Ozone-induced effects on leaves in African crop species

Sharps, Katrina; Hayes, Felicity; Harmens, Harry; Mills, Gina. 2021 Ozone-induced effects on leaves in African crop species. Environmental Pollution, 268 (A), 115789. 9, pp.

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Tropospheric (ground-level) ozone is a harmful phytotoxic pollutant, and can have a negative impact on crop yield and quality in sensitive species. Ozone can also induce visible symptoms on leaves, appearing as tiny spots (stipples) between the veins on the upper leaf surface. There is little measured data on ozone concentrations in Africa and it can be labour-intensive and expensive to determine the direct impact of ozone on crop yield in the field. The identification of visible ozone symptoms is an easier, low cost method of determining if a crop species is being negatively affected by ozone pollution, potentially resulting in yield loss. In this study, thirteen staple African food crops (including wheat (Triticum aestivum), common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and finger millet (Eleusine coracana)) were exposed to an episodic ozone regime in a solardome system to monitor visible ozone symptoms. A more detailed examination of the progression of ozone symptoms with time was carried out for cultivars of P. vulgaris and T. aestivum, which showed early leaf loss (P. vulgaris) and an increased rate of senescence (T. aestivum) in response to ozone exposure. All of the crops tested showed visible ozone symptoms on their leaves in at least one cultivar, and ozone sensitivity varied between cultivars of the same crop. A guide to assist with identification of visible ozone symptoms (including photographs and a description of symptoms for each species) is presented.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: ozone, visible leaf symptoms, African crops, cultivars, early leaf senescence
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 21 Dec 2020 15:20 +0 (UTC)

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