The Response of Photosynthesis to Soil Water Stress

  • Jaume FlexasEmail author
  • Alexander Gallé
  • Jeroni Galmés
  • Miquel Ribas-Carbo
  • Hipólito Medrano


The physiological and molecular basis of photosynthetic responses to limited soil water availability (water stress) has been intensively examined over the last decade(s). Therefore, this chapter highlights the major achievements of the underlying processes of photosynthetic limitation under drought, an increasingly important issue within the context of climate change. Restricted CO2 diffusion to the sites of carboxylation inside the chloroplast has been demonstrated to be the main limiting factor for photosynthesis, particularly during the early phases of stress. Stomatal (g s ) and mesophyll conductance (g m ), the two leaf diffusion components, contribute differently to this limitation, being largely influenced by the degree of water deficit. Thus, photosynthetic acclimation to drought and its recovery from drought depend primarily on the capacity to adjust g m and g s rapidly. The basis of g m and g s regulation is not fully understood, but several genetic, metabolic, and structural factors involved have been recently described. Secondary stress factors such as excessive light and elevated temperatures affect photosynthetic performance too, implying efficient photoprotection a necessary feature for stress-resistant plants.


Water Stress Stomatal Closure Leaf Water Potential Rubisco Activase Stomatal Limitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaume Flexas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander Gallé
    • 1
  • Jeroni Galmés
    • 1
  • Miquel Ribas-Carbo
    • 1
  • Hipólito Medrano
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitat de les Illes Balears, Grup de Recerca en Biologia de les Plantes en Condicions MediterràniesPalma de MallorcaSpain

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