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Plant Physiol. 1988 Sep;88(1):213-7.

Stable Carbon Isotope Composition (deltaC), Water Use Efficiency, and Biomass Productivity of Lycopersicon esculentum, Lycopersicon pennellii, and the F(1) Hybrid.

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Native Plants Inc., 417 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108.


Three tomatoes, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv UC82B, a droughttolerant wild related species, Lycopersicon pennellii (Cor.) D'Arcy, and their F(1) hybrid, were grown in containers maintained at three levels of soil moisture. Season-long water use was obtained by summing over the season daily weight losses of each container corrected for soil evaporation. Plant biomass was determined by harvesting and weighing entire dried plants. Season-long water use efficiency (gram dry weight/kilogram H(2)O) was calculated by dividing the dry biomass by the season-long water use. The season-long water use efficiency was greatest in the wild parent, poorest in the domestic parent, and intermediate (but closer to the wild parent) in the F(1) hybrid. Instantaneous water-use efficiency (micromole CO(2)/millimole H(2)O) determined by gas exchange measurements on individual leaves was poorly correlated with season-long water use efficiency. However, the relative abundance of stable carbon isotopes of leaf tissue samples was strongly correlated with the season-long water use efficiency. Also, the isotopic composition and the season-long water use efficiency of each genotype alone were strongly negatively correlated with plant dry weight when the dry weight varied as a function of soil moisture.

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