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Plants 2016, 5(4), 44; doi:10.3390/plants5040044

Variation among Soybean Cultivars in Mesophyll Conductance and Leaf Water Use Efficiency

USDA-ARS, Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
Academic Editors: Masayuki Fujita and Milan S. Stankovic
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 11 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Environmental Stress Responses of Plants)
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Abstract

Improving water use efficiency (WUE) may prove a useful way to adapt crop species to drought. Since the recognition of the importance of mesophyll conductance to CO2 movement from inside stomatal pores to the sites of photosynthetic carboxylation, there has been interest in how much intraspecific variation in mesophyll conductance (gm) exists, and how such variation may impact leaf WUE within C3 species. In this study, the gm and leaf WUE of fifteen cultivars of soybeans grown under controlled conditions were measured under standardized environmental conditions. Leaf WUE varied by a factor of 2.6 among the cultivars, and gm varied by a factor of 8.6. However, there was no significant correlation (r = −0.047) between gm and leaf WUE. Leaf WUE was linearly related to the sub-stomatal CO2 concentration. The value of gm affected the ratio of maximum Rubisco carboxylation capacity calculated from the sub-stomatal CO2 concentration to that calculated from the CO2 concentration at the site of carboxylation. That is, variation in gm affected the efficiency of Rubisco carboxylation, but not leaf WUE. Nevertheless, there is considerable scope for genetically improving soybean leaf water use efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: soybean; water use efficiency; mesophyll conductance; stomatal conductance; internal CO2 concentration; photosynthesis soybean; water use efficiency; mesophyll conductance; stomatal conductance; internal CO2 concentration; photosynthesis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bunce, J. Variation among Soybean Cultivars in Mesophyll Conductance and Leaf Water Use Efficiency. Plants 2016, 5, 44.

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