Lower leaf gas-exchange and higher photorespiration of treated wastewater irrigated Citrus trees is modulated by soil type and climate

Indira Paudel, Avi Shaviv, Nirit Bernstein, Bruria Heuer, Or Shapira, Victor Lukyanov, Asher Bar-Tal, Nativ Rotbart, Jhonathan Ephrath, Shabtai Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Water quality, soil and climate can interact to limit photosynthesis and to increase photooxidative damage in sensitive plants. This research compared diffusive and non-diffusive limitations to photosynthesis as well as photorespiration of leaves of grapefruit trees in heavy clay and sandy soils having a previous history of treated wastewater (TWW) irrigation for >10years, with different water qualities [fresh water (FW) vs TWW and sodium amended treated wastewater (TWW+Na)] in two arid climates (summer vs winter) and in orchard and lysimeter experiments. TWW irrigation increased salts (Na+ and Cl-), membrane leakage, proline and soluble sugar content, and decreased osmotic potentials in leaves of all experiments. Reduced leaf growth and higher stomatal and non-stomatal (i.e. mesophyll) limitations were found in summer and on clay soil for TWW and TWW+Na treatments in comparison to winter, sandy soil and FW irrigation, respectively. Stomatal closure, lower chlorophyll content and altered Rubisco activity are probable causes of higher limitations. On the other hand, non-photochemical quenching, an alternative energy dissipation pathway, was only influenced by water quality, independent of soil type and season. Furthermore, light and CO2 response curves were investigated for other possible causes of higher non-stomatal limitation. A higher proportion of non-cyclic electrons were directed to the O2 dependent pathway, and a higher proportion of electrons were diverted to photorespiration in summer than in winter. In conclusion, both diffusive and non-diffusive limitations contribute to the lower photosynthetic performance of leaves following TWW irrigation, and the response depends on soil type and environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-496
Number of pages19
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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