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Carbon Balance, Transpiration, and Biomass Partitioning of Glyphosate-Treated Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Plants

  • Carlos J. Fernandez (a1), Kevin J. McInnes (a2) and J. Tom Cothren (a2)

Abstract

Whole plant studies were conducted to examine the effects of glyphosate on components of carbon balance, transpiration, and biomass partitioning of wheat plants grown in Olton sandy clay loam soil and in a well-aerated fritted clay medium under controlled environmental conditions. Well-irrigated plants were transferred from a nursery room into a test chamber about 48 d after planting. Two to five days later, 12 to 42 ml of a glyphosate solution with a concentration of 480 mg ai L–1 were sprayed until full coverage of the foliage. Environmental conditions in the chamber were air temperature 25 C, dew point 18 C, windspeed 1.1 m s–1, and PPFD 1500 mmol m–2 s–1 (at the top of the foliage) for 12 h daily. Glyphosate treatment resulted in destruction of the root system, as determined at the end of the tests, and at the start of tests using companion plants. Plants grown in soil lost 0.53 kg kg–1 of the initial root mass, while this loss was 0.38 kg kg–1 in plants grown in fritted clay. Glyphosate treatment rapidly inhibited daily rates of gross carbon uptake and transpiration of wheat plants grown in both media. Effects occurred more than twice as rapidly in plants grown in soil as in fritted day. Similarity in the patterns of inhibition of gross carbon uptake and transpiration suggests that glyphosate may also affect leaf stomata. After applying glyphosate, daily rates of carbon loss increased for 3 d in soil-grown plants but remained almost constant for 10 d in plants grown in fritted clay; thereafter, the rates of carbon loss declined. The early increase or the constancy of carbon loss observed after applying glyphosate was related to catabolic processes occurring in roots.

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Keywords

Carbon Balance, Transpiration, and Biomass Partitioning of Glyphosate-Treated Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Plants

  • Carlos J. Fernandez (a1), Kevin J. McInnes (a2) and J. Tom Cothren (a2)

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