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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science

 

Effects of Chilling Temperatures on Photosynthesis

Authors: A. Scott Holaday, James R. Mahan, and Paxton Payton
Pages: 220-231
Molecular Biology and Physiology

Environmental stress is an inescapable reality for most plants growing in natural settings. Conditions of sub- or supraoptimal temperatures, water deficit, water logging, salinity, and pollution can have dramatic effects on plant growth and development, and in agricultural settings, yield. In cotton, yield is a product of the number of mature bolls produced in a given area and the amount of cotton produced by each boll. Though cotton is among the most stress-tolerant crop plants, suboptimal environmental conditions limit the yields and quality of fiber and seed. The most significant effects of abiotic stress related to yield are on fertilization, boll retention, and boll filling. Maintenance of photoassimilate supply during fruit development is critical in achieving high yields in cotton. Because photosynthesis is the driving force behind plant productivity, although not the only factor that determines yield, plants have developed numerous mechanisms that serve to protect the photosynthetic apparatus during stressful conditions. Cotton is produced across a wide range of environments and management conditions, from hot and humid subtropical to semiarid environments. Although production is limited by varying environmental conditions across these environments, it is clear that the physiological resilience to abiotic stress is considerable. We present a review of our understanding of low-temperature limitations to photosynthesis and the impact on productivity. Additionally, we use the High Plains region of Texas as a case study to highlight potential key developmental aspects of low-temperature stress on yield.