Transpirational Leaf Cooling Effect Did Not Contribute Equally to Biomass Retention in Wheat Genotypes under High Temperature

Helen Bramley, S. R.W.M.Chandima J.K. Ranawana, Jairo A. Palta, Katia Stefanova, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


High temperature and water deficit are the most critical yield-limiting environmental factors for wheat in rainfed environments. It is important to understand the heat avoidance mechanisms and their associations with leaf morpho-physiological traits that allow crops to stay cool and retain high biomass under warm and dry conditions. We examined 20 morpho-physiologically diverse wheat genotypes under ambient and elevated temperatures (Tair) to investigate whether increased water use leads to high biomass retention due to increased leaf cooling. An experiment was conducted under well-watered conditions in two partially controlled glasshouses. We measured plant transpiration (Tr), leaf temperature (Tleaf), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and associated leaf morpho-physiological characteristics. High water use and leaf cooling increased biomass retention under high temperatures, but increased use did not always increase biomass retention. Some genotypes maintained biomass, irrespective of water use, possibly through mechanisms other than leaf cooling, indicating their adaptation under water shortage. Genotypic differences in leaf cooling capacity did not always correlate with Tr (VPD) response. In summary, the contribution of high water use or the leaf cooling effect on biomass retention under high temperature is genotype-dependent and possibly due to variations in leaf morpho-physiological traits. These findings are useful for breeding programs to develop climate resilient wheat cultivars.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2174
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


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