Salicylic acid mediated physiological and biochemical alterations to confer drought stress tolerance in Zinnia (Z. elegans)

  • Gulzar Akhtar Department of Horticulture, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan
  • Fahim Nawaz Department of Agronomy, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan
  • Muhammad Amin Department of Horticultural Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur
  • Muhammad Asif Shehzad Department of Agronomy, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan
  • Kashif Razzaq Department of Horticulture, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan
  • Nazar Faried Department of Horticulture, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan
  • Yasar Sajjad Department of Biotechnology, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad campus
  • Amjad Farooq Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari campus
  • Ahsan Akram Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
  • Sami Ullah Department of Horticulture, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan
keywords: Drought tolerance, Salicylic acid, Pigments, Antioxidant machinery, Zinnia


Background: Protective role of salicylic acid against drought has been widely reported, but its effects on Zinnia elegansremain unknown.

Hypotheses: Foliar salicylic acid (SA) improves water status, pigments, and antioxidant systems of Zinnia plants under drought stress.

Studied species: Z. elegans (cv. Dreamland) were purchased from Chanan Seeds Store Lahore, Pakistan.

Study site and dates: MNS University of Agriculture, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan; March-May, 2018.

Methods: After two weeks of transplanting, one set of seedlings was exposed to drought stress (60 % field capacity, FC) while other control set was maintained at 100 % FC. Foliar SA (100 mg L-1) was applied to plants at drought initiation.

Results: Foliar SA treatment to water stressed plants (60 % FC) increased the leaf area (46.89 cm2), shoot and root lengths (25 cm and 26.67 cm, respectively), leaf relative water content (75.98 %); chlorophyll a (0.68 mg g-1), chlorophyll b (0.38 mg g-1) and carotenoid concentrations (1.10 mg g-1); and catalase (116.67 U min-1 mg-1 protein), guaiacol peroxide (72 U min-1 mg-1 protein) and superoxide dismutase (93 U min-1 mg-1 protein) activities.

Conclusions: Foliar SA could be used to minimize impacts of water stress in Zinnia plants.


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Salicylic acid mediated physiological and biochemical alterations to confer drought stress tolerance in <em>Zinnia</em> (<em>Z. elegan</em>s)


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How to Cite
Akhtar, G., Nawaz, F., Amin, M., Shehzad, M. A., Razzaq, K., Faried, N., Sajjad, Y., Farooq, A., Akram, A., & Ullah, S. (2022). Salicylic acid mediated physiological and biochemical alterations to confer drought stress tolerance in Zinnia (Z. elegans). Botanical Sciences, 100(4), 977-988.