Acta Biol Hung 2008 Sep;59(3):335-45
Department of Plant Physiology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary.
Drought resistance of bean landraces was compared in order to select genotypes with either high morphological or high biochemical-physiological plasticity. The lines in the former group exhibited fast reduction in fresh and dry mass, decreased the water potential in primary leaves after irrigation withdrawal and the biomass mobilized from the senescent primary leaves was allocated into the roots. These genotypes had high frequency of primary leaf abscission under water stress. The genotypes with plasticity at the biochemical level maintained high water potential and photochemical efficiency, i.e. effective quantum yield, high photochemical (qP) and low non-photochemical (NPQ) quenching in primary leaves under drought stress. While superoxide dismutase activity was not influenced by the drought and the genotype, catalase activity increased significantly in the primary leaves of the genotypes with efficient biochemical adaptation. Lines with high morphological plasticity exhibited higher quaiacol peroxidase activity under drought. Proline may accumulate in both cases, thus it may be a symptom of protein degradation or a successful osmotic adaptation. On the basis of contrasting responses, the genetic material cannot be screened for a large-scale breeding program by a single physiological parameter but by a set of the methods presented in this work.