Maize seedlings were flooded for periods from 1 to 15 days, and the leaves of different ages were then taken to examine photosynthesis, dark respiration, transpiration, chlorophyll content, and some morphometric parameters. The responses of leaves to root submergence essentially depended on the leaf layer and the treatment duration. A short-term flooding (1–24 h) induced primary stress responses in the first leaf. Photosynthesis and respiration in this leaf oscillated around the control levels with amplitudes of ±15–25% and ±40–60%, respectively. After a longer flooding, the CO2 exchange in the second leaf was suppressed, while oxygen uptake was stimulated. In the third leaf, which was formed during submergence, the photosynthetic rate increased and the respiratory activity decreased. The transpiration rate did not change in these leaves for 15 days of flooding. The hypoxic treatment, at its early stages, retarded growth and disturbed the source–sink relations. At later stages the plants adapted to hypoxic environment: the seedling growth was restored, which elevated the demand for assimilates and stimulated photosynthesis. It is concluded that plants overcome negative impact of the root hypoxia at the systemic level.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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