Stem stomata of the wild almond, Prunus arabica, regulate stem photosynthesis in response to different environmental stimuli
World population is estimated to reach 9.5 billion by the year 2050, and accordingly the demand for food production. Due to climate change, plant-based food production faces changes in environmental conditions, including elevation of the atmospheric [CO2] and increase in global temperatures. Identifying and integrating traits contributing to plant resilience, growth, and productivity under harsh environmental conditions is in great demand. Almonds are one of the most important crops in the world. The need for almonds is growing, and consequently, the almond industry is expanding across the globe. Prunus arabica is a wild almond species native to the Fertile Crescent Mountains (including Israel). Unlike the commercial almond species Prunus dulcis, its stomatous stems remain green for several years, assimilating a considerable amount of CO2. This distinctive trait, termed stem photosynthetic capability (SPC), was previously characterized and genetically mapped in the almond genome. Stomatal conductance regulation has been intensely studied in leaves, yet very little is known about stomatal responses in stems to different stimuli. We tested P. arabica stems under various environmental conditions, known as stomatal ques in leaves. Our results confirm that P. arabica stems possess fully functional stomata that respond to CO2 shifts, light, and temperature changes. The unique SPC trait of P. arabica may be beneficial and further used in almond breeding programs. Additional research is being conducted to test SPCs contribution to plant resilience, growth, and productivity in the face of climate change.
Trainin, T., Brukental, H., Shapira, O., Attia, Z., Tiwari, V., Charuvi, D., Holland, D. and Azoulay-Shemer, T. (2023). Stem stomata of the wild almond, Prunus arabica, regulate stem photosynthesis in response to different environmental stimuli. Acta Hortic. 1372, 331-338
CO2, light, temperature, climate, conductance, transpiration