4.6 Article

Combined high leaf hydraulic safety and efficiency provides drought tolerance inCaraganaspecies adapted to low mean annual precipitation

Journal

NEW PHYTOLOGIST
Volume 229, Issue 1, Pages 230-244

Publisher

WILEY
DOI: 10.1111/nph.16845

Keywords

abscisic acid (ABA); Caraganaspecies; drought; gas exchange; leaf hydraulics; turgor loss point; vein

Categories

Funding

  1. Institute of Agriculture at the University of Western Australia
  2. National Natural Science Foundation of China [31971406, 31670404, 31422011, 31860176]
  3. Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities [Lzujbky-2017-ot07]
  4. '111' Programme [BP0719040]
  5. NSF-CAREER grant [231715]
  6. Feitian Project [860059]

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The study revealed that Caragana species adapted to low precipitation environments exhibit specific traits in leaf hydraulic conductance, gas exchange, and vein anatomy, with tighter stomatal control mediated by higher ABA accumulation leading to increased water use efficiency and hydraulic safety during drought stress.
Clarifying the coordination of leaf hydraulic traits with gas exchange across closely-related species adapted to varying rainfall can provide insights into plant habitat distribution and drought adaptation. The leaf hydraulic conductance (K-leaf), stomatal conductance (g(s)), net assimilation (A), vein embolism and abscisic acid (ABA) concentration during dehydration were quantified, as well as pressure-volume curve traits and vein anatomy in 10Caraganaspecies adapted to a range of mean annual precipitation (MAP) conditions and growing in a common garden. We found a positive correlation between psi(leaf)at 50% loss ofK(leaf)(KleafP50) and maximumK(leaf)(Kleaf-max) across species. Species from low-MAP environments exhibited more negativeK(leaf)P(50)and turgor loss point, and higherK(leaf-max)and leaf-specific capacity at full turgor, along with higher vein density and midrib xylem per leaf area, and a higher ratio ofK(leaf-max): maximumg(s). Tighter stomatal control mediated by higher ABA accumulation during dehydration in these species resulted in an increase in hydraulic safety and intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) during drought. Our results suggest that high hydraulic safety and efficiency combined with greater stomatal sensitivity triggered by ABA production and leading to greater WUE(i)provides drought tolerance inCaraganaspecies adapted to low-MAP environments.

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