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Reassessing the Role of Potassium in Tomato Grown with Water Shortages

AuthorsDe Luca, Anna; Corell, Mireia; Chivet, Mathilde; Parrado, M. Ángeles; Pardo, José M. ; Leidi, Eduardo O.
KeywordsSolanum lycopersicum
Drought potassium
Vacuolar transporter
Issue Date2021
CitationHorticulturae, 7 (2021)
AbstractPotassium (K) is closely related to plant water uptake and use and affects key processes in assimilation and growth. The aim of this work was to find out to what extent K supply and enhanced compartmentation might improve water use and productivity when tomato plants suffered from periods of water stress. Yield, water traits, gas exchange, photosynthetic rate and biomass partition were determined. When plants suffered dehydration, increasing K supply was associated with reduction in stomatal conductance and increased water contents, but failed to protect photosynthetic rate. Potassium supplements increased shoot growth, fruit setting and yield under water stress. However, increasing the K supply could not counteract the great yield reduction under drought. A transgenic tomato line with enhanced K uptake into vacuoles and able to reach higher plant K contents, still showed poor yield performance under water stress and had lower K use efficiency than the control plants. With unlimited water supply (hydroponics), plants grown in low-K showed greater root hydraulic conductivity than at higher K availability and stomatal conductance was not associated with leaf K concentration. In conclusion, increasing K supply and tissue content improved some physiological features related to drought tolerance but did not overcome yield restrictions imposed by water stress.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7020020
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(IBVF) Artículos
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