The state of Rio Grande do Sul is the largest peach productor in Brazil; however, it still possesses poor yield values when compared with other states. One of the problems associated with this is the occurrence of soils with drainage problems, mainly in Pelotas region, which depending on the year period, may undergo water deficit or flooding situations in the great majority of the years, which harm the crop development and yield. Among the harmful effects caused by these stresses stand out, the decrease in the net assimilation rate, closure of stomata, reduction of the cell activities, production of reactive oxygen species, membrane and protein destabilization. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate in what magnitude of the gaseous exchange parameters of Prunus spp. rootstocks are influenced under drought and flood stress. In the experiment, gas exchange parameters net photosynthetic rate (A) stomata conductance (gs), intercellular carbon (Ci) and transpiration (E)] were evaluated in three Prunus spp. rootstocks (peach tree ‘Capdeboscq’ and plum trees ‘Julior’ and ‘Marianna 2624’) under three water conditions (control, water deficit and soil flooding) for seven days. The three rootstocks proved more susceptible to flooding than to water deficit, only varying in response time, which is intrinsic to each genotype, and that there is a genetic variability for the tolerance to the studied stresses. The variation on physiological response to the water deficit stress was later in both evaluated genotypes. However, in general, ‘Julior’ presented greater tolerance to both stresses when compared to the other rootstocks evaluated. Such information is useful to help in the choice of rootstocks for plant production, in the orchard management and for plant breeding programs, aiming at the selection of new genotypes with increased tolerance to these water stresses.
water stress; photosynthesis; peach tree; plum tree