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Photosynthetica

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 602–608 | Cite as

Photosynthetic performance and light response of two olive cultivars under different water and light regimes

  • A. Sofo
  • B. Dichio
  • G. Montanaro
  • C. Xiloyannis
Article

Abstract

The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is commonly grown in the Mediterranean area, where it is adapted to resist periods characterized by severe drought and high irradiance levels. Photosynthetic efficiency (in terms of Fv/Fm and ΦPSII), photochemical (qP) and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) were determined in two-year-old olive plants (cultivars Coratina and Biancolilla) grown under two different light levels (exposed plants, EP, and shaded plants, SP) during a 21-day controlled water deficit. After reaching the maximum level of drought stress, plants were rewatered for 23 days. During the experimental period, measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence were carried out to study the photosynthetic performance of olive plants. The synergical effect of drought stress and high irradiance levels caused a reduction of gas exchange and photosynthetic efficiency and these decreases were more marked in EP. EP showed a higher degree of photoinhibition, a higher NPQ and a lower qP if compared to SP. Coratina was more sensitive to high light and drought stress but also showed a slower recovery during rewatering, whereas Biancolilla showed a less marked photosynthesis depression during drought and a considerable resilience during rewatering. The results confirm that photoinhibition due to high light intensity and water deficit can be an important factor that affects photosynthetic productivity in this species.

Additional keywords

drought stress light excess Olea europaea L. photoinhibition water use efficiency 

Abbreviations

Chl

chlorophyll

Fm

maximum fluorescence in the dark

F′m

maximum fluorescence in the light

Fo

minimum level of fluorescence

Ft

steady state fluorescence yield measured under actinic light

Fv/Fm

maximum quantum yield of PSII

gs

stomatal conductance

NPQ

nonphotochemical quenching

PN

net photosynthetic rate

PAR

photosynthetically active radiation

qP

photochemical quenching

ΦPSII

quantum yield of PSII

Ψw

pre-dawn leaf water potential

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Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Prof. Antonio Scopa for his important suggestions about the manuscript and for his help with the statistical analysis.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sofo
    • 1
  • B. Dichio
    • 1
  • G. Montanaro
    • 1
  • C. Xiloyannis
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze dei Sistemi Colturali, Forestali e dell’AmbienteUniversità degli Studi della BasilicataPotenzaItaly

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