Comparative Functioning of Photosynthetic Apparatus and Leaf Water Potential in Zygophyllum eurypterum (Boiss & Bushe) During Phenological Phases and Summer Drought

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Department of desert control and management

Abstract

Background: In arid regions, seasons are often marked by differences in rainfall, with life-history events, along with phenological stages. Materials and Methods: Three phenological phases were distinguished as vegetative phase (VP), flowering phase (FP) and seeding phase (SP). Chlorophyll fluorescence parameters (Chl. FPs) such as maximum quantum yield of PSII photochemistry (Fv/Fm), photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (ΦPSII), effective quantum yield (Fv'/Fm'), photochemical dissipation of absorbed energy (qP) and non-photochemical dissipation of the absorbed energy (NPQ) along with pigment contents and predawn leaf water potential (ΨL) were determined. Results:All Chl. FPs changed along drought stress gradient and phenological phases, with significant changes at SP. Discussion: A significant change in the mentioned parameters explains the happening of severe photoinhibition because of photo-inactivation of the PSII reaction centers, or expresses thermal dispersion from the antenna pigment-protein compound. A remarkable alteration in pigment content was noticed at the SP. Decrease in the chlorophyll content under drought stress can be due to a reduction in synthesis of pigment complexes encoded by the cab gene family or destruction of light harvesting chlorophyll ‘a’ or ‘b’ pigment protein systems. Conclusions: we can say that Z. eurypterumcan protects the PSII reaction center from damage at the middle stage of drought stress (end of July) and can be qualified as a drought tolerant species.

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