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Partial root zone drying exerts different physiological responses on field-grown grapevine (Vitis vinifera cv. Monastrell) in comparison to regulated deficit irrigation

Pascual Romero A E , Juan Gabriel Pérez-Pérez B , Francisco M. del Amor C , Adrián Martinez-Cutillas A , Ian C. Dodd D and Pablo Botía B

A Departamento de Viticultura, Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario, c/ Mayor s/n, 30150, La Alberca, Murcia, Spain.
B Departamento de Citricultura, Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario, c/ Mayor s/n, 30150, La Alberca, Murcia, Spain.
C Departamento de Calidad y Seguridad Alimentaria, Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario, c/ Mayor s/n, 30150, La Alberca, Murcia, Spain.
D The Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK.
E Corresponding author. Email: pascual.romero@carm.es

Functional Plant Biology - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP13276
Submitted: 19 September 2013  Accepted: 6 February 2014   Published online: 3 April 2014


 
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Abstract

Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) and partial root zone irrigation (PRI) were compared for 4 years at two irrigation volumes (110 mm year–1 (1) and 78 mm year–1 (2)) in field-grown grafted Monastrell grapevines (Vitis vitifera L.) to distinguish the effects of deficit irrigation from specific PRI effects. PRI-1 and RDI-1 vines received ~30% of the crop evapotranspiration (ETc) from budburst to fruit set, 13–15% from fruit set to veraison and 20% from veraison to harvest. RDI-2 and PRI-2 vines received around 20% of ETc from budburst to fruit set, no irrigation from fruit set to veraison, and recovery (21–24% ETc) thereafter. Compared with RDI-1, PRI-1 increased irrigation depth and total soil water (θv) availability in the root zone, and stimulated greater fine root growth and water uptake. Increased soil volume exploration supported greater canopy water use, vegetative development, biomass accumulation and internal water storage capacity. PRI-1 vines had higher stomatal conductance, lower leaf-level water use efficiency and increased leaf xylem sap concentration ([X-ABA]leaf) following reirrigation. Compared with RDI-2, PRI-2 decreased total θv availability, fine root growth and water uptake, gas exchange, leaf water status, [X-ABA]leaf, biomass accumulation and storage capacity. Xylem ABA decreased with total θv availability in PRI-2, probably from limited sap flow when θv in drying soil was low (≈20%). For this rootstock–scion combination, high irrigation volumes applied to the wet part of the roots (θv > 30%) are critical for increasing root-to-shoot ABA signalling and growth, and improving performance under semiarid conditions.

Additional keywords: abscisic acid, plant biomass, root and shoot growth regulation, water stress physiology, water uptake, water use efficiency.


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