Physiological Acclimation of Taxodium Hybrid ‘Zhongshanshan 118’ Plants to Short-term Drought Stress and Recovery

in HortScience

The physiological acclimation of Taxodium hybrid ‘zhongshanshan 118’ (T.118) plants to a progressive drought stress and drought-stressed to recovery treatment (DS-R) was investigated in this study. Plants of control (C) treatment were watered daily throughout the experiment. Results indicated that water deficit reduced stomatal conductance (gS) to improve water use efficiency (WUE) and, as a consequence, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr), and intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) were also decreased in DS-R T.118 plants compared with C plants. These reductions became more significant with decreasing soil water availability. Correlation analysis showed gS was positively correlated (P < 0.01) with the soil water content as well as leaf relative water content (RWC). There was a tendency to accumulate proline, malondialdehyde (MDA), antioxidases, and membrane electrolyte leakage as stress intensity increased. Moreover, drought stress induced significant (P < 0.05) decline in total chlorophyll contents (Chlt) and increase of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) on day 8 as a photo-protective mechanism. Cluster analysis distinguished the adaption of T.118 plants to water deficit in two ways. First, photosynthesis was related to thermal dissipation, and second antioxidation was related to morphology and osmosis. Furthermore, tested parameters showed a reversed tendency and restored equivalently to C levels after 9 days of rewatering. These findings suggest that T.118 plants demonstrated considerable tolerance to short-term drought stress and recovery due to a high degree of plasticity in physiological acclimation.

Contributor Notes

This paper was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31570593), the Program of Innovation Capacity Construction of Jiangsu Province (no. BM2015019), and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Project of Jiangsu Province (no. CX132046).

Corresponding author. E-mail: jfhua2009@gmail.com.

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Article Figures

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    Mean of daily temperature (°C) and relative humidity (%) in greenhouse.

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    Time course of pot volumetric water content in drought phase (mean and se, n = 9).

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    Variation in mean (and standard error, n = 6) (A) net photosynthetic rate (Pn), (B) stomatal conductance (gS), (C) transpiration rate (Tr), and (D) intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) in T.118 of C (▪), and DS-R (□) treatments over the course of the experiment. Each square represents samples measured on each sampling day. *, **P < 0.05, P < 0.01 between treatments, respectively.

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    Variation in mean (and se, n = 3) (A) malondialdehyde (MDA), (B) superoxide dismutase (SOD), (C) peroxidase (POD), and (D) catalase (CAT) of T.118 in C (▪) and DS-R (□) treatments. *, **P < 0.05, P < 0.01 between treatments, respectively.

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    Relationship between stomatal conductance (gS) and (A) soil water content and (B) leaf relative water content (RWC) in T.118 plants subjected to C (▪) and DS-R (□) treatments. Each square represents samples measured on each sampling day. Bars indicate mean ± se, the replications of gS, soil water content, and RWC were 6, 6, and 3, respectively.

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    Dendrogram of the parameters studied. Parameters for analysis were net photosynthetic rate (Pn), Specific leaf area (SLA), leaf relative water content (RWC), total chlorophyll contents (Chlt), nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and proline.

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