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Can Reduced Irrigation Mitigate Ozone Impacts on an Ozone-Sensitive African Wheat Variety?

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, UK
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Plants 2019, 8(7), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8070220
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ozone Tolerance Mechanisms)
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Abstract

Ground-level ozone (O3) pollution is known to adversely affect the production of O3-sensitive crops such as wheat. The magnitude of impact is dependent on the accumulated stomatal flux of O3 into the leaves. In well-irrigated plants, the leaf pores (stomata) tend to be wide open, which stimulates the stomatal flux and therefore the adverse impact of O3 on yield. To test whether reduced irrigation might mitigate O3 impacts on flag leaf photosynthesis and yield parameters, we exposed an O3-sensitive Kenyan wheat variety to peak concentrations of 30 and 80 ppb O3 for four weeks in solardomes and applied three irrigation regimes (well-watered, frequent deficit, and infrequent deficit irrigation) during the flowering and grain filling stage. Reduced irrigation stimulated 1000-grain weight and harvest index by 33% and 13%, respectively (when O3 treatments were pooled), which compensated for the O3-induced reductions observed in well-watered plants. Whilst full irrigation accelerated the O3-induced reduction in photosynthesis by a week, such an effect was not observed for the chlorophyll content index of the flag leaf. Further studies under field conditions are required to test whether reduced irrigation can be applied as a management tool to mitigate adverse impacts of O3 on wheat yield. View Full-Text
Keywords: ozone pollution; irrigation; wheat; photosynthesis; stomatal conductance; chlorophyll; crop yield; 1000-grain weight; harvest index ozone pollution; irrigation; wheat; photosynthesis; stomatal conductance; chlorophyll; crop yield; 1000-grain weight; harvest index
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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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Harmens, H.; Hayes, F.; Sharps, K.; Radbourne, A.; Mills, G. Can Reduced Irrigation Mitigate Ozone Impacts on an Ozone-Sensitive African Wheat Variety? Plants 2019, 8, 220.

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