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Balangu (Lallemantia sp.) growth and physiology under field drought conditions affecting plant medicinal content

Omidi, Heshmat, Shams, Hoda, Sahandi, Mahdi Saif, Rajabian, Tayebeh, Miransari, Mohammad
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2018
Lallemantia royleana, ascorbate peroxidase, carotenoids, crop yield, drought, enzyme activity, field capacity, field experimentation, global warming, irrigation, lipid content, medicinal properties, peroxidase, phenolic compounds, plant growth, proline, secondary metabolites, superoxide dismutase, water potential, water stress
Drought stress is one of the most important stresses adversely affecting plant growth and yield production. Due to the importance of global warming, the investigation of drought effects on the growth and quality of medical plants is of vital importance. Accordingly, a two-year field experiment was conducted in 2013–2014 to determine the effects of drought levels and plant species on Balangu (Lallemantia sp.) growth and physiological properties including medicinal content. The experiment was a split plot in which the drought levels (main plots) including control (D1, moisture field capacity, water potential at, 0.5 atm), moderate stress (D2, 6.5 atm) and severe stress (D3, 9.5 atm), and the Balangu species (sub plots) including Lallemantia royleana (Benth) (L1) and L. iberica (L2) were tested as the experimental treatments. Plant yield, oil content and the biochemical properties (i.e. medicinal content) including phenolic compounds, proline, carotenoids, and the activity of antioxidant enzymes including peroxidase (EC 1.11.1), super oxide dismutase (SOD, EC and ascorbate peroxidase (APX, EC were determined. Drought stress significantly decreased crop yield and oil content. However, the production of phenolic compounds and proline as well as the activity of antioxidant enzymes, SOD and APX increased under stress. The species L2 was the more tolerant species under drought stress. The interesting point about this research work is the increased production of secondary metabolites (i.e. phenolic compounds) under stress, affecting both Balangu response and medicinal properties. Accordingly, it may be possible to regulate the production of secondary metabolites (medicinal contents) in Balangu species by adjusting the irrigating practices.