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Ehrenberger W.,University of Würzburg | Ehrenberger W.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | Ruger S.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | Rodriguez-Dominguez C.M.,Institute Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia IRNAS CSIC | And 6 more authors.
Plant Biology | Year: 2012

The non-invasive leaf patch clamp pressure (LPCP) probe measures the attenuated pressure of a leaf patch, P p, in response to an externally applied magnetic force. P p is inversely coupled with leaf turgor pressure, P c, i.e. at high P c values the P p values are small and at low P c values the P p values are high. This relationship between P c and P p could also be verified for 2-m tall olive trees under laboratory conditions using the cell turgor pressure probe. When the laboratory plants were subjected to severe water stress (P c dropped below ca. 50kPa), P p curves show reverse diurnal changes, i.e. during the light regime (high transpiration) a minimum P p value, and during darkness a peak P p value is recorded. This reversal of the P p curves was completely reversible. Upon watering, the original diurnal P p changes were re-established within 2-3days. Olive trees in the field showed a similar turnover of the shape of the P p curves upon drought, despite pronounced fluctuations in microclimate. The reversal of the P p curves is most likely due to accumulation of air in the leaves. This assumption was supported with cross-sections through leaves subjected to prolonged drought. In contrast to well-watered leaves, microscopic inspection of leaves exhibiting inverse diurnal P p curves revealed large air-filled areas in parenchyma tissue. Significantly larger amounts of air could also be extracted from water-stressed leaves than from well-watered leaves using the cell turgor pressure probe. Furthermore, theoretical analysis of the experimental P p curves shows that the propagation of pressure through the nearly turgorless leaf must be exclusively dictated by air. Equations are derived that provide valuable information about the water status of olive leaves close to zero P c. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.WATER INNO&DEMO-1 | Award Amount: 7.61M | Year: 2013

Agriculture sector is accountable for 30% of the total water consumption in Europe, but reaches up to 70% of total water consumption in several European southern countries. In recent years, most of the efforts have been focused on water efficiency, without taking care of energy aspects, resulting in some cases on a significant increase in energy consumption, both per irrigated surface and per volume unit of water. The WEAM4i project will mainly address 2 of the priorities of the EIP on Water: Water-Energy nexus and Decision support systems (DSS) and monitoring. The WEAM4i proposal is based on two innovative management concepts: 1. A water&energy smart grid for irrigation: allowing interactive energy use decisions, by introducing demand-side management and matching the consumption to the available energy offer, due to existing water storage capability (in reservoirs or in the soil) that enables an near-almost elastic demand. 2. An innovative, cloud based, integration approach: an ICT platform based on a Service Oriented Architecture, for hosting the DSS applications, while, at field level, the existing local irrigation systems will remain. Techniques for resource efficiency at local level will be demonstrated on the irrigation systems aforementioned: for saving water, for improving the m3/kwh ratio and for the minimisation of the operational cost of water supply infrastructures. Full-scale demonstration activities will be performed in 3 EU countries (PT, ES and DE), covering a wide range of landscapes and crop types, from southern to central EU. Companies and SMEs will benefit from the future commercialization of the outcomes while the users will reduce the operational costs of their irrigation systems. To Sum up: once important water savings have been achieved, the new challenge for the irrigation sector is to minimise the energy costs. The WEAM4i project aims to provide innovative solutions for this challenge.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.1-01 | Award Amount: 11.66M | Year: 2012

The goal of WATBIO is to use the power of next generation sequencing to develop an accelerated route for producing new germplasm with enhanced drought tolerance whilst maintaining biomass productivity and quality in water scarce, marginal environments unsuitable for food crops. This will be achieved for three non-food crops (Populus, Miscanthus and Arundo), suitable for growth on water scarce, marginal lands, through a 5-year translational research project. Populus and Miscanthus germplasm with increased drought tolerance will be produced within WATBIO whilst for Arundo its genetic diversity will be assessed and breeding tools developed. Twenty-two multidisciplinary partners (14 academics, and 7 SMEs) spanning the whole value chain for crop production will collectively achieve this innovation by 1) identifying key molecular, cellular and physiological traits for the maintenance of biomass production, lignocellulosic quality and water use efficiency in water-scarce environments; 2) linking these traits through modelling to underlying key genes, proteins and metabolite networks; 3) utilising a wide range of germplasm for screening in phenotyping platforms and field measurements at multiple sites to test importance of genotype x environment interactions in determining traits; 4) using sequence based gene expression data, identify 40 genes related to drought tolerance for testing proof of concept using GM approach; and 5) using sequence-based data for genome wide association and genetical genomic approaches, link physiology to traits of high heritability and to underlying genes. WATBIO will transfer knowledge of commercial significance using its industrial partners and stakeholders enabling the deployment of biotechnology to boost European competitiveness, without the necessity of GM. Through workshops, seminars and exchanges, WATBIO will train the next generation of multi-disciplinary professionals in the area of biomass crop production on marginal lands.

Ehrenberger W.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | Ehrenberger W.,University of Würzburg | Ruger S.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | Ruger S.,University of Würzburg | And 6 more authors.
Functional Plant Biology | Year: 2012

Tree water relations and their dependence on microclimate and soil moisture were studied over several months in young oaks (Quercus robur L.) subjected in large lysimeter-based open top chambers to environments with a controlled soil water supply. Automated single point dendrometers and the recently developed leaf patch clamp pressure (LPCP) probe were used for monitoring water-related stem radius variations (ΔW) and turgor-dependent leaf patch pressures (Pp). Both parameters showed distinct diurnal patterns with sharp negative and positive peaking of ΔW and Pp, respectively, after solar noon and recovery to initial levels in the evening. During the day, varying solar radiation was responsible for short time fluctuations of P p in the range of minutes to hours reflecting feedback regulation of leaf turgor by sunlight driven stomatal movements. At longer timescales, i.e. days to months, atmospheric vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and soil water content (SWC) were the main determinants of ΔW and Pp. Daily minimum and maximum values of ΔW and Pp decreased and increased, respectively, with increasing VPD or decreasing SWC and recovery of ΔW and Pp in the evening was impeded by low SWC. In well-watered oaks, daily positive peaking of Pp preceded daily negative peaking of ΔW; these time lags gradually increased with increasing soil drought, suggesting hydraulic uncoupling of stem and leaves. © 2012 CSIRO.

Lee K.M.,Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture | Lee K.M.,Wageningen University | Driever S.M.,Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture | Heuvelink E.P.,Wageningen University | And 7 more authors.
Physiologia Plantarum | Year: 2012

Relative changes in cell turgor of leaves of well-watered tomato plants were evaluated using the leaf patch clamp pressure probe (LPCP) under dynamic greenhouse climate conditions. LPCP changes, a measure for relative changes in cell turgor, were monitored at three different heights of transpiring and non-transpiring leaves of tomato plants on sunny and cloudy days simultaneously with whole plant water uptake. Clear diel patterns were observed for relative changes of cell turgor of both transpiring and non-transpiring leaves, which were stronger on sunny days than on cloudy days. A clear effect of canopy height was also observed. Non-transpiring leaves showed relative changes in cell turgor that closely followed plant water uptake throughout the day. However, in the afternoon the relative changes of cell turgor of the transpiring leaves displayed a delayed response in comparison to plant water uptake. Subsequent recovery of cell turgor loss of transpiring leaves during the following night appeared insufficient, as the pre-dawn turgescent state similar to the previous night was not attained. © Physiologia Plantarum 2012.

Bramley H.,University of Western Australia | Ehrenberger W.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | Ehrenberger W.,University of Würzburg | Zimmermann U.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | And 4 more authors.
Plant and Soil | Year: 2013

Background and aims: Being able to monitor the hydration status of a plant would be useful to breeding programs and to providing insight into adaptation to water-limited environments, but most current methods are destructive or laborious. We evaluated novel non-invasive pressure probes (commercial name: ZIM-probe) for their potential in monitoring the water status of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) leaves. Methods: The probes consist of miniature pressure sensors that clamp to the leaves via magnets and detect relative changes in hydration status. Probes were clamped to leaves of six individual plants of the cultivar Wyalkatchem at the stem elongation stage and compared against traditional plant water relations measurements. Results: Output from the probes, called patch-pressure (Pp), correlated well with leaf water potential and transpiration of individual plants. Variation between plants in the original clamp pressure exerted by the magnets and leaf individual properties led to variations in the amplitude of the diurnal Pp profiles, but not in the kinetics of the curves where Pp responded simultaneously in all plants to changes in the ambient environment (light and temperature). Conclusions: Drying and rewatering cycles and analysis of the curve kinetics identified several methods that can be used to test comparisons of water status monitoring of wheat genotypes under water deficit. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Fernandez J.E.,Institute Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia IRNAS CSIC | Rodriguez-Dominguez C.M.,Institute Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia IRNAS CSIC | Perez-Martin A.,Institute Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia IRNAS CSIC | Zimmermann U.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | And 9 more authors.
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

The need for sophisticated irrigation strategies in fruit tree orchards has led to an increasing interest in reliable and robust sensor technology that allows automatic and continuous recording of the water stress of trees under field conditions. In this work we have evaluated the potential of the leaf patch clamp pressure (LPCP) probe for monitoring water stress in a 4-year-old 'Arbequina' hedgerow olive orchard with 1667treesha-1. The leaf patch output pressure (Pp) measured by the LPCP probe is inversely correlated with the leaf turgor pressure (>50kPa). Measurements of Pp were made over the entire irrigation season of 2010 (April to November) on control trees, irrigated up to 100% of the crop water needs (ETc), and on trees under two regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategies. The 60RDI trees received 59.2% of ETc and the 30RDI trees received 29.4% of ETc. In the case of the RDI trees the irrigation amounts were particularly low during July and August, when the trees are less sensitive to water stress. At severe water stress levels (values of stem water potential dropped below ca-1.70MPa; turgor pressure<50kPa) half-inversed or completely inversed diurnal Pp curves were observed. Reason for these phenomena is the accumulation of air in the leaves. These phenomena were reversible. Normal diurnal Pp profiles were recorded within a few days after rewatering, the number depending on the level of water stress previously reached. This indicates re-establishment of turgescence of the leaf cells. Crucial information about severe water stress was derived from the inversed diurnal Pp curves. In addition Pp values measured on representative trees of all treatments were compared with balancing pressure (Pb) values recorded with a pressure chamber on leaves taken from the same trees or neighbored trees exposed to the same irrigation strategies. Concomitant diurnal Pb measurements were performed in June and September, i.e. before and after the period of great water stress subjected to RDI trees. Results showed close relationships between Pp and Pb, suggesting that the pressure chamber measures relative turgor pressure changes as the LPCP probe. Therefore the probe seems to be an advantageous alternative to the pressure chamber for monitoring tree water status in hedgerow olive tree orchards. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Rodriguez-Dominguez C.M.,Institute Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia IRNAS CSIC | Ehrenberger W.,University of Würzburg | Ehrenberger W.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | Sann C.,ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | And 9 more authors.
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2012

Stem sap flow (Q) and leaf turgor pressure (P c) were measured simultaneously on 4-year-old, 2.4m tall 'Arbequina' olive trees in a hedgerow orchard. Measurements were performed on well-watered control trees as well as on 60RDI and 30RDI trees (RDI=regulated deficit irrigation). The 60RDI trees received 59.2% of the crop water needs (ET c), and the 30RDI trees received 29.4% of ET c. P c was determined non-invasively using the magnetic leaf patch clamp pressure probe (ZIM probe). The patch pressure P p measured by the probe is inversely correlated with turgor pressure at P c>ca. 50kPa. P c is coupled with xylem pressure; thus P p yields information about the development of tension in xylem. In the case of the control trees a positive correlation between Q and P p was generally found, i.e. Q increased usually with increasing P p and decreased with decreasing P p, as expected. However, Q peaking did not always coincided with P p peaking at noon. Occasionally, Q peaking preceded or followed P p peaking with a time difference of up to 3h in both cases. Under some circumstances, the onset of Q after sunrise was greatly delayed, even though a pronounced increase of P p was observed. A delayed onset of Q after sunrise resulted in hysteresis phenomena, i.e. the linear increase of Q and P p in the morning hours did not coincide with the corresponding decrease of Q and P p in the afternoon. The development of severe water stress (P c

ZIM Plant Technology GmbH | Date: 2012-07-03

Measuring apparatus and instruments in the fields of agriculture and forestry, horticulture as well as agronomy for the purpose of measuring and monitoring plant water and nutrition status of vegetation; computer software for irrigation controllers in the fields of agriculture and forestry, horticulture as well as agronomy; solenoid valves in the field of irrigation; computer programs for viewing measurement data in the fields of agriculture and forestry, horticulture as well as agronomy. Installation and technical services, namely, repair and maintenance thereof, for technical equipment relating to automation and monitoring systems in the field of irrigation; installation of plant irrigation devices and systems; technical consultancy in the field of irrigation installations. Scientific and technological services, namely, research and design services in the fields of agriculture and forestry, horticulture as well as agronomy. Services in the fields of agriculture and forestry, horticulture as well as agronomy, namely, floral, garden, crop, landscape and irrigation layout and design services; agricultural advice services; farming equipment rental; selection of kinds of plants, namely, plant care services and consulting thereof.

The invention relates to a clamp element for a temperature-independent turgor pressure measurement device for measuring the turgor pressure in a plant sample.

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