Physiology and metabolism of grafted bell pepper in response to low root-zone temperature Academic Article uri icon


  • Low temperature is a prominent limiting factor for tropical originated crops production in temperate regions, particularly during cool-season production. The diverse response of two rootstocks (Canon-sensitive and S103-tolerant to low root-zone temperature) was studied when exposed to aeroponically different temperature regimes at the root zone: constant low temperature of 14°C low root-zone temperature (LRZT), transient exposure to LRZT of 27–14−27°C and control temperature of 27°C. Gas exchange, shoot dry mass, and root morphology were measured. Shifts in central and secondary metabolite levels in the leaves and roots were examined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Low root-zone temperature inhibited photosynthesis and transpiration of both grafted bell pepper plants; however, self-grafted Canon physiology was impeded to a greater extent compared with Canon grafted onto rootstock S103. Rootstock S103 demonstrated higher sink potential contributing to milder reduction of photosynthesis and transpiration during stress compared with self-grafted Canon. This reduction of gas exchange led to a significant reduction of root maximum length and root dry mass in self-grafted Canon in response to the stress at 14°C compared with Canon grafted onto rootstock S103. In response to stress, GC-MS metabolite profiling showed enhance metabolism in both cultivars’ leaves, as well as in the roots irrespective of the developmental stage of the plant. This evidence combined indicates enhance gas exchange and carbon assimilation when bell pepper is grafted on S103 under low root-zone temperature.

publication date

  • January 1, 2019