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1 PARTIAL ROOTZONE DRYING IN FLORIDA CITRUS: PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES By AYAKO KUSAKABE A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Ayako Kusakabe
3 To my mom and dad
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am grateful to several individuals who have helped me towards my education. I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr. Jim P. Syvertsen, my committee chair, for giving me the opportunity to work on my degree and for his advice and support towards my accomplishments. Many thanks to all my supervisory committee members, Dr. Rebe cca L. Darnell, my committee co chair, D r. Tim Spann, and Dr. Arnold W. Schumann for their sage counsel and help throughout my studies and thesis process. A very sincere and warm gratitude goes to all my lovely friends that I have made in Gainesville and CREC. Their love is the key factor suppo rting me over the past four years. Very special thanks are given to Dr. Juan Carlos Melgar, who provided me inspiration, thoughtful suggestion, and encouragement. It was impossible for me to make it through my graduate life without you. Most importantly, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to my parents and brother, Takeaki, who have supported me in my endeavors.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 12 Deficit Irrigation ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 12 The Concep t of Partial Rootzone Drying and Its Physiological Background ................. 12 The Use of Deficit Irrigation in Citrus Trees ................................ ................................ .. 16 Irrigation Water Quality ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 18 Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 20 2 PARTIAL ROOTZONE DRYING AND SALINITY ................................ ........................... 21 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 21 Materials and Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 23 Plant Material and Growing Conditions ................................ ................................ .......... 23 Irrigation Treatments ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 24 Gas Ex change Measurements ................................ ................................ .......................... 25 Plant Water Relations ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 25 Leaf and Root Abscisic Acid (ABA) Analysis ................................ ................................ 25 Plant Growth and Tissue Nitrogen (N) Analysis ................................ ............................. 26 Statistical Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 27 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 27 Plant Water Use ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 27 Plant Growth ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 28 Leaf and Root Nitrogen (N) ................................ ................................ ............................ 28 Abscisic Acid (ABA) Concentrations in Leaves and Roots ................................ ............ 29 Gas Exchange ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 29 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 29 Plant Water Use ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 29 Plant Growth ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 31 Leaf and Root Nitrogen (N), ABA and Gas Exchange ................................ ................... 33 3 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 44
6 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 45 BIOGRAPHIC AL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 54
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Average growth, water consumption, and whole plant water use efficiency (WUE) ........ 37 2 2 Average nitrogen (N) concentrations in leaves, stems, and roots ................................ ..... 38 2 3 Average abscisic acid (ABA) contents in leaves and roots ................................ ............... 39
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 A verage evapotranspiration (ET c ) ................................ ................................ .................... 40 2 2 A stem ) ................................ ................................ .... 41 2 3 A verage shoot and root dry weights (DWs) an d root to shoot (RT: SH) ratio ................. 42 2 4 Average gas exhange parameters ................................ ................................ ....................... 43
9 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S ABA abscisic acid [ABA] abscisic acid concentration A CO2 net assimilation of CO 2 ( mol CO 2 /m 2 /s) BHT 2,6 di tert butylphenol CHO carbohydrates C degree Celsius C i intercellular CO 2 concentration cm 2 square centimeter DAT day after treat ment DW dry weight ELISA enzyme linked immunosorbent assay ET c crop evapotranspiration ET evapotranspiration FL Florida FW fresh weight FW/DW fresh weight to dry weight ratio g gram g s, g lf stomatal conductance (mmol H 2 O /m 2 /s), leaf conductance (mmol H 2 O /m 2 /s) h hour HLB Huanglongbing L liter m, m 2 meter, square meter ml milliliter mg milligram
10 mM millimolar NaCl, Na + Cl sodium chloride, sodium ion, chloride ion N, N la N m nitrogen, N concentration on a mg cm 2 leaf area (la) basis, N concentrations on a % dry mass basis nmol nanomolar P K Phosphorous, and Potash (Potassium) PRD, APRD, FPRD partial rootzone drying, alternate partial rootzone drying, fixed partial rootzone drying PAR photosynthetically active radiation pH the power of hydrogen (a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution) PRS partial rootzone drying with saline water RDI restricted deficit irrigation RT:SH root to shoot SRL specific root length (m/g) TR leaf transpiration VPD leaf to air vapor pressure difference (kPa) WUE water use efficiency WW well watered controls X [ABA] abscisic acid concentrations in xylem sap stem lf soil water potential, stem water potential (MPa), leaf water potential (MPa), soil water potential SS salt stress TR transpiration (mmol H 2 O/m 2 /s) % percent
11 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mas ter of Science PARTIAL ROO T ZONE DRYING IN FLORIDA CITRUS: PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES By Ayako Kusakabe May 2011 Chair: James P. Syvertsen Co chair: Rebecca L. Darnell Major: Horticultural Science The overall objective of the application of partial root zone drying (PRD) was to evaluate whether this mild drought stress could improve whole plant water use efficiency (WUE) and leaf WUE in potted citrus. Knowledge of how citrus trees cope with PRD can be the basis for successfully applying deficit irrigation Therefore, the feasibility, risks or potential benefits of PRD with saline water or with good quality water were evaluated to determine the scope for water savings, changes in plant water relations, growth, WUE and nutritional responses. Results demonstr ated that PRD with saline and with good quality water from the spring season to early summer, saved water and restricted plant growth while leaf nitrogen (N) was not limiting regardless of treatments. Roots in wet soil of PRD treated plants did not enable PRD plants to maintain water status relative to well watered (WW) plants. Whole plant WUE and root abscisic acid (ABA) at the end of the study were similar across treatments. Higher leaf ABA in PRD with saline water may have partly contributed to the lower stomatal conductance (g s ), transpiration (TR), and water consumption compared with WW plants. Rates of net CO 2 assimilation (A CO2 ) were reduced more than those of leaf TR in PRD treated plants resulting in decreased leaf WUE. Therefore, PRD treated plants resulted in water savings but drought stress reduced leaf function.
12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Deficit Irrigation Drought stress (or water deficit) is one of the most important environmental factors inhibiting photosynthesis and limiting tree growth, crop yield and quality (Arbona et al., 2005). Most citrus production depends on inputs of irrigation water to obtain optimum tree growth, crop yield and quality. Irrigated agriculture is regarded as a major water user, equivalent to two thirds of the total fres h water used for human consumption (Fereres and Evans, 2006). Increased water utilization, mismanagement, and pollution are increasing the scarcity of good quality water (Petit et al., 1999). Therefore, efficient water use has become an important issue in recent years (Tang et al., 2005). Improvement in growth or yield per unit of water used, which is crop water use efficiency (WUE), is an ultimate goal in many agricultural systems. Shortages of available water call for optimum irrigation management and dic tate the maximization of WUE for sustainable agricultural output (Wakrim et al., 2005). An instantaneous measure of WUE, leaf or photosynthetic WUE, focuses on the short term efficiency of carbon gain per water loss or net CO 2 assimilation (A CO2 ) per leaf transpiration (TR). To the extent that A CO2 can be related to yield and TR can be related to crop water use, leaf WUE (A CO2 /TR) has been used as an instantaneous surrogate estimate of longer term crop WUE (Bacon, 2004; Syvertsen et al., 2010). In general, a higher leaf WUE under mild water deficits results from partial stomatal closure with a concomitant relatively small reduction in A CO2 (Chaves and Oliveira, 2004). The Concept of Partial Rootzone Drying and Its Physiological Background One practice to conserve water is partial root zone drying (PRD), which is a deficit irrigation technique using controlled drought stress to improve WUE. PRD relies on a simple spatial separation of dry and wet roots (Liu et al., 2007; Shahnazari et al., 2 007) that can be
13 easily maintained during an entire season and enables plants to grow with partially reduced stomatal conductance (g s ) without great losses due to severe drought tress (Santos et al., 2003; Kang and Zhang, 2004). The PRD theory is based on 1) the utilization of a root stress generated signal of abscisic acid (ABA) to regulate stomatal behavior, 2) a modification of plant growth, and 3) the prevention of physiological effects associated with severe drought stress (Davies and Zhang, 1991; Stol l et al., 2000; Davi es et al., 2002; Kang and Zhang, 2004; Tahi et al., 2007). PRD methods are based on the assumption that half the root system in the dry side senses soil drying and produces ABA mediated chemical signals traveling through the xylem from the roots to shoots that reduce g s and thereby limit vegetative growth (Davies et al., 2002; Bravo, 2005). Thus, partial stomatal closure can bring about a reduction in TR due to the linear relationship between TR and g s (Kang et al., 2001). PRD plants ca n restrict water loss, simultaneously sustain A CO2 rate at equivalent levels to well watered (WW) plants (De Souza et al., 2003; Chaves and Oliveira, 2004) and perhaps increase leaf WUE (Bravdo, 2005) due to the non linear relationship between photosynthes is and g s (Dring et al., 1996). In citrus, vegetative and fruit growth occur simultaneously and are not independent (Hutton et al., 2007). Long lived citrus trees in subtropical climates can have continuous vegetative growth throughout the fruit productio n cycle. Therefore, reproductive development can compete with vegetative growth (Kredemann and Barrs, 1981). Severe plant water deficits can reduce water flow through the soil plant system and can influence physiological and developmental processes includi ng fruit production (Hsiao, 1973). Plant water deficits can limit growth due to inhibited cell division, cell expansion and photosynthetic capacity through stomata closure (Hutton et al., 2007). Using precise control of irrigation water, mild water stress maintained through PRD irrigation can reduce excess shoot vigor and competition for
14 carbohydrates (CHO) between growing shoot tips, roots and fruit and thereby, promote a shift in the CHO partitioning towards reproductive tissues These changes in plant metabolism also may positively affect fruit yield and quality (Loveys et al., 2000). If yields are not reduced during PRD, it offers the potential for higher WUE of crops compared to full irrigation (Stoll et al., 2000; Dos Santos et al., 2003). Although PRD irrigated crops require frequent applications of water to only part of the root zone (Stoll et al., 2000; Dos Santos et al., 2003; Leib et al., 2006), in many field studies, PRD irrigated roots also can experience partial soil drying with infrequent ir rigation (Kirda et al., 2004). From the viewpoint of citrus pest management, regulating vegetative growth using mild drought stress could aid in pest and disease control. Healthy citrus trees can grow an excess of leaves, more than that required to produc e a good fruit crop (Yuan et al., 2005). New leaf flushes are susceptible to infection by citrus canker, feeding by citrus leaf miner and by the Asian citrus psyllid ( Diaphorina citri Kuwayama), the vector of Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening). Fewer ne w flushes can limit Asian citrus psyllid reproduction and development (Rogers and Stansly, 2006).Thus, with limited new flushes, PRD may help keep pest populations under control and make it possible to use reduced doses of pesticides for pest suppression. PRD can be either alternate PRD (APRD), a regular alternation of the wet and dry root zones, or fixed PRD (FPRD) where the wet and dry sides of the rootzone are consistently maintained during the growing season (Dodd, 2007). Typically, the most effective PRD irrigation can be usually achieved using APRD because it is often considered that an alternation of irrigation between the wet and dry soil columns is necessary for the maintenance of a continuously strong ABA signal from drying roots (Stoll et al., 20 00; Liu et al., 2008).
15 Preferential water uptake from the wet soil and a corresponding decline in water uptake from the dry soil has been found during PRD irrigation (Liu et al., 2008). The drying roots in the APRD dry side diminished water uptake at a lo soil ), while the wet roots in the APRD wet side drastically increased water uptake (Yao et al., 2001). Therefore, the TR stream may decrease the ABA concentrations in xylem sap ([X ABA]) due to the interaction of both effects (Gree n and Clothier, 1995; Yao et al., 2001). A rapid shift of preferential water uptake by the wet roots, which were previously drier roots in APRD, was observed in kiwifruit vines (Green and Clothier, 1995), bell pepper (Yao et al., 2001) and potato plants ( Liu et al., 2008). Lower g s was found in APRD irrigated potato tubers compared to WW (Liu et al., 2006a) while g s and X ABA were negatively correlated in PRD irrigated potatoes during soil drying (Liu et al., 2005). Soil columns should not be too thoroughl y dried in order to avoid adverse effects on root soil and to sustain an active synthesis of ABA (Dodd, 2006). In PRD treated grapevines, ABA signals were diminished due to prolonged drying of one side of the rootzone and g s recovered to levels similar to the WW treatments (Stoll et al., 2000). Therefore, the stimulation of maximum ABA signalling would be important to achieve a maximum WUE through the optimization of irrigation techniques like APRD (Dodd et al., 2006). Ho wever, the timing still remains uncertain as to when the irrigation should be shifted between wet and dry sides. PRD has only been successfully practiced in areas of low rainfall where soil water availability can be effectively controlled using irrigation (Hutton, 2004). Florida has summer rainfall in excess of citrus evapotranspiration (ET) requirements in summer whereas drought stress is common during the relatively dry spring and fall seasons (Garcia Sanchez et al., 2007).
16 Therefore, the extent to which PRD can be beneficial in Florida citrus during the spring, fall and winter irrigation seasons needs to be investigated. Even though the high summer rainfall in Florida makes controlling soil water almost impossible during that time, there may be a potent ial to use fixed PRD where one half of the root zone is consistently irrigated depending on rainfall, while the other half receives no water in order to impose a limited amount of drought stress during summer. The Use of Deficit Irrigation in Citrus Trees The effects of PRD irrigation have been investigated on different field crops (Kang and Zhang, 2004; Liu et al., 2006a, b; Shahnazari et al., 2007), fruit trees (Gencoglan et al., 2006; Spreer et al., 2007), and vegetables (Kirda et al., 2004; Dorji et al ., 2005). There is a great potential for the enhancement of WUE and the maintenance of yield under PRD irrigation (Davies and Hartung, 2004). The improvement of yield and quality in fruits, vegetable and other crops by PRD has also been demonstrated (Sepas khah and Kamgar Haghighi, 1997; Dry et al., 2000; Zegbe Dominguex et al., 2003; Zegbe et al., 2006; Leib et al., 2006; Shahnazari et al., 2007; Spreer et al., 2007). The effects of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI), where insufficient water is applied to the entire rootzone during the least sensitive periods of the phenological cycle (Chalmers et al., 1981; McCarthy et al., 2002; Loveys et al., 2004; Cameron et al., 2006), have been reported in citrus under Mediterranean like climate conditions (Hutton et al., 2007 ; Perez Perez et al., 2008; Perez Perez et al., 2009). An RDI strategy was compared to a WW control in southern Spain in a drip irrigated rootstocks (Perez P erez et al., 2008). RDI was used during phase I (initial fruit growth period, just after bloom and fruit set) and phase III (final fruit ripening) of fruit development by
17 completely stopping irrigation. The RDI irrigated citrus trees saved 28 to 32% of irr igation water while there was only a marginal reduction in yield during the first two seasons. However, there was a significant yield reduction of about 16% in the final third season. Cleo has a lower hydraulic conductivity (Syvertsen and Graham, 1985) wit h a deeper and more densely branched root system than Carrizo (Hearn and Hutchinson, 1977) and may have had an earlier acclimation to drought stress than Carrizo (Castle and Krezdorn, 1977). In addition, Carrizo has more fibrous roots restricted to a small er volume of soil profile than Cleo. Thus, Cleo rootstocks can be more drought tolerant than Carrizo and can mitigate negative effects on vegetative development, yield, and fruit quality when DI is applied in semi arid regions (Perez Perez et al., 2008). In 6 month old potted citrus seedlings of Swingle citrumelo in the greenhouse, FPRD 50 (50% ET c ) plants saved about 22% of water compared to WW plants (Melgar et al., 2010). The FPRD 50 treatment and had no effect on plant growth except reduced stem DW. F PRD 50 plants had a greater root length than WW plants. Since FPRD 50 plants had lower values of leaf gas exchange than WW plants throughout the experiment. A recent study in mature sweet orange grafted on Carrizo in southern Spain, used RDI treatments on ly during phase III (final fruit growth period, ripening) to reduce water use by 14 to 20% compared to WW trees and had no significant effect on yield, fruit number or crop WUE (Perez (Ginester and Castle, 1996; Gonzalez Altozano and Castel, 1999). with irrigation intervals from 3 to 17 days during phase II (fruit enlargement stage ) and phase III of fruit growth, saved about 15 to 36% of water relative to WW trees irrigated at 100% ET (Hutton et al., 2007). In general, vegetative growth in the Mediterranean climate of southern
18 Australia occurs only in late spring and in autumn. Both yield and fruit quality could be maintained using water deficits with the combination of high frequency irrigation during spring early summer (every 3 days) and with low frequency of irrigation in late summer and autumn (every 17 days). The promotion of m ore blossoms in the subsequent spring for DI trees compared to WW trees, resulted in higher fruit set (Hutton et al., 2007). It appears that DI during summer reduced vegetative growth and water use, but there was a risk for a small reduction in fruit size. A number of authors have reported negative influences on fruit growth capacity when RDI was applied during phase II of fruit development (Goldhamer e t al., 2002; Girona et al., 2005 ). The lack of consistent results in RDI experiments in citrus may be rela ted to a lack of understanding of how water deficits influence physiological responses. There are still many physiological processes related to phenological sensitivity to water stress that are not fully understood (Marsal et al., 2006). A better understa nding of the physiological basis behind PRD can facilitate adoption of more efficient irrigation practices, and therefore, offer a better understanding of the potential utility of PRD in FL citrus production. There is a lack of understanding of physiologic al and growth advantages or disadvantages of seasonal drought stress. Irrigation Water Quality Although PRD may have the potential to improve WUE in citrus production wherever it is grown, PRD has only been beneficial when irrigation water is of g ood qual ity with low salinity (D os Santos et al., 2003). The risks and/or potential benefits of PRD using saline irrigation water have not been studied. Salt stress has an adverse effect on crop water availability due to osmotic stress and toxicity of salt ions (Syvertsen et al., 1989). Any salt stress may induce differences in physiological responses to drought under PRD irrigation. PRD grown plants may respond differently to salinity if one half of the root zone is consistently irrigated with saline water in contrast to part of the roo t system being irrigated with good quality water.
19 Recent FPRD experiments using slightly saline water on 15 year old avocado trees grown in a commercial orchard in Australia (Neuhaus et al., 2009), showed that even though the FPRD saline treatments were o nly applied in the 1 st season during phase I through III of fruit growth, the FPRD irrigated avocado trees did not flower strongly. These trees retained functioning leaves but had much fruit drop, and therefore, a reduced number of fruit per tree and reduc ed yields for two years. Two months after saline treatments began patterns of midday leaf conductance (g lf ) of WW and FPRD treatments appeared similar. Both treatments had increased midday g lf from 10:00 h to 14:00 h and g lf fell to 25 mmol m 2 s 1 at 1700 h. WW leaves increased the midday g lf to 250 mmol m 2 s 1 compared to 150 to 200 mmol m 2 s 1 in FPRD leaves. Leaves above the FPRD wet side and FPRD dry side behaved similarly. Therefore, there apparently was no sectoring of water relations characteri stics in the canopy above the contrasting irrigation treatments in the rootzone. These WW and FPRD trees showed the same water After two months, WW and FPRD trees had similar shoot growth, equivalent lea f tissue water content and fruit tissue water content at maturity. Leaf Na concentration in FPRD trees was 2 to 4 times higher than in WW, but was well below the toxic excess range. In contrast, both WW and FPRD trees had excessive leaf water Cl. Interest ingly, leaf water Cl in FPRD dry side was slightly higher than FPRD wet side so soil water deficit for 7 months with saline water may have negatively impacted roots in FPRD. Although no A CO2 and leaf WUE was reported in this study, periodically measured l eaf photosynthetic WUE and physiological responses using PRD with and without saline water could confirm the risks and/or potential benefits of PRD under these conditions. There is no information on PRD irrigated citrus in Florida with either high quality or saline water. Prior to
20 achieving increased WUE without the risk of yield loss during water deficit stress in the field, the potential scope for water savings needs to be understood. Objectives The overall objective of the application of partial root zon e drying (PRD) was to evaluate whether this mild drought stress could improve whole plant and leaf WUE in potted citrus. Knowledge of how citrus trees cope with PRD can be the basis for successfully applying deficit irrigation. Therefore, the feasibility, risks or potential benefits of PRD with and without saline water was evaluated to determine the scope for water savings, plant water relations, growth, WUE and nutritional responses. It was hypothesized that roots in wet soil can maintain a favorable plant water status while the remaining roots in dry soil will promote the synthesis of ABA signals leading to reduced water loss, reduced vegetative growth and increased WUE with saline and /or with good quality water compared to well watered control plants.
21 CHAPTER 2 PARTIAL ROOTZONE DRY ING AND SALINITY Overview Efficient water use by crops has become an important issue in recent years (Tang et al., 2005). Improvement in growth or yield per unit of water used, which is crop water use efficiency (WUE), is an ultimate goal in many agricultural systems. Shortages of available water call for optimum irrigation management and dicta te the maximization of WUE of field crops for sustainable agricultural output (Wakrim et al 2005). Among the deficit irrigation strategies to conserve water, partial rootzone drying (PRD) is an irrigation technique successfully used in other crops that uses controlled drought stress to increase WUE. PRD relies on a simple spatial separation of dry and wet roots (Liu et al 2007; Shahnazari et al., 2007) that can be easily maintained during a n entire season. PRD can be either alternated (APRD), where the wet and dry root zones are regularly alternated, or fixed (FPRD), where the wet and dry sides of the root zone are consistently maintained during the growing season (Dodd, 2007). PRD enables p lants to grow with partially reduced stomatal conductance (g s ) without great losses due to severe drought stress (Santos et al., 2003; Kang and Zhang, 2004). Using precise control of irrigation water applications, mild drought stress maintained through P RD irrigation may reduce excess shoot vigor and competition for carbohydrates (CHO) between growing tips, roots and fruit and thereby, promote a shift in the CHO partitioning towards reproductive tissues. These changes in plant metabolism also may positive ly affect fruit yield and quality (Loveys et al., 2000). If yields are not reduced during PRD, it offers the potential for higher WUE of crops compared to full irrigation as has been reported in grapevines (Stoll et al., 2000; Dos Santos et al., 2003). Alt hough PRD irrigated crops require frequent applications of water to only part of the root zone (Stoll et al., 2000; Dos Santos et al., 2003;
22 Leib et al., 2004), PRD irrigated roots can experience partial soil drying with infrequent irrigation (Kirda et al 2004). From the viewpoint of citrus pest management, regulating vegetative growth using moderate drought stress could aid in pest and disease control. Healthy citrus trees can grow an excess of leaves, more than that required to produce a good fruit cro p (Yuan et al., 2005). New leaf flushes are susceptible to infection by citrus canker and also to feeding by the citrus leaf miner and the Asian citrus psyllid ( Diaphorina citri Kuwayama), the vector of Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening). Fewer new flushes can limit Asian citrus psyllid reproduction and development (Rogers and Stansly, 2006) thus, with limited new flushes, PRD may help keep pest populations under control and ma ke it possible to use reduced doses of pesticides for pest control. PRD has only been successfully practiced in areas of low rainfall where soil water availability can be effectively controlled using irrigation (Hutton, 2004). Florida has summer rainfall i n excess of citrus evapotranspiration (ET) requirements in summer whereas drought stress is common during the relatively dry spring and fall seasons (Garcia Sanchez et al., 2007). Therefore, the extent to which PRD can be beneficial in Florida citrus durin g the spring, fall and winter irrigation seasons needs to be investigated. Since the high summer rainfall in Florida makes controlling soil water almost impossible during that time, there may be potential to use fixed PRD in order to impose a limited amoun t of drought stress during summer. Although PRD may have the potential to improve WUE in citrus production regions, PRD has only been beneficial when irrigation water is of good quality with low salinity (Dos Santos et al., 2003). Irrigation water from so me sources may contain high salt contents especially in areas with scarce water resources. Salt stress has an adverse effect on water availability to
23 crops due to osmotic stress and toxicity of salt ions (Syvertsen et al., 1989). Any salt stress may induce differences in physiological responses to drought of crops under PRD irrigation. PRD grown plants may respond differently to salinity, allowing one half of the root zone to be consistently irrigated with saline water while the other receives no water in c ontrast to the mechanisms underlying plant responses when part of the root system receives good quality water. There is no information on PRD irrigated citrus in Florida either with high quality or saline water. Therefore, the objectives of this experimen t were to evaluate the feasibility, risks or potential benefit of FPRD with saline and with good quality water in potted citrus seedlings in terms of the scope for water savings, plant water relations, growth, WUE and nutritional responses. It was hypothes ized that roots in wet soil can maintain a favorable plant water status while the remaining roots in dry soil will promote the synthesis of abscisic acid (ABA) signals leading to reduced water loss, reduced vegetative growth and increased WUE under FPRD bo th with and without saline water. Materials and Methods Plant Material and Growing Conditions This study was conducted at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center (Lake Alfred, Florida, USA) from February to May 2007. The woody tap r oots of 24, uniform (similar sized), six month old, Swingle citrumelo ( Citrus paradisi Macfad Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf .) seedlings were divided into equal halves. Each half of the split root was positioned between two separate but attached 2.4 liter square plastic pots and transplanted into in an autoclaved Candler fine sandy soil (USDA, 1990). The spatial separation of the root systems allowed maintaining different water conditions on each root half while both supplied a single shoot. Both root halv es were well watered and fertilized (as described below) for 3 weeks to
24 allow the root systems to become established. The plants were grown in a temperature controlled greenhouse under natural photoperiods of about 11h with maximum photosynthetically activ e radiation (PAR; LI 170; LICOR, Inc., Lincoln, NE) at plant level of 1200 mol m 2 s 1 Average day/night temperature was 36/21 C and relative humidity varied diurnally from 40 to 100%. Irrigation Treatments Twenty five days after transplanting, plants were subjected to one of four irrigation treatments: (1) well water control (WW) where both root halves were irrigated with 50% ET c each (receiving 100% ET c in total), (2) partial root zone drying (PRD) where one half of the root system was irrigated wit h 100% ET c while the other half received no water, (3) partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS) where one half or the root system was irrigated with 100% ET c water plus 50 mM Sodium chloride (NaCl) while the other half received no water, or 4) salt stress (SS) where both sides were irrigated with 50% ET c plus 50 mM NaCl. There were six replicate seedlings per treatment. To avoid osmotic shock, NaCl was applied in the irrigation water in increments of 15 to 20 mM over the course of the first two irri gations until the final concentration of 50 mM was reached. Treatments were continued for nine weeks (66 days) from March to May. Water plus a dilute solution of a liquid complete citrus fertilizer (8N 2P 8K% by weight) was supplied to the wet sides at about three to eight day irrigation intervals based on the crop evapotranspiration (ET c ) measured by weight loss from the pots. All plants received this dilute fertigation throughout the experiment such that about 7 mg of nitrogen (N) per week was applied to each plant. The total amount of fertilizer applied varied by treatments with the amount of the irrigation water in this experiment. For salt stress treatments, plants were irrigated with the same nutrient solution supplemented with NaCl. Total average plant water use per plant was calculated as the sum of the ET c applied after 9 weeks of treatments.
25 Gas Exchange Measurements Net assimilation of CO 2 (A CO2 ), stomatal conductance (g s ), leaf transpiration (TR), intercellular CO 2 concentration (C i ), and leaf water use efficiency (leaf WUE = A CO2 TR 1 ) were measured on single mid stem leaves of four replicate plants per treatment during the experiment using a portable photosynthesis system (LI 6200; LI COR Inc., Lincoln, NE) with a 0.25 L cuvette. Gas exc hange measurements were taken at 44, 46, 50, 57, and 64 days after treatment (DAT) began, corresponding to 1 to 4 days after irrigation. Since there were no differences attributable to time, values were averaged over 5 days. In addition, some of the non d estructive leaf measurements were duplicated on leaves on opposite sides of the shoot to determine if leaves above the different root half treatments differed. All gas exchange measurements were made in the morning from 08:00 h to 10:00 h to avoid high tem peratures and low humidity in the afternoon. During all measurements, PAR exceeded 600 mol m 2 s 1 Leaf temperature was 34 2 C and leaf to air vapor pressure difference (VPD) was 3 0.4 kPa within the cuvette. Plant Water Relations Midday stem wat stem ) was determined in mature, fully expanded leaves in the middle of four replicate plants per treatment at the end (66 DAT) of the experimental periods using a pressure chamber (PMS instrument, Corvallis, Oregon, USA) according to Scholan der et al stem was measured in leaves that were enclosed within foil covered plastic and aluminum envelopes at least 1 h before the mea surement (McCutchan and Shackel, 1992). This procedure gave an estimate of the water potential in the xylem of the shoot, at the point of attachment of the petiole of the leaf (Garnier and Berger, 1985). Leaf and Root Abscisic Acid (ABA) Analysis 66 DAT began, healthy mature leaves and tips of roots (1 g of fresh weight; FW) were harvested from each seedling betwe en 09:00 and 12:00 h. Each tissue sample was immediately
26 frozen in liquid N 2 and stored at 18 C until analysis. Frozen leaf and root tissues were finely ground and extracted overnight at 4 C with 20 ml of ABA extraction solvent (80% acetone + 100 mg/L 2,6 di tert butylphenol (BHT) + 500 mg/L of citric acid). The ABA concentration ([ABA]) of the extract was measured by an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, Phytodtek ABA, Agdia Inc., Elkhart, IN) using a monoclonal antibody for ABA (Liu et al., 2003). All assays were mad e with a duplicate from sub samples of each tissue. [ABA] was quantified using a series of standards of known non radioactive [ABA] in the assay such that sample counts can be calibrated from the resultant standard curve and calculated by interpolation wit h the logit transformation of the ABA standard curve following by the protocol of Quarrie et al (198 8). Plant Growth and Tissue Nitrogen (N) Analysis Sixty six DAT, all seedlings were harvested, dissected into leaves, stems, and roots, and weighed to obt ain FW. The total leaf area was measured with a LI COR 300 leaf area meter (LI COR Inc., Lincoln, NE, USA). Root length in each pot was estimated using a line intercept method (Tennant, 1975) after gently brushing sand from the roots and oven dried at 60 C for 48 to 72 h. Both root halves in the PRD treated plants were weighed and measured individually. All leaves were briefly rinsed with deionized water, oven dried at 60 C for 48 to 72 h. Dry weight (DW) of leaves, stems, and roots was determined to esti mate growth and patterns of biomass accumulation such as root to shoot (RT: SH) ratio and total plant DW. FW to DW ratios (FW/DW) in leaves and roots were calculated to estimate variation in moisture contents. Leaf DW per unit leaf area, an index of leaf t hickness, was calculated as the ratio between leaf DW and leaf area. Specific root length (SRL), an index of root thinness, was calculated as the ratio between root length and root DW. Whole plant WUE was calculated as the ratio between TPDW and total plan t water use. For tissue nitrogen (N) analysis, the dried leaves, stems, and roots were
27 grounded to a fine powder and analyzed for N concentration (%) by a commercial lab (Waters Agricultural Lab, Camilla, GA). Leaf N concentration (mg cm 2 ) was calculated as the tissue nutrient concentrations (in mg g 1 ) *Leaf DW per unit leaf area (in g cm 2 ). N contents in leaves, stems, and roots (in mg) were calculated as the tissue nutrient concentrations (in mg g 1 )*tissue DW. When no differences between root halves were found in the PRD treated plants, weights, lengths, and N concentration for the roots in both pots, the values of both pots were added together. Statistical Analysis The treatment effects were evaluated by one way analysis of variance (ANOVA, SPSS sta tistical package, Chicago, IL) with four treatments and 4 6 replicates. Means were separated Results Plant Water Use Crop evapotranspiration (ET c ) of PRD and PRS plants, both grown with 100% evapotranspirational loss applied to one half of the root system, were significantly lower compared to the SS and WW control plants from 14 DAT through the final irrigation (63 DAT; Figure 2 1). Throughout the experiment, the average plant water consumption of PRS and PRD plants was 64 and 72% of WW plants, respectively, while plant water use of SS plants was 95% of WW plants (Table 2 1). Based on the total water consumption over the 63 day experiment, applicati on of PRD and PRS saved an average of 28 and 36% of irrigation water, respectively, compared to the WW plants. The SS plants, however, used the same amount of water as the WW stem ) by 2 1, 21, and 34%, respectively, compared to WW plants (Figure 2 2).
28 Plant Growth PRD and PRS treatments significantly reduced total plant dry weight (DW) by 23% and 36%, respectively, compared to the WW plants (Figure 2 3). A decrease in TPDW of SS plants of 12% was not significantly different from WW and PRD plants. SS, PRD, and PRS p lants significantly reduced shoot DW 23, 33, and 45%, respectively. Root DW in PRS plants was reduced by 18% of WW with no significant changes in root DW of PRD and SS plants. All stressed plants significantly increased root to shoot (RT: SH) ratio compare d with the WW plants. SS, PRD, and PRS treatments significantly reduced leaf DW 20, 36 and 47%, respectively (Table 2 1), stem DW 27, 31, and 38%, and total leaf area 28, 43, and 51%, respectively, compared to WW plants. Since leaf DW and leaf area change d in parallel, there were no treatment effects on leaf DW per unit of leaf area. PRD and PRS treatments significantly reduced root length 40 and 41%, and SRL 23 and 30% compared to WW plants. SS plants had similar root length and SRL to WW plants. There w ere no treatment differences in leaf FW to DW ratio (FW/DW) but root FW/DW of PRD and PRS plants were lower than root FW/DW of WW and SS plants. Whole plant WUE (total DW per water use) of WW and the other three were similar but SS plants had lower whole p lant WUE than PRD plants. Leaf and Root Nitrogen (N) Leaf and stem N concentrations (expressed on a % dry mass basis, N m ), in PRD plants increased 9 and 38% respectively, compared to WW plants, while PRS plants were unchanged from WW plants (Table 2 2). S S reduced leaf N m 13% but had similar stem N m to WW plants. Root N m was not significantly different among treatments. PRD increased leaf N 28%, expressed on a mg cm 2 leaf area basis (N la ) compared to WW plants, while N la of PRS and SS plants were unchange d.
29 Abscisic Acid (ABA) Concentrations in Leaves and Roots Mean ABA concentration ([ABA]) in PRS leaves plants was more than two fold higher than in WW and SS leaves (Table 2 3). Root [ABA] was a small fraction of leaf [ABA] but was not significantly diffe rent among treatments. Gas Exchange Rates of g s and leaf TR were significantly lower in SS and PRS plants than in WW plants, while g s and leaf TR in PR D were not affected (Figure 2 4 A and B). PRD, PRS, and SS treatments reduced A CO2 14, 48, 54%, respecti v ely, compared to WW (Figure 2 4 C).The significant decrease of A CO2 and the relatively small variation in TR in PRD plants resulted in a decrease of leaf water use efficiency (WUE) by 7% below WW plants. The decreased A CO2 and TR in both PRS and SS plants reduced leaf WUE 41% compared to WW plants (Figure 2 4D). Discussion Plant Water Use Over the 14 irrigation cycles, there was a tendency for higher water savings by PRS plants than PRD plants throughout the study. PRD and PRS plants undoubtedly saved more evaporative water loss from the soil surface than SS plants, because half their root system was left dry. Soil evaporation was previously reduced by 40% using PRD in a cotton field as evaporation occurred mostly from the wet side of the irrigation (Ta ng et al., 2010). In this study from spring to early summer (mid March to Mid May), the irrigation amounts of PRD treated plants were equivalent to 58 to 68% ET c of WW plants. Thus, the present results confirmed the hypothesis of water savings under PRD bo th with saline water and with good quality water. stem influenced by availability of soil water, hydraulic conductivity of roots and soil along with whole plant TR ( Chone et al stem can be more representative of tree water status
30 lf stem is less fluctuating diurnally (Dzikiti et al., 2010). All stressed plants had stem stem of stressed p lants did not change greatly in response to the different levels of water consumption per plant or to the uneven distribution of soil water (Figure 2 2). PRD relies on a spatial separation of dry and wet roots (Liu et al., 2007; Shahnazari et al., 2007), a nd, therefore, takes advantage of plant physiological responses to an uneven distribution of soil water (Kang and Zhang, 2004). In theory, the well watered half of the root system under PRD maintains high shoot water status (Dry and Loveys, 1999; Rodrigues et al., 2008). Our results contrasted with the study on grapevine where PRD did not show a significant decrease of stem but g s was decreased compared to WW plants (Rodrigues et al., 2008). Similar greenhouse results to those of this study were reported f or split root potted PRD Swingle citrumelo seedlings stem was decreased 72% along with decreased g s and A CO2 compared to WW plants, however there were no differences in plant growth (Melgar et al., 2010). The present results did not support the hypo thesis that roots in wet soil of PRD treated plants can maintain a favorable plant water status relative to WW plants. stem in the PRD treated plants may have been indicative of an increased flow resistance in soil (Steudle, 2000; Bours iac et al., 2005) or from the soil to roots stem at which some important physiological processes are inhibited ranges from 2.0 to 2.3 MPa for citrus trees and a decrease in the daily total sap flow of 10% in stressed Satsuma mandarin trees stem of at least 1.0 MPa (Dzikiti et al., 2010). Therefore, the stress stem probably did not maintain a higher hydraulic cond uctance in the xylem (Schultz, 2003; Vandeleur et al., 2009) under stress conditions
31 stem in all stressed plants was not significantly different, the small numerical differences could be explained by different levels of osmotic adjustment (Downt on, 1983; Patakas and Noitsakis, 1997) from salt and/or drought treatment or through changes in cell wall elasticity (Patakas and Noitsakis, 1997). SS leaves had a more negative osmotic potential and a 74% increase in turgor over the other three treatments (data not shown) which could have been due to the presence of compatible solutes (osmoregulation). This increase in turgor in SS plants would have allowed growth to continue as root growth was only reduced in PRS plants (Figure 2 3). Plant Growth Both PR D and PRS reduced growth (Figure 2 3).Whole plant WUE of all stressed plants was equivalent to WW plants (Table 2 1). Whole plant WUE in PRD plants was 13 % higher than in SS plants which may have been due to the smaller growth reduction and/or higher irri gation consumption from SS plants compared to PRD plants. The present results did not support the hypothesis that WUE at the whole plant level was increased by PRD treated plants relative to WW plants. One of the important water stress response is increase d biomass allocation to roots, leading to a higher root to shoot (RH: SH) ratio (Lovisolo et al., 2010), even if total plant biomass decreases with water stress (Poorter and Nagel, 2000). This is due to the lower sensitivity of root growth than shoot growt h to water stress, which has been attributed to rapid root osmotic adjustment and maintenance of water uptake in response to the decrease in soil water content (Hsiao and Xu, 2000; Sharp et al., 2004). This increased proportional allocation below ground m ay provide a more favorable water balance (Taiz and Zeiger, 2006) and nutrient transport to the shoots (Lovisolo et al., 2010) under stress conditions.
32 All stressed plants increased RT: SH ratios by 51 to 59% (Figure 2 3). A lthough PRS plants significan tly reduced both shoot and root DW compared to WW plants, the decrease in root DW was less than shoot DW as observed by PRD and SS plants, resulting in an increased RT:SH ratio. The present results support the hypothesis that PRD treated plants limited vegetative growth. Leaf thickness (leaf DW per unit of leaf area), however, remained similar across all treatments as well as comparable leaf FW/DW ratios. Such similar leaf morphol ogy and no change in leaf succulence indicated that all stressed plants probably had similar amounts of carbon investment in leaves (Simioni et al., 2004) regardless of the drought and/or salinity stress. The accumulation of final root DW in PRD and SS pl ants was equivalent to WW plants (Figure 2 3). Root growth of SS plants was not affected by salinity stress. By exposing some roots of PRD plants to drying soil, they had a decrease of root length (Table 2 1). PRS plants, however, had less root biomass and less root length, as reflected in the decreased SRL after long term exposure of some roots to drying soil while other roots received saline water. Both PRD and PRS plants developed short thick roots (i.e. lower SRL), indicating more structural investment in roots than in WW and SS plants. The thicker or high root tissue density in both PRD treated plants may have indicated mechanisms to allow roots to better penetrate drying soils and to promote better water transport (Cornelissen et al., 2003). Root FW/DW ratios were affected in PRD treated plants, which indicated a decrease in shoot and root water contents, implying turgor loss in expanded cells (Sharma et al., 2004), but not by SS plants. The differences in root FW/DW between PRD treated and SS plants co uld be explained by osmotic adjustment, which can reduce growth sensitivity to water stress (Cutler et al., 1980) in SS plants or less growth under water stress by conserving turgor (Sharmal et al., 2004) in SS plants.
33 There were no significant differences on root biomasses or SRL between wet and dry compartments of PRD and PRS plants (data not shown). This homogeneous root distribution and root structure in the wet and dry sides may reflect the potential for internal hydraulic redistribution at night (Baue rle et al ., 2008) or hydraulic lift (Dawson, 1993; Harton and Hart, 1998). Such redistribution can alleviate drought conditions, replenish any root xylem embolism (McCully, 1999), and maintain plant root function (Williams et al., 1993) and viability (Huan g, 1999). Experimental evidence under extremely heterogeneous field conditions has shown that internal hydraulic redistribution may assist in sustaining water uptake of the entire root system by rehydrating roots in dry soil (Hultine et al., 2003). A wate r redistribution process from wet to dry roots in response to water potential gradients can contribute to a decrease of ABA biosynthesis (Lovisolo et al., 2010). This may have contributed to the lack of PRD treatment effects on root ABA since dry roots may not have experienced sufficient drought stress. Leaf and Root Nitrogen (N), ABA and Gas Exchange Although leaf N m was increased by PRD, but reduced in SS relative to WW plants, all leaf N m in all plants were higher than the critical leaf N concentration s of 2.5% (Obreza and Morgan, 2008). Moreover, rates of A CO2 do not increase with increasing leaf N above leaf N concentrations of 2.3% in citrus (Syvertsen, 1987). Thus, leaf N was not limiting regardless of treatment. The levels of [ABA] in leaves were much higher than in roots at the end of the study (Table 2 3). This result was similar to that obtained in one year old citrus seedlings under a rapid and drastic water stress treatment where there was approximately 14 times higher [ABA] in leaves than in roots 24 h after the onset of water stress (Gmez Cadenas et al., 1996). This may be partly explained by rapid responses in leaves to water stress (Norman et al., 1990) from a rapid drop in humidity in air surrounding leaves (Xie et al., 2006), and to chan ges in pH of either
34 the apoplast or the symplast (Beis and Patakas, 2010) which increase local [ABA] synthesis in leaves, or to lower rates of AB A degradation (Beis and Patakas, 2010). [ABA] in citrus leaves and roots decreased drastically after rehydratio n and became similar to non stressed plants 18 h after rewatering in leaves and after 12 h in ro ots (Gomez Cadenas et al., 1996 ) In this study, ABA was sampled in tissues three days after the final 14 th irrigation cycle in the beginning of summer (May). The lack of treatment differences in root [ABA] may have been partly due to the sampling times missing rapid changes in ABA levels that may have occurred in hours rather than days. Since half of the root systems under PRD or PRS were well watered, dry roots may not have experienced sufficient drought stress to cause treatment differences in [ABA]. In PRD treated grapevines, ABA signals were diminished due to prolonged drying of one of side of the rootzone and g s recovered to levels equivalent to the WW treatments (Stoll et al., 2000). The present results did not support the hypothesis of increased synthesis of ABA signals in roots in dry soil under PRD both with saline water and with good quality water. P RS plants had higher leaf [ABA] than WW and SS plants (Table 2 3). The increased ABA in leaves of PRS plants could have originated earlier in roots, however, it also might have been attributed to locally synthesized ABA, an internal redistribution with rel ease of stored symplastic ABA in the leaf (Soar et al ., 2004; Wilkinson, 2004), and/or lower rates of A BA degradation (Beis and Pataks, 2010). In theory, half the root system in the dry side senses soil drying and produces ABA mediated chemical signals tr aveling through the xylem from the roots to shoots that reduce g s (Davies et al., 2002; Bravo, 2005). Thus, partial stomatal closure can bring about a reduction in TR (Kang et al., 2001) and an increase in leaf WUE (Bravdo, 2005). PRD can restrict water l oss and simultaneously sustain A CO2 rate at the equivalent levels to WW (De Souza et al., 2003) due
35 to the non linear relationship between photosynthesis and g s (D ring et al., 1996). In this resent study, the reduction in g s (Figure 2 4 A) could have been stem among all stressed plants. Numerically higher leaf [ABA] in PRS plants may have partly contributed to the lower g s, TR (Figure 2 4 B) and water consumption compared with WW plants. Since PRS plants grew less than SS plants, it is possible that [ABA] could have played a role in reducing leaf growth or regulated g s in PRD treated citrus seedlings. Leaf gas exchange parameters were reduced more in PRS and SS plants than PRD probably due to accumulations of Cl and Na + (Garcia Sanchez et al., 2002) or loss of chlorophyll in salt stressed leaves (Zekri, 1991). Since C i was significantly increased in PRS and SS plants compared to PRD and WW plants (data not shown), implying the reduction of A CO2 (Figure 2 4 C) was likely due to a d irect biochemical reduction in photosynthesis rather than to an indirect stomatal limit ation (Farquhar and Sharkey, 198 2). The inhibition of A CO2 under PRD may have resulted in part from partially reduced g s although there is no significant difference in g s between WW and PRD plants. Although PRD and WW plants exhibited statistically similar TR rates, the larger reduction in leaf area of PRD plants than WW plants would have decreased total plant TR in PRD plants. The rates of A CO2 were reduced more than th ose of leaf TR in leaves of all stressed plants as reflected by decreasing th e rates of leaf WUE (Figure 2 5 D). These results did not support the original hypothesis about WUE since leaf WUE was reduced in all stressed plants. In conclusion, I evaluated wh ole plant WUE, photosynthetic WUE of leaves and other physiological responses of citrus rootstock seedlings irrigated using PRD with and without saline water. Irrigation amounts of PRD and PRS were equivalent to 64 to 72% of ET c of well watered plants. Alt hough PRD treated plants reduced growth, whole plant WUE was not affected by
36 PRD treated plants relative to WW plants. PRD treated plants reduced vegetative growth and increased RT: SH ratio. Root ABA at the end of the study was similar across treatments. PRS had highest leaf ABA and lowest growth perhaps due to the combined effects of drought and salinity stress. Higher leaf [ABA] in PRS plants may have partly contributed to the lower g s, TR and water consumption compared with WW plants. Roots in wet soil of PRD treated plants did not enable PRD plants to maintain water status relative to WW plants. There was no evidence for root induced ABA regulation of stomatal behavior in PRD treated plants. The rates of A CO2 were reduced more than those of leaf TR in l eaves of PRD treated plants as reflected by decreased leaf WUE. Therefore, PRD treated plants resulted in water savings but drought stress reduced leaf function.
37 Table 2 1. Average leaf dry weight (DW), stem DW, total leaf area, leaf DW per leaf area, root length, specific root length (SRL), leaf fresh weight to DW ratio (FW/DW), root FW/DW, plant water consumption, and whole plant water use efficiency (WUE) (n = 6 S.E) of Swingle citrumelo seedlings after 9 weeks well water control (WW), partial root zone drying (PRD), partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS), and salt stress (SS) treatments. Different letters at each sampling data indicate significant differences b p < 0.05. Trt Leaf DW (g) Stem DW (g) Total leaf area (cm 2 ) Leaf DW/leaf area (g/m 2 ) Root length (cm) WW 4.7 0.28 a 6.4 0.61 a 583 28 a 81 1.9 a 24.1 2.76 a PRD 3.0 0.28 bc 4.4 0.46 b 330 33 bc 91 2.6 a 17.8 1.03 bc PRS 2.5 0.38 c 4.0 0.27 b 283 46 c 89 2.0 a 14.1 2.14 c SS 3.8 0.30 b 4.7 0.69 b 417 51 b 96 10 a 22.1 1.62 ab Trt SRL (cm/g) Leaf FW/DW Root FW/DW Plant water consumption (L) Whole plant WUE (g/L) WW 4.3 0.22 a 3.0 0.05 a 3.6 0.13 a 3.98 0.14 a 4.0 0.14 ab PRD 3.3 0.31 b 2.8 0.12 a 2.5 0.10 b 2.87 0.14 b 4.5 0.11 a PRS 3.0 0.47 b 3.1 0.17 a 2.2 0.27 b 2.55 0.16 b 4.3 0.21 ab SS 3.5 0.19 ab 2.9 0.16 a 3.1 0.10 a 3.78 0.11 a 3.9 0.25 b
38 Table 2 2. Average Nitrogen (N) concentrations (% DW in N m and mg cm 2 in N la ) (n = 6 S.E.) in leaves, stems, and roots of Swingle citrumelo seedlings after 9 we eks well water control (WW), partial root zone drying (PRD), partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS), and salt stress (SS) treatments. Different letters within each m ultiple range test at p < 0.05. Concentration Trt Leaf N m (%) Stem N m (%) Root N m (%) Leaf N la (mg/cm 2 ) WW 3.1 0.04 b 1.3 0.04 b 2.3 0.03 a 0.25 0.03 b PRD 3.4 0.09 a 1.8 0.08 a 2.6 0.15 a 0.31 0.15 a PRS 3.0 0.08 b 1.5 0.08 ab 2.6 0.14 a 0.27 0.14 ab SS 2.7 0.06 c 1.4 0.13 b 2.3 0.06 a 0.27 0.06 ab
39 Table 2 3. Average abscisic acid (ABA) contents in leaves and roots (n = 6 S.E.) of Swingle citrumelo seedlings after 9 weeks of well water control (WW), partial root zone drying (PRD), partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS), and salt stress (SS) treatments. Different letters within each tissue indicate significant differences between treatments p < 0.05. Trt Leaf ABA (nmolABA/g DW) Root ABA (nmolABA/g DW) WW 13.3 4.2 b 0.36 0.09 a PRD 17.8 3.6 ab 0.69 0.24 a PRS 29.3 8.5 a 0.87 0.39 a SS 10.4 2.1 b 0.39 0.12 a
40 Figure 2 1. Effects of well water control (WW), partial root zone drying (PRD), partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS) and salt stress (SS) treatments on average (n = 6 S.E.) evapotranspiration (ET c ) of Swingle citrumelo seedlings. 0 100 200 300 400 500 ET c (ml) DAT (Days after trt) WW SS PRD PRS 7 14 21 25 30 38 43 46 50 5 3 57 60 63
41 -2.5 -2.0 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0.0 WW PRD PRS SS stem (MPa) Treatment a b b b Figure 2 2. Effects of well water control (WW), partial root zone drying (PRD), partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS) and salt stress (SS) treatments on average (n = 4 stem ) of Swingle citrumelo seedlings at the end of the experimental period (66 DAT). Different letters within each tissue indicate at p < 0.05.
42 Figure 2 3. Effects of well water control (WW), partial root zone drying (PRD), partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS) and salt stress (SS) treatments on average (n = 6 S.E.) shoot and root dry weights (DWs) and root to shoot (RT: SH) ratio of Swingle citrumelo seedlings at the end of the experimental period (66 DAT). Different letters within each tissue indicate significant differences between p < 0.05. a a b a a b b b 0 5 10 15 20 0.51 b 0.78 a 0.81 a 0.77 a WW PRD PRS SS Total plant DWs (g) Treatment Shoot DW Root DW a bc c ab RT:SH ratio
43 0 100 200 300 g s (mmol H 2 O /m 2 /s) A a ab b b 0 1 2 3 4 TR (mmol H 2 O/m 2 /s) B a a b b 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 WW PRD PRS SS A CO2 ( mol CO 2 /m 2 /s ) Treatment C a b c c 0 1 2 3 4 5 WW PRD PRS SS Leaf WUE ( mol CO 2 /mmol H 2 O ) Treatment D a b b b Figure 2 4. Effects of well water control (WW), pa rtial root zone drying (PRD), partial root zone drying with saline water (PRS), and salt stress (SS) treatm ents (n = 4 S.E.) on: A) s tomatal conductance (g s ), B) l eaf transpira tion (TR), C) CO 2 assimilation (A CO2 ) and D) l eaf water use efficiency (WUE ) of Swingle citrumelo seedlings averaged over five sample days. Different letters within each panel indicate at p < 0.05.
44 CHAPTER 3 CONCLUSIONS We evaluated whole plant water use efficiency (WUE), photosynthetic WUE of leaves and other physiological responses of citrus rootstock seedlings irrigated using partial rootzone drying (PRD) with saline water or with good quality water in a greenhouse. Results confirmed PRD with good quality and with saline water can save irrigation water, restrict vegetative growth while leaf nitrogen (N) was not limiting regardless of treatment. Roots in wet soil of PRD treated plants were not able to maintain a favora ble plant water status relative to WW plants. Root induced abscisic acid (ABA) regulation of stomatal behavior in PRD treated plants was not observed in this study. However, higher leaf ABA concentrations in PRD with saline water may have partly contribute d to the lower stomatal conductance (g s ) transpiration (TR), and water consumption compared with well watered (WW) plants. Whole plant WUE of PRD treated plant was similar to WW plants. Rates of net CO 2 assimilation (A CO2 ) were reduced more than those of leaf TR in PRD treated plants resulting in decreased leaf WUE. Therefore, PRD with saline water or with good quality water resulted in water savings during spring to early summer but drought stress reduced leaf function.
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54 BIOGRAPHI CAL SKETCH Ayako Kusak abe was born in Japan in 1974. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in international relations at the Tokyo International University in March 19 98, and Bachelor of Science in soil and water s cience at the University of Arizona in December 2001, foll owed by a Master of Science in soil, water, and environmental s ciences at the University of Arizona in August 2005. In Ma r ch, 2011, she successfully defended her thes is and was awarded the M.S. in horticultural science at the University of Florida in May 2011.