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Physiological limitations in two sugarcane varieties under water suppression and after recovering

By David Barbosa Medeiros, Elizamar Ciríaco da Silva, Rejane Jurema Mansur Custódio Nogueira, Marcelo Menossi Teixeira and Marcos Silveira Buckeridge


Increasing water scarcity and depleted water productivity in irrigated soils are inducing farmers to adopt improved varieties, such as those with high-capacity tolerance. The use of tolerant varieties of sugarcane might substantially avoid the decline of productivity under water deficit. This research aimed to evaluate the harmful effects of drought on the physiology of two sugarcane varieties (RB867515 and RB962962) during the initial development. Young plants were subjected to irrigation suspension until total stomata closure, and then rewatered. Significant reduction on stomatal conductance, transpiration, and net photosynthesis were observed. RB867515 showed a faster stomatal closure while RB962962 slowed the effects of drought on the gas exchanges parameters with a faster recovering after rewatering. Accumulation of carbohydrates, amino acids, proline, and protein in the leaves and roots of the stressed plants occurred in both varieties, substantially linked to reduction of the leaf water potential. Due to the severity of stress, this accumulation was not enough to maintain the cell turgor pressure, so relative water content was diminished. Water stress affected the contents of chlorophyll (a, b, and total) in both varieties, but not the levels of carotenoids. There was a significant reduction in dry matter under stress. In conclusion, RB962962 variety endured stressed conditions more than RB867515, since it slowed down the damaging effects of drought on the gas exchanges. In addition, RB962962 presented a faster recovery than RB867515, a feature that qualifies it as a variety capable of enduring short periods of drought without major losses in the initial stage of its development

Topics: drought, photosynthesis, Saccharum spp, gas exchange
Publisher: Sociedade Brasileira de Fisiologia Vegetal
Year: 2014
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