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, 95 (2), 628-35

Effects of Salinity on Stomatal Conductance, Photosynthetic Capacity, and Carbon Isotope Discrimination of Salt-Tolerant (Gossypium Hirsutum L.) and Salt-Sensitive (Phaseolus Vulgaris L.) C(3) Non-Halophytes

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Effects of Salinity on Stomatal Conductance, Photosynthetic Capacity, and Carbon Isotope Discrimination of Salt-Tolerant (Gossypium Hirsutum L.) and Salt-Sensitive (Phaseolus Vulgaris L.) C(3) Non-Halophytes

E Brugnoli et al. Plant Physiol.

Abstract

The effects of salinity on growth, stomatal conductance, photosynthetic capacity, and carbon isotope discrimination (Delta) of Gossypium hirsutum L. and Phaseolus vulgaris L. were evaluated. Plants were grown at different NaCl concentrations from 10 days old until mature reproductive structures were formed. Plant growth and leaf area development were strongly reduced by salinity, in both cotton and bean. Stomatal conductance also was reduced by salinity. The Delta always declined with increasing external salinity concentration, indicating that stomatal limitation of photosynthesis was increased. In cotton plant dry matter, Delta correlated with the ratio of intercellular to atmospheric CO(2) partial pressures (p(l)/p(a)) calculated by gas exchange. This correlation was not clear in bean plants, although Delta showed a more pronounced salt induced decline in bean than in cotton. Possible effects of heterogeneity of stomatal aperture and consequent overestimation of p(l) as determined from gas exchange could explain these results. Significant differences of Delta between leaf and seed material were observed in cotton and bean. This suggests different patterns of carbon allocation between leaves and seeds. The photon yield of O(2) evolution determined at rate-limiting photosynthetic photon flux density was insensitive to salinity in both species analyzed. The light- and CO(2)-saturated rate of CO(2) uptake and O(2) evolution showed a salt induced decline in both species. Possible explanations of this observation are discussed. O(2) hypersensitivity was observed in salt stressed cotton plants. These results clearly demonstrate that the effect of salinity on assimilation rate was mostly due to the reduction of stomatal conductance, and that calculation of p(l) may be overestimated in salt stressed plants, because of heterogeneity of stomatal aperture over the leaf surface.

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