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Chilling stress response of postemergent cotton seedlings
Gossypium/growth & development/*physiology
Early season development of cotton is often impaired by sudden episodes of chilling temperature. We determined the chilling response specific to postemergent 13-day-old cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. cv. Coker 100A-glandless) seedlings. Seedlings were gradually chilled during the dark period and rewarmed during the night-to-day transition. For some chilled plants, the soil temperature was maintained at control level. Plant growth, water relations and net photosynthesis (P(n)) were analyzed after one or three chilling cycles and after 3 days of recovery. Three chilling cycles led to lower relative growth rate (RGR) compared with controls during the recovery period, especially for plants with chilled shoots and roots. Treatment differences in RGR were associated with net assimilation rate rather than specific leaf area. Both chilling treatments led to loss of leaf turgor during the night-to-day transition; this effect was greater for plants with chilled compared with warm roots. Chilling-induced water stress was associated with accumulation of the osmolyte glycine betaine to the same extent for both chilling treatments. Inhibition of P(n) during chilling was related to both stomatal and non-stomatal effects. P(n) fully recovered after seedlings were returned to control conditions for 3 days. We conclude that leaf expansion during the night-to-day transition was a significant factor determining the magnitude of the chilling response of postemergent cotton seedlings.
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