Effects of Water-Deficit Stress on Photosynthesis, its Components and Component Limitations, and on Water use Efficiency in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Martin, B.; Ruiz-Torres, N.A.

Plant Physiology 100(2): 733-739


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0889
PMID: 16653053
DOI: 10.1104/pp.100.2.733
Accession: 002367175

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It is of theoretical as well as practical interest to identify the components of the photosynthetic machinery that govern variability in photosynthesis rate (A) and water-use efficiency (WUE), and to define the extent by which the component processes limit A and WUE during developing water-deficit stress. For that purpose, leaf exchange of CO(2) and H(2)O was determined in two growth-chamber-grown wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L. cv TAM W-101 and cv Sturdy), and the capacity of A was determined and broken down into carboxylation efficiency (c.e.), light- and CO(2)-saturated A, and stomatal conductance (g(s)) components. The limitations on A measured at ambient CO(2) concentration (A(350)) were estimated. No cultivar difference was observed when A(350) was plotted versus leaf water potential (Psi(w)). Light- and CO(2)-saturated A, c.e., and g(s) decreased with decreasing leaf Psi(w), but of the corresponding photosynthesis limitations only those caused by insufficient c.e. and g(s) increased. Thus, reduced stomatal aperture and Calvin cycle activity, but not electron transport/photophosphorylation, appeared to be major reasons for drought stress-induced inhibition of A(350). WUE measured as A(350)/g(s) first increased with stomatal closure down to a g(s) of about 0.25 mol H(2)O m(-2) s(-1) (Psi(w) = -1.6 MPa). However, it was predicted that A(350)/g(s) would decrease with more severe stress due to inhibition of c.e.