Water-use efficiency (WUE) is often considered an important determinant of yield under stress and even as a component of crop drought resistance. It has been used to imply that rainfed plant production can be increased per unit water used, resulting in “more crop per drop”. This opinionated review argues that selection for high WUE in breeding for water-limited conditions will most likely lead, under most conditions, to reduced yield and reduced drought resistance. As long as the biochemistry of photosynthesis cannot be improved genetically, greater genotypic transpiration efficiency (TE) and WUE are driven mainly by plant traits that reduce transpiration and crop water-use, processes which are crucially important for plant production. Since biomass production is tightly linked to transpiration, breeding for maximized soil moisture capture for transpiration is the most important target for yield improvement under drought stress. Effective use of water (EUW) implies maximal soil moisture capture for transpiration which also involves reduced non-stomatal transpiration and minimal water loss by soil evaporation. Even osmotic adjustment which is a major stress adaptive trait in crop plants is recognized as enhancing soil moisture capture and transpiration. High harvest index (HI) expresses successful plant reproduction and yield in terms of reproductive functions and assimilate partitioning towards reproduction. In most rainfed environments crop water deficit develops during the reproductive growth stage thus reducing HI. EUW by way of improving plant water status helps sustain assimilate partitions and reproductive success. It is concluded that EUW is a major target for yield improvement in water-limited environments. It is not a coincidence that EUW is an inverse acronym of WUE because very often high WUE is achieved at the expense of reduced EUW.
Field Crops Research – Elsevier
Published: Jun 26, 2009
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera