University Of Tasmania

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Neither xylem collapse, cavitation, or changing leaf conductance drive stomatal closure in wheat

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:00 authored by Deborah CorsoDeborah Corso, Delzon, S, Lamarque, LJ, Cochard, H, Torres-Ruiz, JM, King, A, Timothy BrodribbTimothy Brodribb
Identifying the drivers of stomatal closure and leaf damage during stress in grasses is a critical prerequisite for understanding crop resilience. Here, we investigated whether changes in stomatal conductance (g(s)) during dehydration were associated with changes in leaf hydraulic conductance (K-leaf), xylem cavitation, xylem collapse, and leaf cell turgor in wheat (Triticum aestivum). During soil dehydration, the decline of g(s) was concomitant with declining K-leaf under mild water stress. This early decline of leaf hydraulic conductance was not driven by cavitation, as the first cavitation events in leaf and stem were detected well after K-leaf had declined. Xylem vessel deformation could only account for <5% of the observed decline in leaf hydraulic conductance during dehydration. Thus, we concluded that changes in the hydraulic conductance of tissues outside the xylem were responsible for the majority of K-leaf decline during leaf dehydration in wheat. However, the contribution of leaf resistance to whole plant resistance was less than other tissues (<35% of whole plant resistance), and this proportion remained constant as plants dehydrated, indicating that K-leaf decline during water stress was not a major driver of stomatal closure.


Publication title

Plant Cell and Environment










School of Natural Sciences


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Wheat; Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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