Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Environ Exp Biol (2015) 13: 109–115
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Environmental and

Environ Exp Biol (2015) 13: 109–115

Original paper

Salicylic acid-enhanced morphological and physiological responses in chickpea (Cicer arietinum) under water deficit stress

Shiva Vaisnad, Reza Talebi*,
Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran
*Corresponding author, E-mail: srtalebi@yahoo.com


In order to evaluate the effect of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) on morphological and physiological responses in chickpea under water deficit stress, a field experiment with four chickpea genotypes at two different irrigation regimes were carried out. Foliar spraying of the plants with distilled water (control) and salicylic acid treatments (0.01, 0.1 and 1 mM) were performed four times at 20, 30, 40 and 50 days after sowing. Water deficit stress significantly reduced yield and yield components. Nevertheless, exogenous SA application significantly improved these attributes under water stress conditions. However, drought stress increased leaf proline and soluble sugar concentration and it was further increased by exogenous application of SA. Water stress significantly reduced leaf chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and carotenoid concentrations as compared to well-watered conditions and these were further increased by exogenous application of SA. Exogenously applied SA inhibited or promoted morphological and physiological changes in plants. SA at a concentration of 0.01 mM negatively affected seed yield and its components, while most efficient doses of SA for improving physiological these attributes were 0.1 and 1 mM. The results suggest that application of exogenous SA could help to reduce the adverse effects of drought stress and might have a key role in providing tolerance to stress by promoting growth and accumulation of proline, soluble sugars and photosynthetic pigments in plant leaves.

Key words: chickpea, chlorophyll, drought, morphology, salicylic acid, physiology, yield.

Environ Exp Biol (2015) 13: 109–115
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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University of Latvia

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