The tropical coffee crop has been predicted to be threatened by future climate changes and global warming. However, the real biological effects of such changes remain unknown. Therefore, this work aims to link the physiological and biochemical responses of photosynthesis to elevated air [CO2 ] and temperature in cultivated genotypes of Coffea arabica L. (cv. Icatu and IPR108) and Coffea canephora cv. Conilon CL153. Plants were grown for ca. 10 months at 25/20°C (day/night) and 380 or 700 μl CO2 l(-1) and then subjected to temperature increase (0.5°C day(-1) ) to 42/34°C. Leaf impacts related to stomatal traits, gas exchanges, C isotope composition, fluorescence parameters, thylakoid electron transport and enzyme activities were assessed at 25/20, 31/25, 37/30 and 42/34°C. The results showed that (1) both species were remarkably heat tolerant up to 37/30°C, but at 42/34°C a threshold for irreversible nonstomatal deleterious effects was reached. Impairments were greater in C. arabica (especially in Icatu) and under normal [CO2 ]. Photosystems and thylakoid electron transport were shown to be quite heat tolerant, contrasting to the enzymes related to energy metabolism, including RuBisCO, which were the most sensitive components. (2) Significant stomatal trait modifications were promoted almost exclusively by temperature and were species dependent. Elevated [CO2 ], (3) strongly mitigated the impact of temperature on both species, particularly at 42/34°C, modifying the response to supra-optimal temperatures, (4) promoted higher water-use efficiency under moderately higher temperature (31/25°C) and (5) did not provoke photosynthetic downregulation. Instead, enhancements in [CO2 ] strengthened photosynthetic photochemical efficiency, energy use and biochemical functioning at all temperatures. Our novel findings demonstrate a relevant heat resilience of coffee species and that elevated [CO2 ] remarkably mitigated the impact of heat on coffee physiology, therefore playing a key role in this crop sustainability under future climate change scenarios.
Modeling studies have predicted that coffee crop will be endangered by future global warming, but recent reports highlighted that high [CO2] can mitigate heat impacts on coffee. This work aimed at identifying heat protective mechanisms promoted by CO2 in Coffea arabica (cv. Icatu and IPR108) and Coffea canephora cv. Conilon CL153. Plants were grown at 25/20°C (day/night), under 380 or 700 μL CO2 L−1, and then gradually submitted to 31/25, 37/30, and 42/34°C. Relevant heat tolerance up to 37/30°C for both [CO2] and all coffee genotypes was observed, likely supported by the maintenance or increase of the pools of several protective molecules (neoxanthin, lutein, carotenes, α-tocopherol, HSP70, raffinose), activities of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione reductase (GR), catalase (CAT), and the upregulated expression of some genes (ELIP, Chaperonin 20). However, at 42/34°C a tolerance threshold was reached, mostly in the 380-plants and Icatu. Adjustments in raffinose, lutein, β-carotene, α-tocopherol and HSP70 pools, and the upregulated expression of genes related to protective (ELIPS, HSP70, Chape 20, and 60) and antioxidant (CAT, CuSOD2, APX Cyt, APX Chl) proteins were largely driven by temperature. However, enhanced [CO2] maintained higher activities of GR (Icatu) and CAT (Icatu and IPR108), kept (or even increased) the Cu,Zn-SOD, APX, and CAT activities, and promoted a greater upregulation of those enzyme genes, as well as those related to HSP70, ELIPs, Chaperonins in CL153, and Icatu. These changes likely favored the maintenance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at controlled levels and contributed to mitigate of photosystem II photoinhibition at the highest temperature. Overall, our results highlighted the important role of enhanced [CO2] on the coffee crop acclimation and sustainability under predicted future global warming scenarios.
Coffee is one of the world’s most traded agricultural products. Modeling studies have predicted that climate change will have a strong impact on the suitability of current cultivation areas, but these studies have not anticipated possible mitigating effects of the elevated atmospheric [CO2] because no information exists for the coffee plant. Potted plants from two genotypes of Coffea arabica and one of C. canephora were grown under controlled conditions of irradiance (800 μmol m-2 s-1), RH (75%) and 380 or 700 μL CO2 L-1 for 1 year, without water, nutrient or root development restrictions. In all genotypes, the high [CO2] treatment promoted opposite trends for stomatal density and size, which decreased and increased, respectively. Regardless of the genotype or the growth [CO2], the net rate of CO2 assimilation increased (34-49%) when measured at 700 than at 380 μL CO2 L-1. This result, together with the almost unchanged stomatal conductance, led to an instantaneous water use efficiency increase. The results also showed a reinforcement of photosynthetic (and respiratory) components, namely thylakoid electron transport and the activities of RuBisCo, ribulose 5-phosphate kinase, malate dehydrogenase and pyruvate kinase, what may have contributed to the enhancements in the maximum rates of electron transport, carboxylation and photosynthetic capacity under elevated [CO2], although these responses were genotype dependent. The photosystem II efficiency, energy driven to photochemical events, non-structural carbohydrates, photosynthetic pigment and membrane permeability did not respond to [CO2] supply. Some alterations in total fatty acid content and the unsaturation level of the chloroplast membranes were noted but, apparently, did not affect photosynthetic functioning. Despite some differences among the genotypes, no clear species-dependent responses to elevated [CO2] were observed. Overall, as no apparent sign of photosynthetic down-regulation was found, our data suggest that Coffea spp. plants may successfully cope with high [CO2] under the present experimental conditions.
The objective of this work was to evaluate photoprotective mechanisms related to low positive temperatures in Coffea canephora (Conilon clones 02 and 153) and C. arabica ('Catucaí' IPR 102) genotypes, involved in cold temperature tolerance. To accomplish this, one-year-old plants were successively submitted to: temperature decrease of 0.5ºC day-1, from 25/20ºC to 13/8ºC; a three-day chilling cycle at 13/4ºC; and a recovery period of 14 days (25/20ºC). During the experiment, leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence and leaf photosynthetic pigment content were evaluated. Total activity of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) and ribulose-5-phosphate kinase (Ru5PK) were quantified to measure the activity of photosynthesis key enzymes. All genotypes showed low temperature sensitivity, but displayed diverse cold impact and recovery capabilities regarding the photosynthetic-related parameters studied. Catucaí IPR 102 cultivar showed better ability to cope with cold stress than the Conilon clones, especially Conilon 02, and had full recovery of leaf gas exchange, fluorescence parameters, enzymatic activity, and higher contents of the photoprotective pigments zeaxanthin and lutein.
The understanding of acclimation strategies to low temperature and water availability is decisive to ensure coffee crop sustainability, since these environmental conditions determine the suitability of cultivation areas. In this context, the impacts of single and combined exposure to drought and cold were evaluated in three genotypes of the two major cropped species, Coffea arabica cv. Icatu, Coffea canephora cv. Apoatã, and the hybrid Obatã. Crucial traits of plant resilience to environmental stresses have been examined: photosynthesis, lipoperoxidation and the antioxidant response. Drought and/or cold promoted leaf dehydration, which was accompanied by stomatal and mesophyll limitations that impaired leaf C-assimilation in all genotypes. However, Icatu showed a lower impact upon stress exposure and a faster and complete photosynthetic recovery. Although lipoperoxidation was increased by drought (Icatu) and cold (all genotypes), it was greatly reduced by stress interaction, especially in Icatu. In fact, although the antioxidative system was reinforced under single drought and cold exposure (e.g., activity of enzymes as Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, APX, glutathione reductase and catalase, CAT), the stronger increases were observed upon the simultaneous exposure to both stresses, which was accompanied with a transcriptional response of some genes, namely related to APX. Complementary, non-enzyme antioxidant molecules were promoted mostly by cold and the stress interaction, including α-tocopherol (in C. arabica plants), ascorbate (ASC), zeaxanthin, and phenolic compounds (all genotypes). In general, drought promoted antioxidant enzymes activity, whereas cold enhanced the synthesis of both enzyme and non-enzyme antioxidants, the latter likely related to a higher need of antioxidative capability when enzyme reactions were probably quite repressed by low temperature. Icatu showed the wider antioxidative capability, with the triggering of all studied antioxidative molecules by drought (except CAT), cold, and, particularly, stress interaction (except ASC), revealing a clear stress cross-tolerance. This justified the lower impacts on membrane lipoperoxidation and photosynthetic capacity under stress interaction conditions, related to a better ROS control. These findings are also relevant to coffee water management, showing that watering in the cold season should be largely avoided.
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