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Keywords:

  • Gossypium hirsutum;
  • abscisic acid;
  • carbon-13;
  • organic oxygen;
  • oxygen-18;
  • relative humidity

ABSTRACT

Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. cv. CS50) plants were grown at two levels of relative humidity (RH) and sprayed daily with abscisic acid (ABA) at four concentrations. Plants grown at lower humidity had higher transpiration rates, lower leaf temperatures and lower stomatal conductance. Plant biomass was also reduced at low humidity. Within each humidity environment, increasing ABA concentration generally reduced stomatal conductance, evaporation rates, superficial leaf density and plant biomass, and increased leaf temperature and specific leaf area. As expected, decreased stomatal conductance resulted in decreased carbon isotope discrimination in leaf material (Δ13Cl). Plants grown at low humidity were more enriched in 18O than those grown at high RH, as theory predicts. Within each humidity environment, increasing ABA concentration increased oxygen isotope enrichment of leaf cellulose (Δ18Oc) and whole-leaf tissue (Δ18Ol). Values of Δ13Cl and Δ18Ol predicted by theoretical models were close to those observed, accounting for 79% of the measured variation in Δ13Cl and 95% of the measured variation in Δ18Ol. Supporting theory, Δ13Cl and Δ18Ol in whole-leaf tissue were negatively related.