The growth rate of the first leaf of eight-day-old wheat plants was measured using a DLT-2 highly sensitive linear displacement transducer. Leaf extensibility was evaluated from the growth rate under the increase in the pulling force by 2 g. An increase in the air temperature resulted in the doubling of the transpiration rate and immediate slowing of the leaf growth followed by the leaf shrinkage. However, growth was later resumed almost completely. Heat treatment did not induce any changes in the leaf extensibility, indicating that cell-wall mechanical properties were not changed. Growth retardation was supposed to result from a decrease in the water content in the leaf tissues because the balance between water influx from roots and its loss through transpiration was shifted toward the water loss. An initial drop in the relative water content (RWC) indicates such a misbalance. Subsequent growth resumption coincided with a decreased water deficiency. Since the rate of transpiration was not reduced, RWC and growth rate restoring evidently occurred due to the activated water uptake by roots, which can be explained by the increased hydraulic permeability detected in our experiments.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2004
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