Quantitative characteristics of pubescence in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are associated with photosynthetic parameters under conditions of normal and limited water supply
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Density and length of leaf pubescence are important factors of diversity in the response to water deficiency among wheat genotypes.
Many studies evidence an important protective value of leaf hairiness in plants, especially under the conditions of drought, thermal loads and increased solar radiation. However, the physiological and adaptive roles of such traits in cereals, including cultivated plants, have not been sufficiently studied to date. The aim of this work was to study the association of morphological characteristics of leaves with parameters of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence in wheat lines carrying a genetically different leaf hairiness. Isogenic and inter-varietal substitution wheat lines were used, carrying various combinations of dominant and recessive alleles of the known genes. A quantitative assessment of the pubescence was carried out in contrasting watering conditions to establish the physiological role of this trait in adaptation to drought. With the help of a portable system for studying the gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence, ten parameters of photosynthesis were studied, as well as morphological features of leaves and shoot biomass. It was found that gas exchange parameters are inversely proportional to the density and length of trichomes. In drought conditions, the trichome density increased and the length of trichomes decreased under the observed decrease in the level of gas exchange. A similar dependence was observed for the level of non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence. Under optimal conditions, the poorly haired cultivars exhibited a higher biomass than the densely haired. However, under water deficiency they significantly reduced the biomass and showed a low value of the tolerance index.
KeywordsChlorophyll fluorescence Genes for leaf pubescence High-throughput phenotyping Introgressions Near-isogenic lines Photosynthesis
Electron transport rate
Non-photochemical fluorescence quenching
Net CO2 assimilation rate
Stomatal conductance to water vapor
Water loss via transpiration
Water use efficiency as net photosynthesis/transpiration
Actual quantum yield of PSII photochemistry
Development of the used wheat lines was supported by ICG project #0259-2018-0018. The lines belong to the collection “GenAgro” of Institute of Cytology and Genetics Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia. All experiments were carried out on the experimental basis of the Baikal Analytical Center of Collective Use “Phytotron SIFIBR SB RAS”. The work was supported by RFBR-OFI project #17-29-08028.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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