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Stomatal Behavior and Water Status of Maize, Sorghum, and Tobacco under Field Conditions: I. At High Soil Water Potential



Stomatal Behavior and Water Status of Maize, Sorghum, and Tobacco under Field Conditions: I. At High Soil Water Potential



Plant Physiology 51(1): 31-36



Diurnal changes in the vertical profiles of irradiance incident upon the adaxial leaf surface (I), stomatal resistance (r(s)), leaf water potential (psi), osmotic potential (pi), and turgor potential (P) were followed concurrently in crops of maize (Zea mays L. var. Pa 602A), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench var. RS610), and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. var. Havanna Seed 211) on several days in 1968 to 1970 when soil water potentials were high. In all three crops the r(s), measured with a ventilated diffusion porometer, the psi, measured with the pressure chamber, the pi, measured with a vapor pressure osmometer, and the calculated P, decreased from sunrise to reach minimum values near midday and then increased again in the afternoon. The diurnal range of all the variables was greater for leaves in the upper canopy than for those in the lower canopy. P was observed to decrease with decreasing psi, but never became zero. Sorghum had a higher P at a psi of, say -10 bars, than did maize, and maize had a higher P than tobacco at the same psi. Moreover, at the same psi the upper leaves in all canopies had a higher P than the lower leaves. When compared at high irradiances, r(s) did not increase as psi declined to -13, -15, and -10 bars or as P declined to 0.3, 3.5, and 1.2 bars in maize, sorghum, and tobacco, respectively. The relation between r(s) and I in the upper, nonsenescent leaves of all three crops fits a hyperbolic curve, but the response varied with species and leaf senescence. The adaxial and abaxial epidermises had the same response of r(s) to I in maize and sorghum, whereas in tobacco the adaxial epidermis had a higher r(s) than the abaxial epidermis at all values of I. At equal values of I, tobacco had the lowest leaf resistance (r(l)) and maize had the highest r(l). Senescent maize leaves had nonfunctional stomata, whereas the lowermost sorghum leaves had higher stomatal resistances on average than the other leaves.

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Accession: 050388886

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PMID: 16658292

DOI: 10.1104/pp.51.1.31


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