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Pulvinus activity, leaf movement and leaf water-use efficiency of bush bean (Phaseplus vulgaris L.) in a hot environment

Raeini-Sarjaz, Mahmoud, Chalavi, Vida
International journal of biometeorology 2008 v.52 no.8 pp. 815-822
Phaseolus vulgaris, air temperature, bioclimatology, circadian rhythm, container-grown plants, gas exchange, green beans, greenhouses, light intensity, photosynthesis, pulvinus, sandy loam soils, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency
Pulvinus activity of Phaseolus species in response to environmental stimuli plays an essential role in heliotropic leaf movement. The aims of this study were to monitor the continuous daily pulvinus movement and pulvinus temperature, and to evaluate the effects of leaf movements, on a hot day, on instantaneous leaf water-use efficiency (WUEi), leaf gas exchange, and leaf temperature. Potted plants of Phaseolus vulgaris L. var. Provider were grown in Chicot sandy loam soil under well-watered conditions in a greenhouse. When the second trifoliate leaf was completely extended, one plant was selected to measure pulvinus movement using a beta-ray gauging (BRG) meter with a point source of thallium-204 (²⁰⁴Tl). Leaf gas exchange measurements took place on similar leaflets of three plants at an air temperature interval of 33-42°C by a steady-state LI-6200 photosynthesis system. A copper-constantan thermocouple was used to monitor pulvinus temperature. Pulvinus bending followed the daily diurnal rhythm. Significant correlations were found between the leaf-incident angle and the stomatal conductance (R ² = 0.54; P < 0.01), and photosynthesis rate (R ² = 0.84; P < 0.01). With a reduction in leaf-incidence angle and increase in air temperature, WUEi was reduced. During the measurements, leaf temperature remained below air temperature and was a significant function of air temperature (r = 0.92; P < 0.01). In conclusion, pulvinus bending followed both light intensity and air temperature and influenced leaf gas exchange.