Responses of two field-grown coffee species to drought and re-hydration

Z.Q. Cai, Y.J. Chen, K.F. Cao

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The gas exchange, parameters of chlorophyll fluorescence, contents of pigments, and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), as well as lipid peroxidation were investigated in two field-grown coffee species, Coffea arabica and C. liberica, exposed to drought and re-hydration. Drought caused a more pronounced inhibition of net photosynthetic rate in C. liberica compared to C. arabica. The de-epoxidation of xanthophyll cycle pigments at midday estimated by leaf reflectance was much higher in C. arabica than in C. liberica, but no significant change was found in response to drought. Under moderate drought, the activities of SOD and APX increased significantly only in C. arabica. The maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem 2, PS2 (Fv/Fm) at predawn did not change and there was no lipid peroxidation during this time. Under severe drought Fv/Fm decreased and initial fluorescence (F0) increased for both species, and SOD activity increased, APX activity remained relatively high, and malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulated in C. arabica, while APX decreased in C. liberica. The photosynthetic apparatus of C. arabica was completely recovered after 5 d of re-irrigation as indicated by the restoration of Fv/Fm to the control values. A lack of recovery upon rewatering of C. liberica indicated irreversible damage to PS2. Hence compared to C. liberica, C. arabica possesses a higher desiccation-induced antioxidative protection and higher portion of the total pigment pool used in photoprotection, which might aid alleviating photoinhibitory damage during desiccation and photosynthesis recovery when favourable conditions are restored
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • increasing water-deficit
  • oxidative stress
  • photosynthetic performance
  • antioxidative protection
  • superoxide-dismutase
  • co2 assimilation
  • wheat cultivars
  • plants
  • efficiency
  • canephora


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