Linking root and stem hydraulic traits to leaf physiological parameters in Coffea canephora clones with contrasting drought tolerance

José Altino Machado Filho, Weverton Pereira Rodrigues, Danilo Força Baroni, Saulo Pireda, Glaziele Campbell, Guilherme Augusto Rodrigues de Souza, Abraão Carlos Verdin Filho, Sara Dousseau Arantes, Lúcio de Oliveira Arantes, Maura da Cunha, Gregory A. Gambetta, Miroslava Rakocevic, José Cochicho Ramalho, Eliemar Campostrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Knowing the key hydraulic traits of different genotypes at early seedling stages can potentially provide crucial information and save time for breeding programs. In the current study we investigated: (1) how root, stem and whole plant conductivities are linked to xylem traits, and (2) how the integrated hydraulic system impacts leaf water potential, gas exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence and the growth of three coffee cultivars (clones of Coffea canephora Pierre ex Froehner cv. Conilon) with known differences in drought tolerance. The Conilon clones CL 14, CL 5 V and CL 109A, classified as tolerant, moderately tolerant, and sensitive to drought respectively, were grown under non-limiting soil-water supply but high atmospheric demand (i.e., high VPDair). CL 14 and CL 5 V displayed higher root and stem hydraulic conductance and conductivity, and higher whole plant conductivity than CL 109A, and these differences were associated with higher root growth traits. In addition, CL 109A exhibited a non-significant trend towards wider vessels. Collectively, these responses likely contributed to reduce leaf water potential in CL 109A, and in turn, reduced leaf gas exchange, especially during elevated VPDair. Even when grown under well-watered conditions, the elevated VPDair observed during this study resulted in key differences in the hydraulic traits between the cultivars corresponding to differences in plant water status, gas exchange, and photochemical activity. Together these results suggest that coffee hydraulic traits, even when grown under non-water stress conditions, can be considered in breeding programs targeting more productive and efficient genotypes under drought and high atmospheric demand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153355
JournalJournal Of Plant Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Coffee
  • Root efficiency
  • Water demand
  • Water flow
  • Xylem traits


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