Stomatal Behaviours of Aspen (Populus tremuloides) Plants in Response to Low Root Temperature in Hydroponics
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Hydroponic-grown seedlings of aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) were used to investigate how low root temperatures (5°C) affect stomatal conductance and water relations. An isohydric manner of the stomatal behaviour was found with the seedlings when their roots were subjected to the low temperature. Stomatal conductance rapidly and dramatically reduced in response to the low root temperature, while the xylem water potential did not significantly alter. Under the low root temperature, pH value of the xylem sap increased from 6.15 to 6.72 within the initial 4 h, while abscisic acid (ABA) concentration increased by the eighth hour of treatment. K+ concentration of the xylem sap significantly decreased within the 8th h and then reversed by the 24th h. The ion change was accompanied by a decrease and then an increase in the electrical conductivity, and an increase and then a decrease in the osmotic potential. The tempo of physiological responses to the low root temperature suggests that the rapid pH change of the xylem sap was the initial factor which triggered stomatal closure in low temperature-treated seedlings, and that the role of the more slowly accumulating ABA was likely to reinforce the stomatal closure. Xylem sap from the seedlings subjected low root temperature affected stomatal aperture on leaf discs when they were floated on the sap solution. The stomatal aperture correlated (P = 0.006) with the changed pattern of [K+] in the sap while the range of pH or ABA found in the xylem sap did not influence stomatal aperture of leaf discs in solution. The effect of xylem sap on stomatal aperture on leaf discs was different from on stomatal conductance in the intact seedlings. Comparison was made with previous study with the soil-grown seedlings.
KeywordsPopulus tremuloides stomatal behaviour low root temperature isohydric xylem sap
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