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Relation of stomatal behavior to stem-rust resistance in wheat



Relation of stomatal behavior to stem-rust resistance in wheat



Jour Agric Res 39(12): 929-948



Some vars. of wheat are resistant to stem rust in the field because of the behavior of their stomata, but may be susceptible in their seedling stage. Stomatal movements of wheats follow a definite daily rhythm. The stomata open gradually after sunrise, remain open for varying lengths of time, close gradually during the afternoon, and remain closed all night. This rhythm differs considerably in different vars. Stomata of some vars. open very soon after sunrise and usually remain open most of the day. Stomata of other vars. open very slowly and remain open only a short time. Stomata of the younger and more succulent plant parts (young leaves) open sooner and remain open longer than stomata on older or less succulent parts (older leaves, sheath, and peduncle). The differences are not great but are appreciable under ordinary conditions. The critical period for stem-rust infection is in the early morning immediately after sunrise and while the plants are heavy with dew. The fungus easily enters its host if the stomata are open during most of the critical period, but if they are closed during that time the fungus is excluded. Direct sunlight seems to be the most important stimulus for the opening of stomata of cereals. Artificial light, excess of moisture, and excess of moisture and temp. combined, did not prolong the period during which the stomata remain open in the greenhouse. Germ tubes of stem-rust spores generally, and probably always, enter the host only when the stomata are open. The fungus does not force its way through closed stomata. A var. of wheat may appear truly resistant to stem rust if the behavior of its stomata is such that most of the inoculum is excluded and rendered ineffective. There is a correlation between stomatal behavior and the resistance of certain vars. of wheat to stem rust in the field at University Farm, St. Paul, Minnesota. Stomata of the highly susceptible vars. Little Club, Baart (Early Baart), Quality, and Reward, open soon after sunrise and remain open most of the day. Stomata of some slightly less susceptible vars. Marquis, Ruby, Haynes Bluestem, Ar-nautka and Mindum, open a little more slowly after sunrise, but they too remain open most of the day. In the vars. which are highly resistant in the field, Hope, Webster, Acme, and Velvet Don, the stomata open very slowly and close again relatively early in the day. Vars. which are moderately resistant in the field, Kota and Kubanka, have an intermediate type of stomatal be-havior.-From author's summary.

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