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Botanical Sciences

versão On-line ISSN 2007-4476versão impressa ISSN 2007-4298


TEZARA, Wilmer et al. Seasonal changes in gas exchange and yield of 21 genotypes of Coffea arabica. Bot. sci [online]. 2022, vol.100, n.4, pp.1000-1013.  Epub 01-Ago-2022. ISSN 2007-4476.


Coffee breeding programs in Ecuador have information on production and disease tolerance in many genotypes; however, they lack physiological information, especially on photosynthetic characteristics and their response to drought.


Whether high genetic variability among coffee genotypes will explains the photosynthetic and production differences expected? Will the physiological response to the dry season (DS) be different between genotypes?

Studied species:

Coffea arabica L.

Study site and dates:

Pichincha canton, Manabí province, Ecuador during March-April 2017 (rainy season, RS) and June-July 2017 (DS).


Leaf relative water content (RWC) and gas exchange of 21 coffee genotypes were measured during DS and RS. Coffee production during a period of three years was evaluated.


Significant differences were found in RWC, photosynthetic rate (A), stomatal conductance (gs) and water use efficiency (WUE) among genotypes, between seasons, an interaction effect of genotype × season. Drought caused a significant reduction in A and gs of 30 and 44 % respectively, while WUE was not affected. A positive linear relationship was found between A and gs, and a negative relationship between A and the leaf-air vapor pressure gradient (ΔW) and between gs and ΔW. Differences in coffee production were found among genotypes.


The high genetic variability of C. arabica genotypes may explain the significant differences in RWC and gas exchange and interaction genotypes x season, suggesting a differential response of each genotype to drought. Eleven of the 21 coffee genotypes were sensitive to drought, but showed different responses, suggesting possible genotypic differences in tolerance.

Palavras-chave : Bean yield; coffee; drought; photosynthesis; water use efficiency.

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