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Screening for drought tolerance in cultivars of the ornamental genus Tagetes (Asteraceae)

PeerJ, 01 June 2016, Vol.4, p.e2133 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Screening for drought tolerance in cultivars of the ornamental genus Tagetes (Asteraceae)
  • Author: Raluca Cicevan ; Mohamad Al Hassan ; Adriana F. Sestras ; Jaime Prohens ; Oscar Vicente ; Radu E. Sestras ; Monica Boscaiu
  • Found In: PeerJ, 01 June 2016, Vol.4, p.e2133 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Osmolytes ; Drought ; Antioxidants ; Growth ; Tagetes ; Pigments ; Medicine
  • Language: English
  • Description: Drought tolerance was evaluated in twelve cultivars of three ornamental Tagetes species (T. patula, T. tenuifolia and T. erecta). A stress treatment was performed by completely stopping watering of plants maintained in controlled greenhouse conditions. After three weeks, several plant growth parameters (stem length (SL), fresh weight (FW) and water content (WC)), photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids (Car)), osmolytes (proline (Pro), glycine betaine (GB) and total soluble sugars (TSS)), an oxidative stress maker (malondialdehyde (MDA)) and antioxidants (total phenolic compounds (TPC) and total flavonoids (TF)) were measured. Considerable differences in the evaluated traits were found among the control and drought-stressed plants. Drought stress generally caused a marked reduction in plant growth and carotenoid pigments, and an increase in soluble solutes and oxidative stress. For most cultivars, proline levels in stressed plants increased between 30 and 70-fold compared to the corresponding controls. According to the different measured parameters, on average T. erecta proved to be more tolerant to drought than T. patula and T. tenuifolia. However, a considerable variation in the tolerance to drought was found within each species. The traits with greater association to drought tolerance as well as the most tolerant cultivars could be clearly identified in a principal components analysis (PCA). Overall, our results indicate that drought tolerant cultivars of Tagetes can be identified at early stages using a combination of plant growth and biochemical markers.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 2167-8359 ; DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2133

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