Evaluation of the photosynthetic efficiency of sweet sorghum under drought and cold conditions

Luna, Dario Fernando (2014) Evaluation of the photosynthetic efficiency of sweet sorghum under drought and cold conditions, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6652.
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Sweet sorghum, a C4 crop of tropical origin, is gaining momentum as a multipurpose feedstock to tackle the growing environmental, food and energy security demands. Under temperate climates sweet sorghum is considered as a potential bioethanol feedstock, however, being a relatively new crop in such areas its physiological and metabolic adaptability has to be evaluated; especially to the more frequent and severe drought spells occurring throughout the growing season and to the cold temperatures during the establishment period of the crop. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate some adaptive photosynthetic traits of sweet sorghum to drought and cold stress, both under field and controlled conditions. To meet such goal, a series of experiments were carried out. A new cold-tolerant sweet sorghum genotype was sown in rhizotrons of 1 m3 in order to evaluate its tolerance to progressive drought until plant death at young and mature stages. Young plants were able to retain high photosynthetic rate for 10 days longer than mature plants. Such response was associated to the efficient PSII down-regulation capacity mediated by light energy dissipation, closure of reaction centers (JIP-test parameters), and accumulation of glucose and sucrose. On the other hand, when sweet sorghum plants went into blooming stage, neither energy dissipation nor sugar accumulation counteracted the negative effect of drought. Two hybrids with contrastable cold tolerance, selected from an early sowing field trial were subjected to chilling temperatures under controlled growth conditions to evaluate in deep their physiological and metabolic cold adaptation mechanisms. The hybrid which poorly performed under field conditions (ICSSH31), showed earlier metabolic changes (Chl a + b, xanthophyll cycle) and greater inhibition of enzymatic activity (Rubisco and PEPcase activity) than the cold tolerant hybrid (Bulldozer). Important insights on the potential adaptability of sweet sorghum to temperate climates are given.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Luna, Dario Fernando
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Photosynthesis, PSII, Chlorophyll a fluorescnece, drought stress, sweet sorghum, photoinhibition
Data di discussione
27 Maggio 2014

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