Leaf Photosynthesis and Drought Adaptation in Field-Grown Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus L.)
CR Jensen, VO Mogensen, G Mortensen, MN Andersen, JK Schjoerring, JH Thage and J Koribidis
Australian Journal of Plant Physiology
23(5) 631 - 644
Photosynthesis and drought adaptation in leaves of field grown rape (Brassica napus L. cv. Global) were investigated in 1992 under temperate climatic conditions in plants grown in lysimeters in a sand and in a loam soil. Light-saturated net photosynthesis (Amax), leaf conductance to water vapour (ge), leaf water potential (Ψe), leaf osmotic potential at full turgor (Ψπ100), specific leaf area (SLA), spectral reflection index (RI) used as a measure of leaf area, and leaf nitrogen content, were determined in irrigated plants and in plants exposed to soil drying.
In the early growth stages before flowering, Amax was 35-45 μmol m-2 s-1 and ge was 1-1.5 mol m-2 s-1. Maximum rates of CO2 assimilation greater than 30 μmol m-2 s-1 were obseved for up to 19 days. Stomata partly closed in ageing leaves maintaining a constant CI/Ca ratio. Both photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (NUE; Amax per unit of nitrogen) and photosynthetic water use efficiency (WUE; Amax/ge) were high compared with efficiencies of stems and husks and of other C3 plants. In bracts Amax and ge were 10-15 μmol m-2 s-1 and 0.2-0.7 mol mol m-2 s-1, respectively. Both Amax and ge varied linearly with leaf nitrogen content.
When soil water was depleted, both Ψπ100 and RI decreased relative to controls on both soil types before any significant decrease in Ψπ occurred. On loam with slow soil drying SLA, ge and Amax decreased before any significant decrease in Ψe occurred. We suggest that these responses might have been triggered by a non-hydraulic signal transmitted from the roots. When water was more depleted, rape maintained positive turgor down to Ψe of -1.6 MPa. Rape had a high TW/DW ratio (9-11) and a 6 limited ability to adjust osmotically, ΔΨe100 being at most 0.3-0.4 MPa.Keywords: age effects; canola; osmotic adjustment; photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency; photosynthetic water use efficiency; pressure-volume curves
Full text doi:10.1071/PP9960631
© CSIRO 1996