Effects of the interaction between vapor-pressure deficit and salinity on growth and photosynthesis of Cucumis sativus seedlings under different CO2 concentrations

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Abstract

We studied growth and photosynthesis of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedlings under two vapor-pressure deficit levels (VPD; 0.4 and 3.0 kPa), two salinity levels (0 mM and 34 mM NaCl), and two CO2 concentrations ([CO2]; 400 and 1,000 μmol mol–1). Relative growth rate (RGR) decreased with increasing VPD, but the causal factor differed between salinity levels and CO2 concentrations. Under ambient [CO2], RGR decreased with increasing VPD at low salinity mainly due to decreased leaf area ratio (LAR), and decreased net assimilation rate (NAR) at high salinity. The decrease in intercellular [CO2] (Ci) with decreasing stomatal conductance caused by high VPD did not significantly limit net photosynthetic rate (PN) at low salinity, but PN was potentially limited by Ci at high salinity. At high [CO2], high VPD reduced LAR, but did not affect NAR. This is because the decrease in Ci occurred where slope of PNCi curve was almost flat.

Additional key words

evaporative demand gas exchange growth analysis humidity stress response water potential 

Abbreviations

AC

ambient [CO2]

ANOVA

analysis of variance

[CO2]

CO2 concentration

Ci

intercellular CO2 concentration

DM

dry mass

EC

elevated [CO2]

gs

stomatal conductance

J300 and J1500

electron transport rates at photosynthetic photon flux densities of 300 and 1,500 μmol m–2 s–1, respectively

LAR

leaf area ratio

LMR

leaf mass ratio

NAR

net assimilation rate

PN

net photosynthetic rate

Ψl

leaf water potential

RGR

relative growth rate

SLA

specific leaf area

Vcmax

maximum rate of Rubisco carboxylase activity

VPD

vapor-pressure deficit

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesOsaka Prefecture UniversitySakai, OsakaJapan

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