1)) in plants that were shifted to 90% RH. These results indicate that a high transpiration rate may result in a high guard cell apoplast Suc concentration, which diminishes stomatal aperture size. (+info)