ATMOSPHERIC-POLLUTION AND THE SENSITIVITY OF STOMATA ON BARLEY LEAVES TO ABSCISIC-ACID AND CARBON-DIOXIDE

CJ ATKINSON, Philip Wookey, TA MANSFIELD

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    Abstract

    Spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Klaxon) plants were exposed to mixtures of SO2 + NO2 (at concentrations of 24-35 nl l-1 of each gas, depending upon fumigation system), or to charcoal-filtered, or unfiltered ambient air during the period in which the second, and subsequent, leaves were emerging. The ability of individual detached leaves to regulate water loss was then examined after terminating the pollutant treatment.

    Observations of diurnal changes in stomatal resistance of well-watered plants, using a viscous flow porometer, failed to indicate any major alterations which could be attributed to prior exposure to SO2 + NO2. By contrast, when an ABA solution (10(-1) mol m-3) was applied to detached leaves, the stomata of polluted plants were less responsive than plants previously exposed to control air. The dynamics of the observed responses strongly implicated impaired physiology of the guard cells rather than mechanical changes in the epidermis that might, for example, result from damage to the cuticle. Stomatal closure was considerably slower in polluted leaves compared with the controls. This decline in responsiveness to ABA was observed using leaves excised from well-watered plants and in the absence of any externally visible injury.

    The ability of stomata to respond to a range of CO2 concentrations from 195-735-mu-mol mol-1 was also examined using individual leaves, attached to the plant, in an environmentally controlled cuvette. Here the stomata of leaves which had been fumigated with SO2 + NO2 behaved in a similar manner to the non-fumigated leaves, both showing closure in elevated CO2 concentrations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)535-541
    Number of pages7
    JournalNew Phytologist
    Volume117
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1991

    Keywords

    • SULFUR DIOXIDE
    • NITROGEN DIOXIDE
    • HORDEUM-VULGARE (BARLEY)
    • STOMATA
    • ABSCISIC ACID
    • NITROGEN-DIOXIDE
    • SULFUR-DIOXIDE
    • WHEAT LEAVES
    • SO2
    • NO2
    • CONDUCTANCE
    • FUMIGATION
    • SYSTEM
    • PLANTS

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