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Variation in carbon isotope discrimination and other traits related to drought tolerance in upland cotton cultivars under dryland conditions

AuthorsLeidi, Eduardo O. ; López Valero, Manuela; Gorham, J.; Gutiérrez, J.C.
Issue Date1999
CitationField Crops Research 61(2): 109-123 (1999)
AbstractThe search for traits related to drought resistance is a main step in the selection of cotton with improved performance under limited water supply. The effect of cultivar and drought conditions on the physiological traits, such as-carbon isotope discrimination (Δ), photosynthesis (A), transpiration (E), stomatal conductance (g(s)), leaf osmotic potential (Ψ(o)) and leaf-water content (LWC), were studied in Andalucia, Spain. The morphological-traits, such as leaf area and specific leaf weight (SLW), were also evaluated. In the initial study performed with three cotton cultivars, positive associations between Δ and A, E and g(s) were observed under increasing water stress. The Alg(s) ratio was negatively associated with Δ, and a strong negative correlation was observed between SLW and Δ. In a further experiment, using a wider group of cultivars, an apparent genotypic variation in A was observed in plants after withholding irrigation. Genotypic variation was found for gas exchange (A, E, g(s)) and leaf variables (LWC, SLW, Ψ(o)). No relationship was found between A and gas exchange or leaf-related traits. Considering both samplings as situations of different water availability, and plotting the data together, a low but positive correlation was observed between Δ and g(s) or LWC, and negative between Δ and Alg(s). A remarkable correlation between LWC and gas exchange traits was found, whereas SLW was negatively correlated with A, A/E, and LWC. In dryland trials (1996 and 1997), the genotypic variation in LWC was positively associated with Δ. Under these conditions, an association between genotypic variation in Δ and A or A/E was observed. A positive correlation between yield and A was detected in 1996. Carbon isotope discrimination might be a useful tool for selecting drought-tolerant cotton genotypes but more studies are required to define more precisely the sampling conditions and the influence of factors affecting Δ and its relationship to crop yield.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/S0378-4290(98)00151-8
issn: 0378-4290
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