Stomatal effects and ABA metabolism mediate differential regulation of leaf and flower cooling in tomato cultivars exposed to heat and drought stress

Nikolaj Bjerring Jensen, Ondrej Vrobel , Nagashree N. Akula, Nuria De Diego, Petr Tarkowski, Carl-Otto Ottosen, Rong Zhou

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Co-occurring heat and drought stresses challenge crop performance. Stomata open to promote evaporative cooling during heat stress, but close to retain water during drought stress, which resulted in complex stomatal regulation under combined heat and drought. We aimed to investigate stomatal regulation in leaves and flowers of perennial, indeterminate cultivars of tomatoes subjected to individual and combined heat and drought stress followed by a recovery period, measuring morphological, physiological, and biochemical factors involved in stomatal regulation. Under stress, stomata of leaves were predominantly affected by drought, with lower stomatal density and stomatal closing, resulting in significantly decreased photosynthesis and higher leaf temperature. Conversely, stomata in sepals seemed affected mainly by heat during stress. The differential patterns in stomatal regulation in leaves and flowers persisted into the recovery phase as contrasting patterns in stomatal density. We show that flower transpiration is regulated by temperature, but leaf transpiration is regulated by soil water availability during stress. Organ-specific patterns of stomatal development and abscisic acid metabolism mediated this phenomenon. Our results throw light on the dual role of stomata in heat and drought tolerance of vegetative and generative organs, and demonstrate the importance of considering flower surfaces in the phenotyping of stomatal reactions to stress
TidsskriftJournal of Experimental Botany
Sider (fra-til)2156-2175
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 11 jan. 2024