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Partial root-zone drying irrigation increases water-use efficiency of tobacco plants amended with biochar

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  • Xuezhi Liu, Northwest A&F University, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Zhenhua Wei, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University
  • ,
  • Kiril Manevski
  • Jie Liu, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Denmark
  • Yingying Ma, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University
  • ,
  • Mathias Neumann Andersen
  • Fulai Liu, University of Copenhagen, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research, Denmark
Modulation of stomatal morphology and behavior is associated with changes in water use of the plant due to varied input of water, yet the underlying mechanism of such association remains largely elusive. We investigated the effects of reduced irrigation on leaf gas exchange and stomatal morphology of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) plants grown in a Ferralsol and an Anthrosol amended by softwood (SWB) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) straw biochar (WSB). Compared to plants grown under full irrigation (FI), deficit irrigation (DI) and especially alternate partial root-zone drying irrigation (PRD) significantly decreased the stomatal conductance (gs) while marginally reducing the leaf photosynthetic rate (An), thereby enhancing intrinsic water-use efficiency (WUEi=An/gs), whereas the effects of biochars were not evident. Moreover, reduced irrigation, particularly PRD, increased the concentration of abscisic acid in the leaf ([ABA]leaf) compared to FI, which was further amplified by WSB addition. Leaf carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13Cleaf) responded similarly to irrigation and biochar addition as gs. Compared to FI, reduced irrigation (DI and PRD) lowered stomata size (SS) but increased their density (SD) and this effect was more pronounced for PRD coupled with WSB. Moreover, SD was significantly positively correlated with [ABA]leaf, while negatively correlated with gs, soil water content, and Δ13Cleaf. The opposite correlations between SS and these variables were observed. The results collectively suggest that ABA-mediated the effects of PRD combined with WSB amendment resulted in higher SD and lower SS and gs, contributing to the increased WUEi and long-term WUE of tobacco plants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113487
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
Volume166
ISSN0926-6690
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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