Meristem temperature substantially deviates from air temperature, even in moderate environments: Is the magnitude of this deviation species-specific?

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Abstract

Meristem temperature (Tmeristem) drives plant development but is hardly ever quantified. Instead, air temperature (Tair) is usually used as its approximation. Meristems are enclosed within apical buds. Bud structure and function may differ across species. Therefore, Tmeristem may deviate from Tair in a species-specific way. Environmental variables (air temperature, vapour pressure deficit, radiation, and wind speed) were systematically varied to quantify the response of Tmeristem. This response was related to observations of bud structure and transpiration. Tomato and cucumber plants were used as model plants as they are morphologically distinct and usually growing in similar environments. Tmeristem substantially deviated from Tair in a species-specific manner under moderate environments. This deviation ranged between -2.6 and 3.8¿°C in tomato and between -4.1 and 3.0¿°C in cucumber. The lower Tmeristem observed in cucumber was linked with the higher transpiration of the bud foliage sheltering the meristem when compared with tomato plants. We here indicate that for properly linking growth and development of plants to temperature in future applications, for instance in climate change scenarios studies, Tmeristem should be used instead of Tair, as a species-specific trait highly reliant on various environmental factors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1950-1960
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • shoot-tip temperature
  • climate-change
  • leaf development
  • effective thickness
  • light interception
  • boundary-layers
  • heat-transfer
  • crop yields
  • maize apex
  • plant

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