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Effects OF Drought (Water Stress) On Growth And Photosynthetic Capacity Of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)

Fernández-Conde, M.E1.; de la Haba1, P.; González-Fontes1, A.; Maldonado, J.M2.

(1Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Universidad de Córdoba, Spain; 2Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain)


Contact Person: María Elena Fernández-Conde (


The photosynthetic response of cotton to water stress as well as several parameters of growth were studied in hydroponic cultures in order to know the most sensitive developmental stage of cotton plants to water stress (drought). Germination was considerably affected by water stress as well as the development and morphology of cotton plants. The growth parameters studied (dry weight, leaf area, specific leaf area and relative growth rate) decreased during the periods studied proportionally to the level of stress. The inhibition of relative growth rate by drought seems to be due, mainly, to a diminution of leaf area rate. Water stress decreased leaf processes such as transpiration, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate. However, photosynthetic rate was more affected than transpiration and, therefore, water use efficiency decreased with water stress. Photosynthetic pigments were also decreased in plants under water stress. Hence, stomatal and non-stomatal responses might be involved in the decrease of photosynthetic rate and productivity of cotton.


Poster Number PAfernández-conde0711

Keywords: Gossypium hirsutum, water stress, drought, growth, photosynthesis, cotton

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