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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 17 No. 2, p. 329-335
    Received: June 22, 1976

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Effects of Irrigation History on Responses of Cotton to Subsequent Water Stress1

  1. J. M. Cutler and
  2. D. W. Rains2



Experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that the internal water relations and stomatal and growth responses to water status of cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum, ‘Acala SJ 2’) can be modified by prior tissue water deficits. Different levels of stress conditioning were achieved by varying irrigation frequency during a pretreatment period.

Growth was limited by water stress under conditions of low and moderate irrigation frequency during the pretreatment period. During the final drought period, tissue water desorption characteristics, stomatal closure thresholds, and (inferentially) turgor sensitivity were different in stress-conditioned plants from those in plants not subjected to prior stress. Analysis of the relationships of water potential to relative water content suggested that osmotic adjustment might play a role in the reduced sensitivity of hardened plants. The altered behaviors of prestressed plants were in the right direction to explain differences observed between the responses of controlled. environment and field-grown plants and suggest that stress-conditioned plants are less sensitive to tissue water deficits.

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