Response of tomato plants to chilling stress in association with nutrient or phosphorus starvation

  • Z. Starck
  • B. Niemyska
  • J. Bogdan
  • R. N. Akour Tawalbeh
Part of the Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences book series (DPSS, volume 90)


The experiments were conducted on two tomato cultivars: Garbo and Robin. Mineral starvation due to plant growth in 20-fold diluted nutrient solution (DNS) combined with chilling reduced the rate of photosynthesis (P N) and stomatal conductance (g) to a greater extent than in plants grown in full nutrient solution (FNS). In phosphate-starved tomato plants the P N rate and stomatal conductance decreased more after chilling than in plants grown on FNS. In low-P plants even 2 days after chilling the recovery of CO2 assimilation rate and stomatal conductance was low. A resupply of phosphorus to low-P plants (low P + P) did not improve the rate of photosynthesis in non-chilled plants (NCh) but prevented P N inhibition in chilled (Ch) plants. The greatest effect of P resupply was expressed as a better recovery of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance, especially in non-chilled low P + P plants. The F v/F m (ratio of variable to maximal chlorophyll fluorescence) decreased more during P starvation than as an effect of chilling. Supplying phosphorus to low-P plants caused the slight increase in the F v/F mratio. In conclusion, after a short-term chilling in darkness a much more drastic inhibition of photosynthesis was observed in nutrient-starved or P-insufficient tomato plants than in plants from FNS. This inhibition was caused by the decrease in both photochemical efficiency of photosystems and the reduction of stomatal conductance. The presented results support the hypothesis that tomato plants with limited supply of mineral nutrients or phosphorus are more susceptible to chilling.

Key words

chilling chlorophyll fluorescence nutrient phosphorus photosynthesis starvation 





intercellular CO2 concentration


diluted nutrient solution


full nutrient solution








stomatal conductance


not chilled


net photosynthesis


ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate


specific leaf weight


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Starck
    • 1
  • B. Niemyska
    • 1
  • J. Bogdan
    • 1
  • R. N. Akour Tawalbeh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant PhysiologyWarsaw Agricultural UniversityWarsawPoland

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