FOLIAR ATTRIBUTES CONTRIBUTING TO DROUGHT STRESS TOLERANCE IN FRAGARIA SPECIES
During plant water stress, when stomate are closed, a major pathway for foliar water loss is through the leaf cuticle. Intraspecific variability in cuticular conductance has been related to droght stress tolerance in some species. Considering the diverse foliar morphology among and within Fragaria species, cuticular conductance may contribute to divergent drought tolerance traits. To ascertain whether cuticular conductance varies in Fragaria species, foliar dehydration studies were performed with excised leaves of F. chiloensis and F. virginiana clones from diverse native habitats. During a 24 hr foliar dehydration period, a 2- to 3-fold range of cuticular conductance rates, as mg water lost per cm2 leaf area and total % water loss, were observed among selections of both species. Total chloroform-extractable lipids from the leaf surface, as μg/cm2, were generally higher for F. chiloensis clones than F. virginiana clones. Cuticular conductance was not solely a function of cuticle thickness as the amount of extractable lipid was correlated to total % water loss but not mg water/cm2 loss across all selections. Thus, cuticular conductance may be a function of more than just cuticular thickness in Fragaria.
Archbold, D. D. (1993). FOLIAR ATTRIBUTES CONTRIBUTING TO DROUGHT STRESS TOLERANCE IN FRAGARIA SPECIES. Acta Hortic. 348, 347-350