A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of pinolene-based film-forming Vapor Gard (VG) emulsion (di-1-p-menthene), a commercial antitranspirant, on the response of the sensitive bean (Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Pinto) plants to realistic ozone fumigations. Plants treated with the chemical were significantly less damaged in comparison with untreated controls when exposed to as much as 150 ppb of ozone in the atmosphere for 4 h. In unozonated plants, photosynthesis as well as stomatal conductance was significantly depressed by the antitranspirant. In VG-treated individuals, (1) visible injury is strongly reduced; (2) membrane damage is counteracted; (3) photosynthetic activity is unchanged, as well as the stomatal conductance and the store of CO2 in substomatal chamber; (4) F v/F m and the other parameters of chlorophyll fluorescence reveal a stability of the photochemical apparatus; and (v) antioxidant defence is not stimulated. Unexpectedly, our results highlighted a dramatic difference between the protective effects towards ozone damage induced by VG, depending on its mode of distribution. As reported above, when entire plants ("both leaves") are treated or untreated with VG, those individuals wherein VG was not applied showed severe alterations in phenomenological, biochemical and ecophysiological parameters investigated due to ozone toxicity. This is not true in the cases where "single primary leaves" or selected regions ("half leaves") are treated with VG. Even if visible injury is present after ozone fumigation, physiological parameters, such as A max and G w, in ozonated and VG-treated single leaves and half leaves are similar to unfumigated controls. Similar results were obtained for chlorophyll fluorescence parameters. A membrane-protective action is observed in half-leaves treatment. It appears that the presence of regions (single leaves or half leaves), which are treated with VG, modifies the behaviour to ozone of untreated regions. Possible explanations of the observed phenomenon are discussed. The antitranspirant di-1-p-menthene proved to be a low-cost, low-technology tool for assessing ozone injury in the field
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