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Physiol Plant. 2007 Nov;131(3):422-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2007.00973.x.

Linking leaf chlorophyll fluorescence properties to physiological responses for detection of salt and drought stress in coastal plant species.

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Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA.


Effects of salinity and drought on physiology and chlorophyll fluorescence were used to evaluate stress in two coastal plants, Myrica cerifera (L.) and Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. Drought and salinity stress were induced and measurements of stomatal conductance, photosynthesis, xylem pressure potential (psi) and fluorescence were conducted following treatment. The onset of stress began at 2 g l(-1) for M. cerifera, and 5 g l(-1) for P. australis, as seen by significant decreases in physiological measurements. Despite the physiological effects of salinity, there was no significant difference in dark-adapted fluorescence (F(v)/F(m), where F(m) is the maximal fluorescence in dark-adapted leaves) for either species at any salinity level. Significant decreases in the light-adapted measurement Delta F/F'(m) (F'(m) is maximal fluorescence in light-adapted leaves) occurred at 10 g l(-1) in M. cerifera and P. australis, days before visible stress was evident. The quantum yield of xanthophyll-regulated thermal energy dissipation (Phi(NPQ), where NPQ is non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence) increased with decreasing Delta F/F'(m). Drought studies showed similar results, with significant decreases in physiological measurements occurring by day 2 in M. cerifera and day 4 in P. australis. Differences in Delta F/F'(m) were seen by day 5 for both species, whereas F(v)/F(m) showed no indication of stress, despite apparent visible signs. Xanthophyll-cycle-dependent energy dissipation may be the underlying mechanism in protecting photosystem II from excess energy in salinity- and drought-treated plants.

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