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Enhancing plant physiology: Increased water use efficiency

Sep 03, 2009

Eric Tedford
Enhancing Plant Physiology

During the day, moisture evaporates from plant parts through transpiration. The rate of transpiration is determined by a number of factors, including light intensity, temperature, humidity, wind speed and soil water supply. Azoxystrobin increases the plant’s ability to use water efficiently and effectively, slowing down transpiration and reducing the adverse effects of water stress on yields. As a result, corn and soybean plants are better able to tolerate moisture stress conditions.
Plants regulate the exchange of water and gases through tiny pores called stomata. These pores are equipped with small guard cells that control the flow of water and gases through the opening. The guard cells act as a protective keeper and react in high stress situations to balance out water and gas exchange. In high-temperature or drought situations, the rate of transpiration increases. However, to prevent the plant from losing too much water, guard cells will close to regulate water loss. Azoxystrobin helps plants use this water efficiently and regulate the rate of transpiration.

This photo illustrates the beneficial effects of fungicide treatment (right) on corncobs and stalks relative to untreated corn (left).

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COMMENTS (3 Comments)

Eric Tedford
Thank you for your inquiry. The claim that strobilurin fungicides increase water use efficiency and slows transpiration to help the plant retain water is based on several scientific studies with valid statistics. In the 2007 study by M.A. Nason, J. Farrar, and D. Bartlett, strobilurin-treated plants had a lower rate of transpiration, a lower intercellular carbon dioxide concentration, and a lower net rate of photosynthesis when compared with leaves of a control plant or a triazole. The study measured these factors against photosynthetic photon flux density to determine the effects of strobilurin fungicides. This study, among others, highlights increased transpiration efficiency in plants by using strobilurin fungicides. I hope this follow-up has answered you questions. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
4:36 PM Sep 14th
Tim Creger, NE Dept. of Ag
With all due respect, is the claim of an increase in transpiration efficiency a theory based on observation, or proven by testing of leaf transpiration in a statistically valid study?
9:18 AM Sep 8th

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