Primed Acclimation of Papaya Increases Short-term Water Use But Does Not Confer Long-term Drought Tolerance

in HortScience

Primed acclimation (PA) is a regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategy designed to improve or maintain yield under subsequent drought stress. A previous study showed photosynthetic increases in papaya in response to a PA treatment. The present study was undertaken to test the duration of the PA effect when papaya plants were challenged with severe drought stress. Potted plants were stressed at 1, 2, and 3 months after conclusion of a PA treatment consisting of 3 weeks at soil water tension (SWT) of −20 kPa. Measurements included leaf gas exchange, root growth, and organ dry mass partitioning. PA did not reduce net CO2 assimilation (A) during the deficit period. At the end of the PA period, total dry matter accumulation per plant and for each organ was unaffected, but proportional dry matter partitioning to roots was favored. After resuming full irrigation, A increased and whole plant water use was more than doubled in PA-treated plants. However, water use and A of PA-treated plants decreased to reconverge with those of control plants by 6 weeks after the PA treatment. Over the course of the study, PA plants maintained lower stem height to stem diameter ratios, and shorter internode lengths. However, these changes did not improve photosynthetic response to any of the water-deficit treatments. We conclude that papaya exhibits some signs of stress memory, but that rapid short-term acclimation responses dominate papaya responses to soil water deficit.

Contributor Notes

We thank Ana Vargas and Raiza Castillo for their help with data collection and plant maintenance.

Corresponding author. E-mail: civince@ufl.edu.

Article Sections

Article Figures

  • View in gallery

    Height and diameter of primed (P) and unprimed (NP) plants over priming memory study. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.

  • View in gallery

    Height:diameter of primed (P) and unprimed (NP) plants over priming memory study. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.

  • View in gallery

    Height and diameter of plants exposed to water-deficit treatments over priming memory study. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals. Deficit 1: 3 months after transplanting, Deficit 2: 4 months after transplanting, Deficit 3: 5 months after transplanting, control: watered daily to saturation.

  • View in gallery

    Root length of ‘Red Lady’ papaya exposed to primed acclimation treatments. P: primed, NP: not primed. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.

  • View in gallery

    Gas exchange variables of ‘Red Lady’ papaya plants with or without a primed acclimation treatment over three water-deficit periods. Data represent deficit and nondeficit treatments combined. Priming treatment consisted of 3 weeks at soil water tension of about −20 kPa from 20 Oct. to 12 Nov. Deficit periods are designated by gray rectangles. Error bars represent standard error (n = 6).

  • View in gallery

    Gas exchange variables of ‘Red Lady’ papaya plants treated with different timings of water deficit. Data represent primed and unprimed treatments combined. Water-deficit treatments consisted of no water until soil water tension was below −40 kPa for 1 week. Deficit periods are designated by gray rectangles. Error bars represent standard error (n = 6).

  • View in gallery

    Total water loss (L) and mean daily soil water tension (kPa) per pot of ‘Red Lady’ papaya over a 5-week dry-down period after exposure to a 3-week primed acclimation treatment. Error bars represent standard error (n = 6).

  • View in gallery

    Total water loss (L) and mean daily soil water tension (kPa) per pot of ‘Red Lady’ papaya over a 5-week dry-down period after exposure to a 3-week primed acclimation treatment. Lines represent coefficients of linear regression on the same data: dashed blue line represents primed plants and dashed-dotted red line represents unprimed plants. Interaction effects were nonsignificant, thus the slope of both lines is not different, but the intercept was different by 0.25 L·d−1 (P < 0.0001). Marginal R2= 0.62 and conditional R2 = 0.77.

Article References

  • AwalM.A.IkedaT.2002Recovery strategy following the imposition of episodic soil moisture deficit in stands of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.)J. Agron. Crop Sci.188185192

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BuissonD.LeeD.W.1993The developmental responses of papaya leaves to simulated canopy shadeAmer. J. Bot.80947952

  • ClementeH.S.MarlerT.E.1996Drought stress influences gas-exchange responses of papaya leaves to rapid changes in irradianceJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.121292295

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CrispP.A.GangulyD.EichtenS.R.BorevitzJ.O.PogsonB.J.2016Reconsidering plant memory: Intersections between stress recovery, RNA turnover, and epigeneticsSci. Adv.22E1501340

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • de LimaR.S.N.de Assis FigueiredoF.A.M.M.MartinsA.O.de DeusB.C.FerrazT.M.GomesM.de SousaE.F.GlennD.M.CampostriniE.2015Partial rootzone drying (PRD) and regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) effects on stomatal conductance, growth, photosynthetic capacity, and water-use efficiency of papayaSci. Hort.1831322

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • de MendiburuF.2015agricolae: Statistical procedures for agricultural research. R package version 1.2-4

  • HuT.LiuS.AmomboE.FuJ.2015Stress memory induced rearrangements of HSP transcription, photosystem II photochemistry and metabolism of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) in response to high-temperature stressPlant Physiol.6403

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LichtenthalerH.K.1998The stress concept in plants: An introductionAnn. N. Y. Acad. Sci.851187198

  • MahouachiJ.SocorroA.R.TalonM.2006Responses of papaya seedlings (Carica papaya L.) to water stress and re-hydration: Growth, photosynthesis and mineral nutrient imbalancePlant Soil281137146

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MahouachiJ.ArbonaV.Gómez-CadenasA.2007Hormonal changes in papaya seedlings subjected to progressive water stress and re-wateringPlant Growth Regulat.534351

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MarlerT.E.ClementeH.S.2006Papaya seedling growth response to wind and water deficit is additiveHortScience419698

  • MarlerT.E.DiscekiciH.M.1997Root development of “Red Lady” papaya plants grown on a hillsidePlant Soil1953742

  • MarlerT.E.MickelbartM.V.1998Drought, leaf gas exchange, and chlorophyll fluorescence of field-grown papayaJ. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci.123714718

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MigliaccioK.W.CraneJ.H.EvansE.SchafferB.LiY.Muñoz-CarpenaR.2006South Florida tropical fruit grower perspectives: Water conservation management practices. Fla. Coop. Ext. Serv. IFAS Univ. Fla

  • PastorV.LunaE.Mauch-ManiB.TonJ.FlorsV.2013Primed plants do not forgetEnviron. Exp. Bot.944656

  • PinheiroJ.C.BatesD.M.DebRoyS.SarkarD.2015Linear and nonlinear mixed effects models

  • RamírezD.A.RolandoJ.L.YactayoW.MonneveuxP.MaresV.QuirozR.2015Improving potato drought tolerance through the induction of long-term water stress memoryPlant Sci.2382632

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R Core Team2016A language environment for statistical computing. R Foundation Vienna Austria

  • RorieR.L.PurcellL.C.MozaffariM.KarcherD.E.KingC.A.MarshM.C.LongerD.E.2011Association of “greenness” in corn with yield and leaf nitrogen concentrationAgron. J.103529535

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RosencranceR.C.KruegerW.H.MillironL.BloeseJ.GarciaC.MoriB.2015Moderate regulated deficit irrigation can increase olive oil yields and decrease tree growth in super high densite ‘Arbequina’ olive orchardsSci. Hort.1907582

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RowlandD.L.FairclothW.H.PaytonP.TissueD.T.FerrellJ.A.SorensenR.B.ButtsC.L.2012Primed acclimation of cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) through the use of deficit irrigation timed to crop developmental periodsAgr. Water Mgt.1138595

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SackL.GrubbP.J.MarañónT.2003The functional morphology of juvenile plants tolerant of strong summer drought in shaded forest understories in southern SpainPlant Ecol.168139163

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SmithN.G.MalyshevS.L.ShevliakovaE.KattgeJ.DukesJ.S.2015Foliar temperature acclimation reduces simulated carbon sensitivity to climate. Nat. Clim. Change. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2878

  • SyvertsenJ.P.1994Partial shoot removal increases net CO2 assimilation and alters water relations of Citrus seedlingsTree Physiol.14497508

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TardieuF.2012Any trait or trait-related allele can confer drought tolerance: Just design the right drought scenarioJ. Expt. Bot.632531

  • VincentC.RowlandD.L.SchafferB.2015The potential for primed acclimation in papaya (Carica papaya L.): Determination of critical water deficit thresholds and physiological response variablesSci. Hort.194344352

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VincentC.RowlandD.NaC.SchafferB.2016A high-throughput method to quantify root hair area in digital images taken in situPlant Soil120doi: 10.1007/s11104-016-3016-9

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WilliamsonJ.G.CraneJ.H.2010Best management practices for temperate and tropical/subtropical fruit crops in Florida: Current practices and future challengesHortTechnology20111119

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Article Information

Google Scholar

Related Content

Article Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 155 155 19
Full Text Views 111 111 1
PDF Downloads 6 6 1