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Water stress preconditioning to improve drought resistance in young apricot plants

AutorRuiz Sánchez, M. Carmen ; Domingo Miguel, Rafael; Torrecillas Melendreras, Arturo ; Pérez-Pastor, A.
Palabras claveGas exchange
Osmotic adjustment
Plant hardening
Prunus armeniaca
Water relations
Water stress
Fecha de publicación28-jul-2000
CitaciónPlant Science 156(2) :245-251(2000)
ResumenThe effect of water stress preconditioning was studied in 1-year-old apricot plants (Prunus armeniaca L., cv. Búlida). Plants were submitted to different treatments, T-0 (control treatment) and T-1, drip irrigated daily; T-2 and T-3, irrigated daily at 50% and 25% of T-0, respectively; T-4 and T-5, irrigated to field capacity every 3 and 6 days, respectively. After 30 days, irrigation was withheld for 10 days, maintaining the T-0 treatment irrigated daily. After this period, the plants were re-irrigated to run-off and treated as control treatment. The stomatal closure and epinasty observed in response to water stress represented adaptive mechanisms to drought, allowing the plants to regulate water loss more effectively and prevent leaf heating. A substantial reduction in the irrigation water supplied combined with a high frequency of application (T-3 treatment) promoted plant hardening; the plants enduring drought better, due to their greater osmotic adjustment (0.77 MPa), which prevented severe plant dehydration and leaf abscission. Such a preconditioning treatment may be valuable for young apricot plants in the nursery stage in order to improve their subsequent resistance to drought. A 50% reduction in daily irrigation (T-2 treatment) did not significantly affect either gas exchange rates or leaf turgor, which suggests that water should be applied frequently if deficit irrigation is to be implemented.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0168-9452(00)00262-4
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