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Coordination of leaf photosynthesis, transpiration and structural traits in rice and wild relatives (genus Oryza).
Wednesday, 2013/06/05 | 08:13:52

Giuliani R, Koteyeva N, Voznesenskaya E, Evans M, Cousins A, Edwards G.


1 Washington State University;


Oryza, which includes rice and wild relatives, is a useful genus to study leaf properties in order to identify structural features that control CO2 access to chloroplasts, photosynthesis, water use efficiency and drought tolerance. Traits, 26 structural and 17 functional, associated with photosynthesis and transpiration were quantified on 24 accessions (representatives of 17 species and 8 genomes). Hypotheses of associations within, and between, structure, photosynthesis and transpiration were tested. Two main clusters of positively inter-related leaf traits were identified: in the first cluster were structural features, leaf thickness (Thickleaf), mesophyll (M) cell surface area exposed to intercellular air space per unit leaf surface area (Smes), and M cell size; a second group included functional traits, net photosynthetic rate (A), transpiration rate (E), M conductance to CO2 diffusion (gm), stomatal conductance to gas diffusion (gs) and the gm/gs ratio. While A was positively correlated with gm, neither was significantly linked with any individual structural traits. The results suggest changes in gm depend on covariations of multiple leaf (Smes) and M cell (including cell wall thickness) structural traits. There was an inverse relationship between Thickleaf and E, and a significant positive association between Thickleaf and leaf transpiration efficiency (expressed as A/gs_H2O or A/E). Interestingly, high gm together with high gm/gs and a low Smes/gm ratio (M resistance to CO2 diffusion per unit cell surface area exposed to IAS) appear to be ideal for supporting leaf photosynthesis while preserving water; in addition, thick mesophyll cell walls may be beneficial for plant drought tolerance.

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