Sensitivity of fast chlorophyll fluorescence parameters to combined heat and drought stress in wheat genotypes

Barboričová M., Filaček A., Mlynáriková Vysoká D., Gašparovič K., Živčák M., Brestič M. (2022): Sensitivity of fast chlorophyll fluorescence parameters to combined heat and drought stress in wheat genotypes. Plant Soil Environ., 68: 309–316.

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This study aimed to characterise the specific phenotypic responses and the sensitivity of photosynthetic parameters to progressive drought in modern wheat genotypes. In pot experiments, we tested eight wheat genotypes (Triticum sp.) that differed in ploidy level and country of origin. Water stress was simulated by the restriction of irrigation, which led to a decreased leaf relative water content of up to 70%. During gradual dehydration, changes in the structure and function of photosystem II (PSII) were analysed using the fluorescence parameters derived from fast fluorescence kinetics (OJIP transient). The results indicated that a group of JIP test-based parameters demonstrated sensitivity to drought, including genotype-specific responses. Severe drought stress led to a decrease in the photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm), a reduction in the number of active PSII reaction centers (RC/ABS) and a decrease in parameters, indicating overall photochemical performance at the PSII level (performance indices PIabs and PItot). These findings demonstrate that the approaches used in our experiments were useful and reliable in monitoring the physiological responses of individual varieties of wheat exposed to stress conditions, and they have application potential as selection criteria in crop breeding. The contribution of the high-temperature effects on the photochemical responses under water deficit conditions is also discussed.

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