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Journal of Arid Land

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 255–266 | Cite as

Impact of air drought on photosynthesis efficiency of the Siberian crabapple (Malus baccata L. Borkh.) in the forest-steppe zone of Transbaikalia, Russia

  • Alexandr Rudikovskii
  • Elena RudikovskayaEmail author
  • Lyubov Dudareva
Article
  • 3 Downloads

Abstract

The adaption of photosynthesis, being a key metabolic process, plays an important role in plant resistance to air drought. In this study, the Siberian crabapple (Malus baccata L. Borkh.) in the forest-steppe zone of Transbaikalia region, Russia, was subjected to air drought stress and its photosynthesis characteristics were analyzed. The results show that air drought and sufficient soil moisture supply lead to the decrease in the total chlorophyll (Chl) content, while the ratio of Chls to carotenoids is constant in the Siberian crabapple tree. The function of photosystem II (PS-II) in the crabapple trees is characterized by a decrease in the fraction of absorbed light energy spent on the photochemical work and an increase in the proportion of non-photosynthetic thermal quenching. These changes indicate the photosynthetic down-regulation that acts as a universal photoprotective mechanism. During the midday hours, the combination of high air temperature and low air humidity leads to the decrease in the maximum photochemical quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) and the efficiency of photosynthesis (PABS). The parameters of leaf gas exchange show the significant differences in these values between the control and experimental variants. During the morning hours, the Siberian crabapple, growing in the Irkutsk City, assimilates carbon dioxide more intensively. Due to the higher air humidity, the stomata are kept open and the necessary amount of carbon dioxide entries the sites of carboxylation. The low air humidity combined with wind in the experimental variants leads to the unreasonably high water loss in the crabapple leaves by more than 27% as compared to the control variant (Irkutsk City). However, water use efficiency in the morning hours increases during plant photosynthetic processes, i.e., 42% higher than that of control. This, apparently, is a reflection of the adaptation processes of the Siberian crabapple to the air drought and parching wind.

Keywords

air drought chlorophyll fluorescence leaf gas exchange pigments water use efficiency 

Abbreviations

ABS

absorbed energy flux

Chl

chlorophyll

ET

electron transport flux

ETR

electron transport rate

F0

minimum fluorescence yield in dark-adapted state

Fm

maximum fluorescence yield in dark-adapted state

Fm

maximum fluorescence yield in light-adapted state

F0

minimum fluorescence yield in light-adapted state

Fv/Fm

quantum yield of photosystem II

PAR

photosynthetically active radiation

PS-II

photosystem II

RC

reaction center

TR

trapping flux

VPD

vapour pressure deficit

WUE

water use efficiency

Y(II)

effective quantum yield of photosystem II

Y(NPQ)

quantum yield of non-photochemical quenching.

Ψ0

probability that a photon trapped by the PS-II reaction center enters the electron transport chain beyond QA (the primary electron acceptor quinone in PS-II) (at t=0)

φPo

the maximum quantum yield of primary photochemistry at t=0

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Notes

Acknowledgements

The research was funded by the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Integration Project No. 105). The work was performed at the Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Irkutsk City). We thank Dr. Larisa GARKAVA-GUSTAVSSON for comments on the manuscript and Dr. Alexandra YAZEVA for her work on the translation of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandr Rudikovskii
    • 1
  • Elena Rudikovskaya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lyubov Dudareva
    • 1
  1. 1.Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry of Siberian BranchRussian Academy of SciencesIrkutskRussia

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