Key role of stomatal conductance in controlling ozone uptake, leaf injury and volatile release


Ozone-induced foliar damage and release of stress volatiles is highly dependent on stomatal openness and priming by low-level ozone exposure in Phaseolus vulgaris

by Li S., Harley P. C., Niinemets Ü. (2017)

  1. Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
  2. Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn, Estonia

Shuai Li,

Peter C. Harley,

Ülo Niinemets

in Plant, Cell & Environment – doi: 10.1111/pce.13003. –


Acute ozone exposure triggers major emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), but quantitatively, it is unclear how different ozone doses alter the start and the total amount of these emissions, and the induction rate of different stress volatiles. It is also unclear whether priming (i.e., pre-exposure to lower O3 concentrations) can modify the magnitude and kinetics of volatile emissions.

We investigated photosynthetic characteristics and VOC emissions in Phaseolus vulgaris following acute ozone exposure (600 nmol mol-1 for 30 min) under illumination and in darkness and after priming with 200 nmol mol-1 O3 for 30 min.

Methanol and lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway product emissions were induced rapidly, followed by moderate emissions of methyl salicylate (MeSA).

Stomatal conductance prior to acute exposure was lower in darkness and after low O3 priming than in light and without priming. After low O3 priming, no MeSA and lower LOX emissions were detected under acute exposure.

Overall, maximum emission rates and the total amount of emitted LOX products and methanol were quantitatively correlated with total stomatal ozone uptake.

These results indicate that different stress volatiles scale differently with ozone dose and highlight the key role of stomatal conductance in controlling ozone uptake, leaf injury and volatile release.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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