Main content area

Reprint of “Contrasting stomatal regulation and leaf ABA concentrations in wheat genotypes when split root systems were exposed to terminal drought”

Saradadevi, Renu, Bramley, Helen, Siddique, Kadambot H.M., Edwards, Everard, Palta, Jairo A.
Field crops research 2014 v.165 pp. 5-14
abscisic acid, breeding, cultivars, drought, drying, filling period, flowering, genotype, greenhouse experimentation, leaves, root systems, roots, soil water, stomatal conductance, stomatal movement, water stress, wheat, Australia
Wheat grown in the Mediterranean-type environments of southern Australia is often exposed to end-of-season drought (terminal drought). During the development of terminal drought, soil dries from the top of the profile exposing the upper part of the root system to water stress while deeper roots may still be able to access deeper soil water for grain filling. It is hypothesised that the part of the root system exposed to drying soil signals abscisic acid (ABA) production and the corresponding rise in ABA concentration in leaves causes partial stomatal closure, regulating the extraction of available water at depth. In the first step to test this hypothesis, a glasshouse experiment was conducted to identify contrasting stomatal response to terminal drought and production of ABA using four wheat genotypes adapted to different soil moisture environments. Terminal drought was induced by withholding water from anthesis in one half (WD) or both halves (DD) of the root system using split pots. Stomatal conductance decreased in all four genotypes in WD plants, but leaf ABA concentration and leaf water status differed. The cultivar Drysdale had higher leaf ABA concentrations and lower stomatal conductance, but leaf water status decreased. Leaf ABA concentration did not increase in WD plants of the breeding line IGW-3262, but stomatal conductance decreased and leaf water status was unchanged. All the genotypes behaved similarly under DD conditions, with increased leaf ABA concentration, lower stomatal conductance and severely dehydrated leaves. The possible causes of the above differences in leaf ABA concentration despite similar stomatal behaviour in wheat genotypes are discussed.