Intermittent moisture supply induces drought priming responses in some heat-tolerant chickpea genotypes

Givemore Munashe Makonya, John B.O. Ogola, A. Muthama Muasya, Olivier Crespo, Sipho Maseko, Alex J. Valentine, Carl-Otto Ottosen, Eva S. K. Rosenqvist, Samson B.M. Chimphango*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Heat and drought stresses are two abiotic factors that often occur simultaneously
and are predicted to increase, consequently hampering plant growth. Response
of different species to either stresses is well documented but information on the
response of the same genotypes to both stresses in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)
is limited.We aimed to determine whether previously noted heat-stress-tolerant
genotype (Acc#7) is drought tolerant, that heat-sensitive genotype (Acc#8) is
drought sensitive, and whether intermittent moisture supply at vegetative stage
would induce priming effect to later drought at flowering. At vegetative stage,
plants were divided into three groups, nonstressed (watered to 75% field capacity
[FC], severe water stress (moisture withholding for 14 d), and treated to 40% FC
throughout the experiment (mild stress), with recovery for the severely stressed
plants after which they were stressed (double stress) at flowering. Drought treatments
at vegetative and flowering growth stages decreased physiological parameters
and biomass accumulation in both genotypes except low water supply at
40% FC that decreased biomass in Acc#7 but not Acc#8. Double-drought stress
resulted in priming effect in Acc#7, having higher biomass, chlorophyll fluorescence,
stomatal conductance (gs), net photosynthesis, and relative water content
(RWC) vs. the introduction of stress only at flowering growth stage as well as
in comparison with Acc#8. These results showed that both Acc#7 and Acc#8 are
sensitive to drought, whereas after priming,Acc#7 is better acclimated to drought
than Acc#8 associated with osmotic adjustment on leaf RWC and higher capacity
to protect photosynthetic activity, making Acc#7 potentially ideal for areas
associated with intermittent drought spells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCrop Science
Pages (from-to)2527-2542
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

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