Exogenous application of potassium improves the drought tolerance in chickpea

Abdul Sattar, Ahmad Sher, Muhammad Ijaz, Muhammad Kashif, Muhammad Suleman, Muhammad Usman Ali, Aown Abbas, Asif Mahboob


Drought is one of the major agricultural problems which cause losses to crop productivity. It is a worldwide problem and prevails in many parts of the world as a major threat to agriculture. Potassium (K) is considered to be an essential nutrient that plays an important role in growth, development and defense response in the plant under stressful conditions. This work investigated the effects of K in drought tolerance of chickpea seedlings by examining growth, photosynthetic performance, total osmo-regulation substance contents and antioxidative enzymes subjected to drought stress. The drought stress impaired the growth (root and shoot dry weight, root: shoot ratio, seedlings biomass), water relations, photosynthetic attributes, transpiration rate and chlorophyll contents and anti-oxidants activity of chickpea seedlings. Nonetheless, the foliar application K improved the growth, water relations, photosynthetic attributes, transpiration rate, chlorophyll contents and anti-oxidative activity of chickpea under drought conditions. Moreover, an increase in antioxidant enzyme activity and accumulation of osmoprotectants (proline, soluble protein and soluble sugar) was noted under stressed conditions, which was more pronounced in chickpea which experienced of K application. To conclude that, foliar application of K mitigated the adverse effect of drought, K was proved to be even more effective in alleviating the adverse effect of drought stress on chickpea.


Antioxidant; Water relation; Potassium; Water deficit

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33687/jacm.002.01.3185


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