Rootstock Effects on Leaf Photosynthesis in 'Navelina' Trees Grown in Calcareous Soil
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Citrus crops in the Mediterranean region are often grown in high pH calcareous soils, which promote nutrient imbalances, especially iron deficiency. 'Navelina' trees grafted on eight different citrus rootstocks were assessed in terms of their relative tolerance to these soils. To do so, leaf gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters were measured for 2 consecutive years in leaves without visible injury symptoms. Trees were grown on the rootstocks Carrizo citrange, hybrids of Cleopatra mandarin x Poncirus trifoliata no. 5 (F-A 5),13 (F-A 13), and 16 (030116), Troyer citrange x common mandarin no. 18 (F-A 418), King mandarin x P. trifoliata no. 7 (F-A 517), 020324 (Troyer citrange x Cleopatra mandarin), and Volkamer lemon x P. trifoliata no. 64 (230164). gs and transpiration rate were clearly lower in leaves of shoots grafted on Carrizo citrange than in those on the other rootstocks assayed, but net photosynthetic flux did not differ. However, leaves of shoots on Carrizo citrange displayed a decline in their maximum quantum yield of PSII photochemistry [variable fluorescence/maximum fluorescence (F(v)/F(m)) ratio] and other chlorophyll parameters in the steady state such as photochemical quenching (qp) and the quantum efficiency of PSII photochemistry as well as an increase in nonphotochemical quenching (q(N)). Other rootstocks such as 030116, F-A 517 and, especially, F-A 5 showed the highest Phi(PSU) and F(v)/F(m) values, whereas F-A 5 had the lowest qN in the steady state. The photosynthetic characteristics observed in leaves on Carrizo citrange showed them to be the least tolerant to these calcareous conditions, whereas photosynthesis of 'Navelina' trees budded on F-A 5 were the most tolerant.