|Title||Stomatal response characteristics as affected by long-term elevated humidity levels|
|Source||Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Olaf van Kooten, co-promotor(en): Ep Heuvelink; Susana Pinto de Carvalho. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461730015 - 169|
Horticultural Supply Chains
|Publication type||Dissertation, internally prepared|
|Keyword(s)||huidmondjes - vochtigheid - tuinbouw - vaasleven - plantenfysiologie - abscisinezuur - cuticula bij planten - plantenanatomie - rosa - stomata - humidity - horticulture - vase life - plant physiology - abscisic acid - plant cuticle - plant anatomy - rosa|
Restriction of leaf water loss, by stomatal closure, is decisive for plant survival, especially under conditions of water deficit. This sensitivity of stomata to low water potential is attenuated by high relative air humidity (RH ≥ 85%) during growth, which impedes the plant’s ability to survive when subsequently exposed to lower humidities due to a negative water balance. This thesis focuses on the extent of the existing variation and the reasons underlying cultivar differences in their tolerance to high RH, as well as the rate and reversibility of stomatal adaptation to elevated RH in the course of leaf ontogeny.
Cut rose was used as a model plant. An experiment on the postharvest water relations of three contrasting cultivars in their sensitivity to high RH showed that the sensitive cultivar (i.e. steepest decrease in the cut flower longevity) underwent a higher increase in the water loss compared to the tolerant cultivars. Preventing vascular occlusion considerably extended the time to wilting in the sensitive cultivar grown at high RH, showing that the high rate of water loss, as a result of plant growth at high RH, can only be detrimental for keeping quality under limiting water uptake conditions. Further investigation showed a large genotypic variation in the regulation of water loss, as a result of leaf development at high RH, and stomatal closing capacity was the key element in this process. The degree to which the stomatal anatomical features were affected and the extent that their functionality was impaired were not correlated. However, higher stomatal density, longer pore length and depth contributed to the higher water loss of high RH-grown leaves (16–30% of the effect depending on the cultivar). Reciprocal change in RH showed that stomatal functioning was no longer affected by the RH level after full leaf expansion. However, expanding leaves were always able to partly adapt to the new RH level. For leaves that started expanding at high RH but completed their expansion after transfer to moderate RH, the earlier this switch took place the better the regulation of leaf water loss. This behaviour of expanding leaves experiencing a shift from high to moderate RH was related with the increasing population of stomata exceeding a critical stomatal length. Contrary to this, leaves initially expanding at moderate RH and transferred to high RH exhibited poor stomatal functioning, even when this transfer occurred very late during leaf expansion. This suggests that stomata at various developmental stages were similarly prone to loss of closing ability, when these had been exposed to high RH prior to full leaf expansion.
Key words: abscisic acid, cuticular permeability, heterogeneity, hydraulic conductivity, pore aperture, relative air humidity, Rosa hybrida, stomatal anatomy, stomatal conductance, stomatal growth, stomatal initiation, stomatal malfunctioning, stomatal population, stomatal proximity, vase life.