Platanus orientalis covers a very fragmented area in Europe and, at the edge of its natural distribution, is considered a relic endangered species near extinction. In our study, it was hypothesized that individuals from the edge of the habitat, with stronger climate constrains (drier and warmer environment, Italy, IT ecotype), developed different mechanisms of adaptation than those growing under optimal conditions at the center of the habitat (more humid and colder environment, Bulgaria, BG ecotype). Indeed, the two P. orientalis ecotypes displayed physiological, structural and functional differences already under control (unstressed) conditions. Adaptation to a dry environment stimulated constitutive isoprene emission, determined active stomatal behavior, and modified chloroplast ultrastructure, ultimately allowing more effective use of absorbed light energy for photochemistry. When exposed to short-term acute drought stress, IT plants showed active stomatal control that enhanced instantaneous water use efficiency, and stimulation of isoprene emission that sustained photochemistry and reduced oxidative damages to membranes, as compared to BG plants. None of the P. orientalis ecotypes recovered completely from drought stress after re-watering, confirming the sensitivity of this mesophyte to drought. Nevertheless, the IT ecotype showed less damage and better stability at the level of chloroplast membrane parameters when compared to the BG ecotype, which we interpret as possible adaptation to hostile environments and improved capacity to cope with future, likely more recurrent, drought stress.

Physiological and structural adjustments of two ecotypes of Platanus orientalis L. from different habitats in response to drought and re-watering

Arena, Carmen;Izzo, Luigi Gennaro;Loreto, Francesco
Ultimo
2018

Abstract

Platanus orientalis covers a very fragmented area in Europe and, at the edge of its natural distribution, is considered a relic endangered species near extinction. In our study, it was hypothesized that individuals from the edge of the habitat, with stronger climate constrains (drier and warmer environment, Italy, IT ecotype), developed different mechanisms of adaptation than those growing under optimal conditions at the center of the habitat (more humid and colder environment, Bulgaria, BG ecotype). Indeed, the two P. orientalis ecotypes displayed physiological, structural and functional differences already under control (unstressed) conditions. Adaptation to a dry environment stimulated constitutive isoprene emission, determined active stomatal behavior, and modified chloroplast ultrastructure, ultimately allowing more effective use of absorbed light energy for photochemistry. When exposed to short-term acute drought stress, IT plants showed active stomatal control that enhanced instantaneous water use efficiency, and stimulation of isoprene emission that sustained photochemistry and reduced oxidative damages to membranes, as compared to BG plants. None of the P. orientalis ecotypes recovered completely from drought stress after re-watering, confirming the sensitivity of this mesophyte to drought. Nevertheless, the IT ecotype showed less damage and better stability at the level of chloroplast membrane parameters when compared to the BG ecotype, which we interpret as possible adaptation to hostile environments and improved capacity to cope with future, likely more recurrent, drought stress.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/891235
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