Field studies of cereal leaf growth 4. winter wheat leaf triticum aestivum cultivar huntsman extension in relation to temperature and leaf water status
Gallagher, J.N.; Biscoe, P.V.; Wallace, J.S.
Journal of Experimental Botany 30(117): 657-668
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0957 Accession: 005461128
Throughout winter and early spring, rule and auxonometer measurements showed that leaf extension rate (RE) was directly related to temperature and stopped at about 0.degree. C. During this period, both night and day time RE responded similarly to temperature. Bright sunshine in late April and May caused fast transpiration which was associated with low leaf water potential (.psi.) and slow RE. When bright sun was obscured by cloud, RE increased but this did not compensate for previous slow RE. Leaf turgor potential, calculated as the difference between .psi. and leaf osmotic potential, was large (0.6-1.8 MPa [megapascal]) and bore little relation to RE. Low .psi. was associated with slower RE than would have been expected without water stress, but the relation was not unique. On a bright day in May, adaptation to low .psi. occurred and during the afternoon RE was faster than at similar values of .psi. and meristem temperatures before noon. The response of RE and duration of leaf extension to temperature suggested that for any particular leaf grown under field conditions, variation in mean growing temperature would affect final leaf length only slightly. Because severe water stress slows RE without affecting the duration of leaf extension markedly, it decreases final leaf size.