Physiological Responses of Physalis angulata Plants to Water Deficit

  •  Romeu da Silva Leite    
  •  Marilza Neves do Nascimento    
  •  Tamara Torres Tanan    
  •  Cristiane Amaral da Silva Ramos    
  •  Lourival Palmeira Gonçalves Neto    
  •  David Santana Guimarães    


It’s known that drought affects crop growth, however, little is known about the physiological responses developed under these conditions by underexploited species, such as Physalis angulata. This study aimed at assessing the physiological responses of Physalis angulata plants after 40 days under different water availability (100%, 80%, 60%, 40% and 20% of pot field capacity). In this research, the effects of the water deficit on the relative water content, water potential, gas exchange, sugars accumulation and activity of nitrate reductase were evaluated. Water relations were affected mainly in plants under severe water deficit, however, the variables remained stable when cultivated at sub-optimal levels of field capacity. Gas exchanges were also affected by water deficit, with reduction in carbon assimilation, internal carbon, stomatal conductance and transpiration, as well as increased leaf temperature and water use efficiency. Plants accumulated sugars as a mechanism of tolerance to severe water deficit, while nitrate reductase activity was reduced. P. angulata plants develop important strategies to tolerate water deficit, contributing to the establishment of crops under low water availability.

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