Differences in Morphological, Physiological and Growth Traits between Two Endemic Subspecies of Brassica rupestris Raf.: Implications for Their Conservation


The goal of this work was to analyze the phenological and physiological responses of Brassica rupestris Raf. subsp. hispida Raimondo & Mazzola and Brassica rupestris Raf. subsp. rupestris to environmental factors also in consideration of global change. We used seedlings of the two subspecies originated from wild plants from the natural habitats in Sicily and cultivated in the Botanical Garden of Rome. Leaf morphological and physiological traits and growth dynamic were analyzed as well as the response to an imposed water stress experiment. The results underlined a higher relative growth rate in plant height (RGRH, cm·cm-1·d-1) in B. rupestris subsp. rupestris also attested by the highest plant height (H, cm), leaf area (LA, cm2), specific leaf area (SLA, cm·g-1), total leaf area per plant (TLA, cm2) and total plant dry mass (PDM, g plant-1). Moreover, the significantly highest net photosynthetic rates (A, μmol CO2 m-2·s-1) during the study period of this subspecies was related to the high Chlorophyll content (Chl, SPAD units). B. rupestris subsp. rupestris was also the most tolerant subspecies to imposed water stress showing the highest relative water content (RWC, %), A and water use efficiency (WUE, μmol·mmol-1).

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M. Crescente and L. Gratani, "Differences in Morphological, Physiological and Growth Traits between Two Endemic Subspecies of Brassica rupestris Raf.: Implications for Their Conservation," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 6A, 2013, pp. 42-50. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.46A007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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