Date palm responses to a chronic, realistic ozone exposure in a FACE experiment.

Affiliation

Paoletti E(1), Hoshika Y(2), Arab L(3), Martini S(1), Cotrozzi L(4), Weber D(5), Ache P(6), Neri L(7), Baraldi R(7), Pellegrini E(4), Müller HM(6), Hedrich R(8), Alfarraj S(9), Rennenberg H(10).
Author information:
(1)IRET-CNR, Via Madonna Del Piano 10, 50019, Sesto Fiorentino Firenze, Italy.
(2)IRET-CNR, Via Madonna Del Piano 10, 50019, Sesto Fiorentino Firenze, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Chair of Tree Physiology, Institute of Forest Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Köhler-Allee 53, 79110, Freiburg, Germany.
(4)Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, Via Del Borghetto 80, 56124, Pisa, Italy.
(5)Chair of Tree Physiology, Institute of Forest Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Köhler-Allee 53, 79110, Freiburg, Germany; Phytoprove Pflanzenanalytik, Georg-Voigt-Str. 14-16, 60325, Frankfurt Am Main, Germany.
(6)Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, 97082, Würzburg, Germany.
(7)IBE-CNR, Via Piero Gobetti 101, 40129, Bologna, Italy.
(8)Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, 97082, Würzburg, Germany; King Saud University, PO Box 2455, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.
(9)King Saud University, PO Box 2455, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia.
(10)Chair of Tree Physiology, Institute of Forest Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georges-Köhler-Allee 53, 79110, Freiburg, Germany; Center of Molecular Ecophysiology
(CMEP), College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University No. 2, Tiansheng Road, Beibei District, 400715, Chongqing, PR China.

Abstract

Date palms are highly economically important species in hot arid regions, which may suffer ozone (O3) pollution equivalently to heat and water stress. However, little is known about date palm sensitivity to O3. Therefore, to identify their resistance mechanisms against elevated O3, physiological parameters (leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf pigments) and biomass growth responses to realistic O3 exposure were tested in an isoprene-emitting date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L. cv. Nabut Saif) by a Free-Air Controlled Exposure (FACE) facility with three levels of O3 (ambient [AA, 45 ppb as 24-h average], 1.5 x AA and 2 x AA). We found a reduction of photosynthesis only at 2 x AA although some foliar traits known as early indicators of O3 stress responded already at 1.5 x AA, such as increased dark respiration, reduced leaf pigment content, reduced maximum quantum yield of PSII, inactivation of the oxygen evolving complex of PSII and reduced performance index PITOT. As a result, O3 did not affect most of the growth parameters although significant declines of root biomass occurred only at 2 x AA. The major mechanism in date palm for reducing the severity of O3 impacts was a restriction of stomatal O3 uptake due to low stomatal conductance and O3-induced stomatal closure. In addition, an increased respiration in elevated O3 may indicate an enhanced capacity of catabolizing metabolites for detoxification and repair. Interestingly, date palm produced low amounts of monoterpenes, whose emission was stimulated in 2 x AA, although isoprene emission declined at both 1.5 and 2 x AA. Our results warrant more research on a biological significance of terpenoids in plant resistance against O3 stress.