Physiological and morphological responses to water stress in Aegilops biuncialis and Triticum aestivum genotypes with differing tolerance to drought

István Molnár, László Gáspár, Éva Sárvári, Sándor Dulai, Borbála Hoffmann, Márta Molnár-Láng, Gábor Galiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The physiological and morphological responses to water stress induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG) or by withholding water were investigated in Aegilops biuncialis Vis. genotypes differing in the annual rainfall of their habitat (1050, 550 and 225 mm year-1) and in Triticum aestivum L. wheat genotypes differing in drought tolerance. A decrease in the osmotic pressure of the nutrient solution from -0.027 to -1.8 MPa resulted in significant water loss, a low degree of stomatal closure and a decrease in the intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) in Aegilops genotypes originating from dry habitats, while in wheat genotypes high osmotic stress increased stomatal closure, resulting in a low level of water loss and high Ci. Nevertheless, under saturating light at normal atmospheric CO2 levels, the rate of CO2 assimilation was higher for the Aegilops accessions, under high osmotic stress, than for the wheat genotypes. Moreover, in the wheat genotypes, CO2 assimilation exhibited less or no O 2 sensitivity. These physiological responses were manifested in changes in the growth rate and biomass production, since Aegilops (Ae550, Ae225) genotypes retained a higher growth rate (especially in the roots), biomass production and yield formation after drought stress than wheat. These results indicate that Aegilops genotypes originating from a dry habitat have better drought tolerance than wheat, making them good candidates for improving the drought tolerance of wheat through intergeneric crossing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberFP03143
Pages (from-to)1149-1159
Number of pages11
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Volume31
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2004

Keywords

  • Aegilops biuncialis
  • CO fixation
  • Drought tolerance
  • Stomatal conductance
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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