Relationships Between Transpiration Efficiency and Its Surrogate Traits in the rd29A:DREB1A Transgenic Lines of Groundnut uri icon

abstract

  • Transpiration efficiency (TE) contributes to crop performance under water-limited conditions, but is difficult to measure. Herein, we assess the relationships between TE and surrogate traits and how these interact with water regimes, using isogenic materials: five transgenic events of groundnut and their wild-type (WT) parent JL 24, among which large variation in TE was previously reported. These five events came from the insertion of transcription factor DREB1A from Arabidopsis thaliana, driven by stress responsive promoter rd29. The events were in T3 generation and had been selected from a preliminary trial for having a large range of variation in the time needed to deplete soil moisture upon exposure to soil drying. Two experiments were conducted, in each case with plants exposed to well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) conditions. Significant correlations were found between TE and soil plant analysis development chlorophyll meter readings (SCMR), TE and specific leaf area (SLA), and SLA and SCMR in both experiments. Nevertheless, these significant relationships were confined to the drought stress (DS) treatment. No correlation between TE and Delta C-13 (carbon isotope discrimination) was found in the present study, regardless of the water regime, and in none of the two experiments. A significant negative correlation was established between TE and the fraction of transpirable soil water (FTSW) threshold values where transpiration declined upon soil drying, in both experiments. The mean vapour pressure deficit in the two different seasons (1.47 kPa and 0.73 kPa) did not affect the ranking of genotypes for TE. It is concluded that surrogates for TE, when used, need careful consideration of the drought stress status of plants at the time of measurement, and that differences in TE might be closely related to how plants respond to soil drying, with high TE genotypes maintaining gas exchange until the soil is dryer than low TE genotypes.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011
  • 2011