Water Potential in Sugarcane Measured from Leaf Segments in a Pressure Chamber
- Nicanor Z. Saliendra,
- Frederick C. Meinzer and
- David A. Grantz
The validity of using sugarcane leaf segments to measure leaf water potential with the pressure chamber technique was assessed. Three pressure chamber protocols: (i) use of leaf tips, (ii) leaf segments sealed inside balloons, and (iii) exposed leaf segments, were compared. Measurements obtained using leaf segments were 0.05 to 0.06 MPa higher than those obtained from leaf tips. These small differences in water potential between leaf tips and nonapical segments could be attributed to transpiration-induced, water potential gradients existing prior to excision. Sealing the excised segment within a rubber balloon inside the pressure chamber altered the apparent water potential by 0.01 MPa or less, relative to exposed leaf segments. The use of leaf segments was more convenient and less destructive of plant material than the use of leaf tips or entire leaves. This protocol proved to be an accurate and reliable way of measuring water potential in sugarcane using the pressure chamber technique.
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