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Acclimation to long-term water deficit in the leaves of two sunflower hybrids: photosynthesis, electron transport and carbon metabolism



Acclimation to long-term water deficit in the leaves of two sunflower hybrids: photosynthesis, electron transport and carbon metabolism



Journal of Experimental Botany 50(330): 127-138



Influence of long-term water deficit on photosynthesis, electron transport and carbon metabolism of sunflower leaves has been examined. Water deficit was imposed from flower bud formation up to the stage of full flowering in the field on two sunflower hybrids with different drought tolerance. CO2 assimilation and stomatal conductance of the intact leaves, determined at atmospheric CO2 and full sunlight (1500-2000 micromole quanta m-2 s-1), decreased with water deficit. Maximum quantum efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) and relative quantum yield of PSII determined under similar experimental conditions, did not change significantly in severely stressed leaves. The strong inhibition of the plateau region of the light response curve, determined at high CO2 (5%) in water-deficient sunflower leaves, indicates that photosynthesis is also limited by non-stomatal factors. The decreased slope and the plateau of the CO2 response curves show that the capacity of carboxylation and RuBP regeneration decreased in severely stressed intact leaves. Rubisco specific activity decreased in severely stressed leaves, but Rubisco content increased under prolonged drought. The increase of Rubisco content was significantly higher in leaves of the drought-tolerant sunflower hybrid indicating that a higher Rubisco content could be one factor in conferring better acclimation and higher drought tolerance.

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Accession: 003030273

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DOI: 10.1093/jxb/50.330.128



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