Transpiration difference under high evaporative demand in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) may be explained by differences in the water transport pathway in the root cylinder. uri icon

abstract

  • Terminal drought substantially reduces chickpea yield. Reducing water use at vegetative stage by reducing transpiration under high vapor pressure deficit (VPD),i.e.under dry/hot conditions, contributes to drought adaptation. We hypothesized that this trait could relate to differences in a genotype's dependence on root water transport pathways and hydraulics. Transpiration rate responses in conservative and profligate chickpea genotypes were evaluated under increasing VPD in the presence/absence of apoplastic and cell-to-cell transport inhibitors. Conservative genotypes ICC 4958 and ICC 8058 restricted transpiration under high VPD compared to the profligate genotypes ICC 14799 and ICC 867. Profligate genotypes were more affected by aquaporin inhibition of the cell-to-cell pathway than conservative genotypes, as measured by the root hydraulic conductance and transpiration under high VPD. Aquaporin inhibitor treatment also led to a larger reduction in root hydraulic conductivity in profligate than in conservative genotypes. In contrast, blockage of the apoplastic pathway in roots decreased transpiration more in conservative than in profligate genotypes. Interestingly, conservative genotypes had high early vigour, whereas profligate genotypes had low early vigour. In conclusion, profligate genotypes depend more on the cell-to-cell pathway, which might explain their higher root hydraulic conductivity, whereas water-saving by restricting transpiration led to higher dependence on the apoplastic pathway. This opens the possibility to screen for conservative or profligate chickpea phenotypes using inhibitors, itself opening to the search of the genetic basis of these differences.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020