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Coordination of stomata and vein patterns with leaf width underpins water-use efficiency in a C4 crop

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Pan, L., George-Jaeggli, B., Borrell, A., Jordan, D., Koller, F., Al-Salman, Y., Ghannoum, O. and Cano, F. J. (2021) Coordination of stomata and vein patterns with leaf width underpins water-use efficiency in a C4 crop. Plant, Cell & Environment, 45 (6). pp. 1612-1630. ISSN 0140-7791

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.14225

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pce.14225


Despite its importance for crop water use and productivity, especially in drought-affected environments, the underlying mechanisms of variation in intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE = net photosynthesis/stomatal conductance for water vapour, gsw) are not well understood, especially in C4 plants. Recently, we discovered that leaf width (LW) correlated negatively with iWUE and positively with gsw across several C4 grasses. Here, we confirmed these relationships within 48 field-grown genotypes differing in LW in Sorghum bicolor, a C4 crop adapted to dry and hot conditions. We measured leaf gas exchange and modelled leaf energy balance three times a day, alongside anatomical traits as potential predictors of iWUE. LW correlated negatively with iWUE and stomatal density, but positively with gsw, interveinal distance of longitudinal veins, and the percentage of stomatal aperture relative to maximum. Energy balance modelling showed that wider leaves needed to open their stomata more to generate a more negative leaf-to-air temperature difference, especially at midday when air temperatures exceeded 40°C. These results highlight the important role that LW plays in shaping iWUE through coordination of vein and stomatal traits and by affecting stomatal aperture. Therefore, LW could be used as a predictor of higher iWUE among sorghum genotypes.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:C4 photosynthesis iWUE leaf boundary layer conductance leaf size leaf temperature natural genetic variation stomatal density vein density
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:06 Dec 2021 05:37
Last Modified:16 Apr 2024 04:45

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