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Isotopic composition of plant carbon correlates with water-use efficiency of wheat genotypes

Published on Jan 1, 1984in Australian Journal of Plant Physiology
· DOI :10.1071/pp9840539
Graham D. Farquhar111
Estimated H-index: 111
,
RA Richards1
Estimated H-index: 1
Abstract
Variation in carbon-isotope composition among and between wheat genotypes was correlated with variation in water-use efficiency in separate pot experiments conducted in spring-summer and in winter. In the main, winter experiment, the water-use efficiencies ranged from 2.0 to 3.7 mmolC/mol H2O (means of four replicates) while the corresponding isotope effects for leaf material ranged from 1.0225 to 1.0194. 13C was more abundant in grain than in leaves and stems. It is suggested that carbon-isotope analysis may be a useful tool in selection for improved water-use efficiency in breeding programmes for C3 species.
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An isotope ratio method has been developed which permits measurement of the isotope fractionation associated with diffusion of solutes in solution. Diffusion is conducted in a diaphragm cell of the type usually used for tracer diffusion measurements. The difference in isotopic composition of the solute before and after the diffusion process is measured by means of an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. This difference is then used to calculate the ratio of diffusion coefficients for the two isotopi...
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