Grapevine acclimation to water deficit: the adjustment of stomatal and hydraulic conductance differs from petiole embolism vulnerabilityReport as inadecuate

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, Volume 245, Issue 6, pp 1091–1104

First Online: 18 February 2017Received: 11 January 2017Accepted: 06 February 2017DOI: 10.1007-s00425-017-2662-3

Cite this article as: Hochberg, U., Bonel, A.G., David-Schwartz, R. et al. Planta 2017 245: 1091. doi:10.1007-s00425-017-2662-3


Main conclusion Drought-acclimated vines maintained higher gas exchange compared to irrigated controls under water deficit; this effect is associated with modified leaf turgor but not with improved petiole vulnerability to cavitation.

A key feature for the prosperity of plants under changing environments is the plasticity of their hydraulic system. In the present research we studied the hydraulic regulation in grapevines Vitis vinifera L. that were first acclimated for 39 days to well-watered WW, sustained water deficit SD, or transient—cycles of dehydration–rehydration—water deficit TD conditions, and then subjected to varying degrees of drought. Vine development under SD led to the smallest leaves and petioles, but the TD vines had the smallest mean xylem vessel and calculated specific conductivity kts. Unexpectedly, both the water deficit acclimation treatments resulted in vines more vulnerable to cavitation in comparison to WW, possibly as a result of developmental differences or cavitation fatigue. When exposed to drought, the SD vines maintained the highest stomatal gs and leaf conductance kleaf under low stem water potential Ψs, despite their high xylem vulnerability and in agreement with their lower turgor loss point ΨTLP. These findings suggest that the down-regulation of kleaf and gs is not associated with embolism, and the ability of drought-acclimated vines to maintain hydraulic conductance and gas exchange under stressed conditions is more likely associated with the leaf turgor and membrane permeability.

KeywordsDrought acclimation Osmotic adjustment Turgor Vulnerability to cavitation Water stress Xylem architecture AbbreviationsDOEDay after the initiation of the irrigation experiment

gsStomatal conductance

kleafLeaf hydraulic conductance specific to leaf area

kplantWhole plant hydraulic conductance specific to leaf area

ktPetiole theoretical hydraulic conductivity

ktsPetiole theoretical specific hydraulic conductivity

PLCPercentage loss of conductivity

SDSustained water deficit

TDTransient water deficit

VCXylem vulnerability curve


θSoil water content

ΨWater potential l, leaf; s, stem

ΨTLPTurgor loss point

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1007-s00425-017-2662-3 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Author: Uri Hochberg - Andrea Giulia Bonel - Rakefet David-Schwartz - Asfaw Degu - Aaron Fait - Hervé Cochard - Enrico Peterlunge


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