Inhibition by NaCl of Net CO2 Fixation and Yield of Cucumber

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Texas Agricultural Experimental Station, Department of Horticultural Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2133

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Fidelio) grown in sand culture in the greenhouse was trickle-irrigated with nutrient solution containing 0, 10, or 50 mm NaCl. Gas exchange of Individual leaves was measured by a portable infrared gas analyzer et saturating photosynthetic photon flux. Salt at 10 mm had no detectable effect on plant performance, but exposure to 50 mm NaCl caused net CO2 fixation to decline by 33% and 48% in the eighth and ninth oldest leaves, respectively. Stomatal conductance and transpiration rate were also reduced (≈ 50%) In these leaves. These differences, as well as lower leaf water potentials, were associated with a 60% reduction in fruit fresh weight. The relationship between net CO2 fixation and intercellular (substomatal) CO2 concentrations was determined for individual, attached leaves of plants with roots exposed to various concentrations of NaCl in hydroponics. With 50 and 100 mm NaCl, a nonstomatal contribution to the inhibition of photosynthesis at the chloroplast level was Indicated by strong inhibition of CO, fixation at a saturating CO2 concentration. Salt-induced inhibition of CO2 fixation was associated with accumulation of Na+ and Cl-, and lower K+ in the individual leaves examined.

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