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Crop Science Abstract -

Water Relations of Field Grown Cotton and Sorghum: Temporal and Diurnal Changes in Leaf Water, Osmotic, and Turgor Potentials1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 17 No. 1, p. 76-80
    Received: Mar 18, 1976

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  1. R. C. Ackerson,
  2. D. R. Krieg,
  3. T. D. Miller and
  4. R. E. Zartman2



Trends in leaf water, osmotic, and turgor potentials of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L., cv. ‘Dunn 56C’) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench, cv. ‘RS671’) were monitored on both a seasonal and diurnal basis. The effects of differential soil water availability on leaf water potential components were examined in order to ascertain the differences in the water relations of these two species.

Decreasing availability of soil water was responsible for decreased morning and afternoon leaf water potentials in sorghum and cotton. The magnitude of degression in leaf water potential was greater in cotton than in sorghum at equivalent soil water potentials. Decreasesin osmotic potentials maintained positive turgor in both species when sufficient soil water was available. However, as water stress increased, turgor potentials became zero due to the failure of osmotic potentials to decrease more than water potentials.

Diurnal changes in water potential components were distinctly different for each species. Leaf water potentials of sorghum came into approximate equilibrium with soil water potential in the early morning, whereas leaf water potentials of cotton did not. Concomitant changes in leaf osmotic potentials on a diurnal basis resulted in specific trends of increasing turgor in sorghum, while anomalous fluctuations were evident in cotton leaf turgor potentials.

The relationship between leaf water potential and relative water content was determined for each species. The change in relative water content per unit change in leaf water potential was greater in cotton than in sorghum.

Drought tolerance of these two species appears to be dependent on species speciIic relationships in leat water potential components.

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