Osmotic potential, sucrose level, and activity of sucrose metabolic enzymees in tall fescue in response to deficit irrigation

Jinmin Fu, Bingru Huang, Jack Fry

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38 Scopus citations


Effects of deficit irrigation applied to home lawns, used as means of water conservation, are an important issue. However, the impact of deficit irrigation on sucrose metabolism in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is unknown and important because sucrose is the dominant form of carbohydrate transported to developing plant organs. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of deficit irrigation on leaf water content, osmotic potential (cS), sucrose level, and the activity of sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS; EC, sucrose synthase (SS; EC, and acid invertase (AI; EC in tall fescue leaves. Sods of 'Falcon II' tall fescue were established in polyvinylchloride (PVC) tubes (10 cm diameter × 40 cm long) filled with a mixture of sand and fritted clay [9:1 (v:v)] and then placed in growth chambers. Reference evapotranspiration rate [ETo (millimeters of water per day)] was determined by weighing the PVC tubes containing well-watered turfgrass every 3 days to determine water loss on a daily basis as ETo. Deficit irrigation treatments were applied as follows: Well-watered control, mild drought stress (60% ETo), and severe drought stress (20% ETo). Leaf water content was lower at 6, 12, and 20 days of treatment for the 20% ETo treatment and 20 days after treatment began for the 60% ETo treatment. Compared with the wellwatered control, ψS was lower in the 60% ETo treatment on all three measurement dates. Sucrose was higher at 8 and 14 days after treatment began in the 60% ETo treatment and on all three measurement dates in the 20% Eto treatment relative to the well-watered control. No difference in sucrose level was observed between the 20% ETo and 60% ETo irrigation regimes at 8 and 14 days of treatment. Beginning 14 days after treatment, tall fescue had a higher level of SPS in the 60% ETo and 20% ETo treatments compared with the well-watered treatment. Tall fescue receiving 60% or 20% ETo had a lower level of AI activity on all measurement dates. Results suggest that the decrease in cS was accompanied by higher sucrose levels, which were the result of the increased level of SPS and SS activity and a decline in AI activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-510
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Horticulture


  • Acid invertase
  • Carbohydrate
  • Festuca arundinacea
  • Sucrose phosphate synthase
  • Sucrose synthase


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