The Relationship between Phenylpropanoid Metabolism and Drought in Phaseolus vulgaris
Drought events are expected to become more frequent and more severe with climate change. To date, the extent of metabolic changes in Phaseolus vulgaris L. that are associated with drought are largely unexplored. This thesis investigated whether alterations in flavonol, isoflavone and phenolic acid metabolites are linked to the drought response in two white bean recombinant inbred lines BT6 and BT44 when cultivated under severe drought relative to well-watered conditions. In general, the fresh weight and dry weight biomass of both recombinant inbred lines was reduced under severe drought, but some root/shoot dry weight ratios were increased. Drought stress induced the accumulation of isoflavone-derived phytoalexins in the roots of the white bean plants. Some phenolic acids and a flavonol glycoside accumulated at higher concentrations in the leaves of drought-stressed plants relative to those grown under well-watered conditions. This research identified key phenylpropanoid indicators of severe drought in white bean plants.