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Water Use Efficiency in Plant Biology

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344 pages
This is the first volume to provide comprehensive coverage of the biology of water use efficiency at molecular, cellular, whole plant and community levels. While several works have included the phenomenon of water use efficiency, and others have concentrated on an agronomic framework, this book represents the first detailed treatment with a biological focus.


The volume sets out the definitions applicable to water use efficiency, the fundamental physiology and biochemistry governing the efficiency of carbon vs water loss, the environmental regulation of this process and the detailed physiological basis by which the plant exerts control over such efficiency. It is aimed at researchers and professionals in plant physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology and agriculture. It will also inform those involved in formulating research and development policy in this topic around the world.

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Contents
Contributors Preface
1 Water use efficiency in plant biology MARK A. BACON
1.1 Introduction 1.1.1 The global perspective 1.1.2 Definition of water use efficiency 1.1.3 Historical perspective 1.2 Carbon metabolism and WUE 1.2.1 WUE and the regulation of assimilation 1.2.2 Photosynthetic biochemistries and WUE 1.2.3 Isotope discrimination and WUE 1.3 Stomata and WUE 1.4 Leaf growth and WUE 1.5 Roots, hydraulic conductivity and WUE 1.6 Uncovering the genetic basis to WUE 1.7 Adaptations to drought and water use efficiency 1.8 Phenology, the environment and agronomy 1.9 Delivering enhanced WUE into agriculture and horticulture 1.9.1 Drysdale Wheat 1.9.2 Partial rootzone drying 1.10 Summary References
2 What is water use efficiency? HAMLYN JONES
2.1 2.2 2.3
Introduction Drought tolerance and the importance of water use efficiency Definitions of water use efficiency 2.3.1 Intrinsic water use efficiency 2.3.2 Instantaneous versus integral water use efficiency
xi xiii
1
1 1 2 2 4 4 4 6 9 11 12 15 17 18 19 19 20 22 22
27
27 27 29 30 31
vi
3
4
CONTENTS
2.4 Variability in WUE 2.5 Gas exchange 2.5.1 Plant-atmosphere coupling 2.5.2 Integration over time 2.6 Methodology 2.7 Water use efficiency and productivity References
Water use efficiency and photosynthesis  M.M. CHAVES, J. OSO RIO and J.S. PEREIRA
31 34 35 36 37 39 40
42
3.1 Introduction 42 3.2 The carbon compromise 43 3.3 Genetic and environmental constraints toA,gs,gwand WUE 45 3.4 WUE in plants growing under elevated CO2in the atmosphere 50 3.5 Trade-offs in resource use efficiencies ± nitrogen, radiation and water 51 3.5.1 Trade-offs 53 3.5.2 A case study 57 3.6 Patterns of carbon to water balance in natural vegetation 60 3.6.1 Using isotope discrimination to study WUE 60 3.6.2 Differences in WUE between plant functional types 62 3.6.3 WUE along environmental gradients 64 References 66
Water use efficiency and chemical signalling SALLY WILKINSON
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
Introduction 4.1.1 Definitions 4.1.2 Background to chemical signalling Abscisic acid and xylem sap pH as signals of soil water and nutrient availability 4.2.1 Effects of ABA in plants 4.2.2 How the ABA/pH signal works 4.2.3 Evidence for the pH signal 4.2.4 pH as a signal controlling fruit growth 4.2.5 pH as a signal of soil flooding 4.2.6 Proposed mechanisms for the pH change 4.2.7 ABA-conjugates Abscisic acid and xylem sap pH as signals of changes in the aerial environment Other chemical regulators (cytokinins, ethylene and nitrate) 4.4.1 ACC and ethylene
75
75 75 77
80 80 81 85 87 88 90 93
94 98 98
5
6
7
CONTENTS
4.4.2 Nitrate 4.4.3 Cytokinins 4.5 Factors affecting stomatal responses to chemical signals 4.6 Conclusions References
Physiological approaches to enhance water use efficiency in agriculture: exploiting plant signalling in novel irrigation practice B.R. LOVEYS, M. STOLL and W.J. DAVIES
5.1 Introduction 5.2 Understanding the ways in which WUE can be influenced 5.2.1 Stomatal regulation of gas exchange 5.2.2 Regulation of plant development and functioning 5.3 Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI) and Partial Rootzone Drying (PRD) Irrigation 5.3.1 Regulated Deficit Irrigation 5.3.2 Partial Rootzone Drying Acknowledgements References
Agronomic approaches to increasing water use efficiency PETER J. GREGORY
6.1 Summary 6.2 Introduction 6.3 Agronomic definitions of water use efficiency 6.4 Crop and genotype influences on transpiration efficiency 6.5 Management of water in rainfed crop production 6.5.1 Increasing T relative to other losses 6.5.2 Increasing the total water supply 6.6 Management of water in irrigated crop production 6.7 Interactions between soils, climate and crop management 6.8 WUE and trade-off issues in a wider context References
Plant nutrition and water use efficiency JOHN A. RAVEN, LINDA L. HANDLEY and BERND WOLLENWEBER
7.1 7.2
Introduction Defining the status of nutrient elements used by plants
vii
102 103 104 107 107
113
113 115 115 116
122 122 125 138 138
142
142 142 143 145 149 151 156 159 161 164 167
171
171 171
viii
8
CONTENTS
7.2.1 The nutrient elements 7.2.2 Sources on nutrient elements: spatial aspects 7.2.3 Sources of nutrient elements: speciation 7.2.4 Sources of nutrient elements: deficiency and excess 7.3 The observed effects on water use efficiency of nutrient element deficiency and excess and variation in nutrient element source 7.3.1 Methodological considerations 7.3.2 Observations 7.4 Water use efficiency and nutrient availability to (and content in) the plant: mechanistic considerations 7.4.1 Does nutrient content relate to water use efficiency via effects of water influx on solute influx from the soil solution? 7.4.2 Stomatal conductance 7.4.3 Biochemical capacity for photosynthesis 7.4.4 Xylem conductance 7.4.5 Organic carbon loss 7.4.6 Inorganic carbon loss 7.5 The effect of interactions among organisms on nutrition and on water use efficiency 7.5.1 Symbioses 7.5.2 Populations 7.5.3 Communities 7.5.4 Agriculture 7.6 Conclusions Acknowledgements References
Crop yield and water use efficiency: a case study in rice JIANHUA ZHANG and JIANCHANG YANG
8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4
8.5 8.6
8.7
8.8
Water shortage in crop production: a growing crisis Water-saving cultivation of rice: problems and possibilities A trade-off between grain yield and WUE? Grain filling: concurrent photosynthesis and remobilization of pre-stored carbon Problems in grain filling Controlled soil drying to promote whole plant senescence at grain filling Plant hormones and key enzymes in the enhanced remobilization of pre-stored reserve Conclusions
171 173 173 175
175 175 176
179
179 181 182 183 183 184
184 184 187 187 188 189 190 190
198
198 199 203
204 205
206
218 222
9
10
Acknowledgement References
CONTENTS
Molecular approaches to unravel the genetic basis of water use efficiency ROBERTO TUBEROSA
9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7
Introduction Target traits influencing WUE 9.2.1 Carbon isotope discrimination 9.2.2 Stomatal conductance 9.2.3 Canopy temperature 9.2.4 Abscisic acid 9.2.5 Water potential and relative water content of the leaf 9.2.6 Osmotic adjustment 9.2.7 Root traits 9.2.8 Early vigour and flowering time QTLs for WUE and related traits in crops 9.3.1 The QTL approach: where genetics, crop physiology and breeding meet 9.3.2 Case studies in dicots 9.3.3 Case studies in cereals What can we learn through the `omics' approach? 9.4.1 Transcripome analysis 9.4.2 Proteomics and metabolomics From QTLs to genes for WUE and related traits 9.5.1 Positional cloning 9.5.2 The candidate gene approach Conventional and molecular approaches to improve WUE and drought tolerance 9.6.1 Empirical vs. analytical breeding 9.6.2 Marker-assisted selection 9.6.3 Genetic engineering Conclusions References
Water use efficiency in the farmers' fields JOHN PASSIOURA
10.1 Introduction 10.2 WUE on farm 10.3 Accessing more of the water supply
ix
223 223
228
228 229 231 232 234 234 236 236 237 238 240
240 244 247 256 257 260 263 264 264
267 268 269 273 279 282
302
302 303 307
x
CONTENTS
10.3.1 Canopy development to reduce evaporative losses from the soil 10.3.2 Reducing losses of water by deep drainage 10.4 Improving transpiration efficiency, the exchange of water for CO2 10.5 Converting biomass into grain 10.5.1 Adapting phenology to environment 10.5.2 Effects of drought on fertility 10.5.3 Mobilising pre-anthesis reserves during grain filling 10.6 The impact of spatial variability 10.7 Concluding comments Acknowledgements References
Index
307 310
312 313 313 315 316 317 317 318 318
322