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Leaf Age as a Determinant in Stomatal Control of Water Loss from Cotton during Water Stress

Wayne R. Jordan, Kirk W. Brown and James C. Thomas
Plant Physiology
Vol. 56, No. 5 (Nov., 1975), pp. 595-599
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4264213
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Leaf Age as a Determinant in Stomatal Control of Water Loss from Cotton during Water Stress
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Abstract

The stomatal resistance of individual leaves of young cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum L. var. Stoneville 213) was measured during a period of soil moisture stress under conditions of constant evaporative demand. When plants were subjected to increasing soil water stress, increases in stomatal resistance occurred first on the lower leaves and the stomata on the upper surfaces were the most sensitive to decreasing leaf-water potential. Stomatal closure proceeded from the oldest leaves to the youngest as the stress became more severe. This apparent effect of leaf age was not due to radiation differences during the stress period. Radiation adjustments on individual leaves during their development altered the stomatal closure potential for all leaves, but did not change the within-plant pattern. Our data indicate that no single value of leaf water potential will adequately represent a threshold for stomatal closure in cotton. Rather, the stomatal resistance of each leaf is uniquely related to its own water potential as modified by age and radiation regime during development. The effect of age on stress-induced stomatal closure was not associated with a loss of potassium from older leaves. Increases in both the free and bound forms of abscisic acid were observed in water-stressed plants, but the largest accumulations occurred in the youngest leaves. Thus, the pattern of abscisic acid accumulation in response to water stress did not parallel the pattern of stomatal closure induced by water stress.

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