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A multidisciplinary approach to understand the water relations and signaling of citrus under water deficit

Grant number: 11/22383-3
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2012 - November 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Rafael Vasconcelos Ribeiro
Grantee:Rafael Vasconcelos Ribeiro
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Adriana Hissae Hayashi ; Eduardo Caruso Machado ; Erick Espinoza Nuñez


The climatic variations will cause drought in cultivated areas, reducing the crop yield and affecting the food security of millions of people around the World. Research devoted to understand the crop physiology under water deficit is useful for plant breeding and also to guide researches on transgenic plants. At the beginning of water deficit, plant roots produce signals for stomatal closing, avoiding excessive water loss. Plant signaling is a promising research theme when considering the water use efficiency. This research has as aim to evaluate the role of chemical and hydraulic signals on citrus tolerance to drought. Two experiments will be carried out: firstly, seedlings of 'Valencia' sweet orange, 'Rangpur' lime or 'Swingle' citrumelo plants will grow in pots with the root system divided two fractions, where one fraction will be subjected to water deficit and the other will be irrigated; secondly, 'Valencia' sweet orange plants grafted on 'Rangpur' lime and also on 'Swingle' citrumelo rootstocks (plants with two root systems) will be subjected to water deficit, maintaining one root system well-hydrated. Evaluations of plant water relations, gas exchange, plant hydraulic conductance, growth, abscisic acid concentration in xylem and leaves, xylem pH, sap flow, aquaporin activity and resistance to cavitation will be done, as well as the anatomical study of leaves and roots for a better understanding of plant strategies under water deficit. (AU)