Biologia Plantarum

, 38:85 | Cite as

Gas exchange in leaves of the root hemiparasitemelampyrum arvense L. before and after attachment to the host plant

  • Z. Lechowski
Original Paper


Gas exchange characteristics of a hemiparasiteMelampyrum arvense L. before and after attachment to the hostCapsella bursa pastoris (L.) Med. were compared. The net photosynthetic rates (PN) on a leaf area basis were extremely low and in comparison to the value obtained for the host were about 15 % and 23 % for the unattached and attached hemiparasite, respectively. Also the concentration of photosynthetic pigments was low (as compared with the host the content of chlorophylls was about 33 % and 49 % and of carotenoids about 38 % and 36 % in the unattached and attached hemiparasite, respectively). On the other hand the rates of respiration were high (about 1.8 and 2.6 times higher in the unattached and attached hemiparasite, respectively, than in the host). In darkness stomatal conductance (gS) of the host and the unattached hemiparasite was rapidly reduced to 10 % of the value obtained in light, gS of the attached hemiparasite was decreased only by about 30%. A total reduction of gS occurred at relative water content (RWC) of 85 %, 75% and 45 % for the unattached hemiparasite, the host, and the attached hemiparasite, respectively. The transpiration (E) rate in the preparasitic stage was very low, being 2.6 and 4.5 times smaller than in the host and the attached hemiparasite, respectively. In the attached hemiparasite WUE was 7.5 and 3 times poorer than in the host and in the preparasitic stage, respectively.

Additional key words

net photosynthetic rate stomatal conductance transpiration rate WUE 





dry mass


transpiration rate


fresh mass


stomatal conductance to water vapour




net photosynthetic rate

PS 2

photosystem 2




ribulose-l,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase


relative water content


water use efficiency


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Copyright information

© Institute of Experimental Botany, ASCR 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Lechowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology and DevelopmentJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland

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