Coordinated variation between veins and stomata in cotton and its relationship with water-use efficiency under drought stress
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Drought stress causes changes in vein and stomatal density. The objectives of this study were to determine (1) if the changes in vein and stomatal density are coordinated in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and (2) how these changes affect water-use efficiency (WUE). The results showed significant positive correlations between vein density and stomatal density when cotton was grown under different degrees of drought stress. WUE was significantly positively correlated with the densities of both veins and stomata. Stomatal pore area and stomatal density on the abaxial leaf side, but not the adaxial side, were significantly correlated with WUE, stomatal conductance, leaf net photosynthetic rate, and transpiration rate. In conclusion, coordinated changes in vein and stomatal density improve the WUE of cotton under drought stress. The abaxial leaf side plays a more important role than the adaxial side in WUE and gas exchange.
Additional key wordsmajor leaf veins maximum stomatal conductance minor leaf veins photosynthesis stomata size
intercellular CO2 concentration
mild drought stress
moderate drought stress
leaf dry mass per area
net photosynthetic rate
intrinsic water-use efficiency
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