Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Hydraulic and chemical signalling in the regulation of stomatal conductance and plant water use in field grapevines growing under deficit irrigation

M. Lucília Rodrigues A D , Tiago P. Santos A , Ana P. Rodrigues A B , Claudia R. de Souza B , Carlos M. Lopes A , João P. Maroco B C , João S. Pereira A and M. Manuela Chaves A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal.

B Laboratório de Ecofisiologia Molecular, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Apartado 127, 2780-901 Oeiras, Portugal.

C Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada. Rua Jardim do Tabaco, 34, 1149-047 Lisboa, Portugal.

D Corresponding author. Email: mlrodrigues@isa.utl.pt

Functional Plant Biology 35(7) 565-579 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP08004
Submitted: 9 January 2008  Accepted: 22 June 2008   Published: 21 August 2008

Abstract

Effects of irrigation strategies on stomata and plant water use were studied in field-grown grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.). We assessed the importance of root-derived chemical signals vs. hydraulic signalling in stomatal regulation. The experiment included two treatments with the same water added to the soil (50% ETc) applied either to the whole root system (DI) or to half of the roots, alternating irrigation side every 15 days (PRD). Well-watered plants (FI) (100% ETc) and non-irrigated grapevines (NI) were also studied. Partial stomata closure occurred in both PRD and DI plants. [ABA] of xylem sap remained constant during the day and was maintained throughout the season, with higher values in NI plants. Xylem sap pH was not affected by soil water availability. A positive correlation between ψpd and maximum g s was found, indicating that grapevine stomata strongly respond to plant water status. In contrast, ABA did not explain stomatal control at veraison. At mid-ripening g s was significantly correlated with ABA, apparently interacting with the rise in xylem sap pH. Therefore, our data suggest that hydraulic feedback and feed-forward root-to-shoot chemical signalling mechanisms might be involved in the control of stomata in response to decreased soil water availability, hydraulic signals playing the dominant role.

Additional keywords: partial root drying, sap flow, stomata, Vitis vinifera L., water relations, xylem ABA.


Acknowledgements

We are grateful to DRARO, namely the Centro Experimental de Pegões, for the experimental vineyard facilities. We thank M. José Moreira and Victoria Picado from ISA for their laboratory technical assistance. This research was financially supported by the EU project IRRISPLIT (ICA-1999-10026).


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