, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 288–298 | Cite as

Effect of drought stress on the photosynthesis of Acacia tortilis subsp. raddiana at the young seedling stage

  • S. Kebbas
  • S. Lutts
  • F. Aid
Original Papers


Water stress usually impairs photosynthesis and plant growth. Acacia tortilis subsp. raddiana is well adapted to dry environments. The aim of the present study was to determine the impact of a progressive decrease in soil water content on photosynthetic-related parameters at the young seedling stage. Drought-induced plant responses occurred according to two types of kinetics. Water potential, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rates were rapidly affected by a decrease in soil water content, while chlorophyll fluorescence-related parameters and chlorophyll concentrations decreased only when soil water content was lower than 40%. The maximal efficiency of PSII photochemistry in the dark-adapted state remained unaffected by the treatment, whatever the stress duration. A. raddiana accumulated high concentrations of soluble sugars in relation to a stress-induced early stimulation of sucrose-phosphate synthase activity, while stimulation of invertase and sucrose synthase led to fructose accumulation only at the end of the stress period. We suggested that sugar accumulation may be involved in osmotic adjustment and protection of stressed tissues. A. raddiana was thus able to protect its photosynthetic machinery under drought conditions and may be considered as a promising species for revegetation of dry areas.

Additional key words

gas exchange growth parameters stomata sugar metabolism water-use efficiency 





dry mass


instantaneous transpiration


density of epidermal pavement cells


electron transfer rate


the minimal fluorescence in the dark-adapted state


the maximal fluorescence in the dark-adapted state


fresh mass


stomatal conductance


leaf area


nonphotochemical quenching


net photosynthesis


photochemical quenching


relative water content


stomatal density


stomatal index


specific leaf area




sucrose synthase


soil water content


water-use efficiency


shoot water potential


shoot osmotic potential


actual PSII efficiency


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la VieUniversité Blida 1BlidaAlgeria
  2. 2.Groupe de Recherche en Physiologie Végétale, Earth and Life InstituteUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Equipe de Physiologie Végétale, LBPO, FSBUniversité des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari BoumedieneBab Ezzouar-AlgiersAlgeria

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