The aim of this chapter is (i) to define water deficit and its consequences on growth and development of higher plants; (ii) to present the interferences induced on metabolism, including gas exchange, biochemical compounds, and osmotic substances; and (iii) to explain how these alterations will affect the growth, development, and production of leguminous plants. This chapter reports that the performance in leguminous is affected by water deficiency, which can cause lower growth and development. For gas exchange, leaf relative water content, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate suffered decrease when cultivated under water deficit. Biochemical compounds, such as soluble amino acids, soluble proteins, proline, and abscisic acid (ABA), are intensively modified after a period under water restriction. The results prove that ABA mediates actively and significantly the proline accumulation and consequent osmotic adjustment in Vigna unguiculata leaves that were induced to water deficit and rehydration.
Part of the book: Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants