Functional plasticity of Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum through multiple traits

AoB Plants. 2022 May 5;14(3):plac017. doi: 10.1093/aobpla/plac017. eCollection 2022 Jun.

ABSTRACT

The diversity of functional traits still has not been studied enough in model plant species, even less so in little-known species. This experiment was carried out under the extreme heat of Sonoran Desert, using shading nets and under conditions where the availability of water and nutrients was not a stress factor. We evaluated how the low, intermediate and high sunlight regimes impact survival and promote multiple alterations on phenological and ecophysiological response of cultivated Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum plants. Extremely warm temperatures promoted a high heat sum in degrees days throughout plants development. Most plants grown in high sunlight regimes did not survive; under intermediate sunlight regimes survival was high and plants developed vegetative and reproductively; but under low sunlight regimes plants survival was high; however, they developed just vegetatively. Photosynthetic response to light suggests that plants are physiologically acclimated to low and intermediate irradiance, whereas the CO2 assimilation curves suggest contrasting photosynthetic capacity traits. Under the intermediate sunlight regimes, plants strengthened their performance through multiple functional traits (e.g. CO2 and water diffusion traits, photosynthetic capacity, respiration, among others). Consequently, their biomass gain was faster and proportionally higher by 76 % with an investment of 14 % in fruits development. The principal components analysis extracted the main explanatory functional traits: photosynthetic nitrogen allocation, stomatal limitation, mesophyll conductance, Rubisco maximum carboxylation velocity, among others. In conclusion, phenological response and multiple functional traits determine plants acclimation to sunlight regimes and extremely warm temperatures in short term.

PMID:35774379 | PMC:PMC9237842 | DOI:10.1093/aobpla/plac017

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