Physiological and agro-morphological response of potato to drought stress and hormone application

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD student of Crop Physiology, Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.

2 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.


Potato is considered as a drought sensitive plant. To study the effect of drought stress and hormone on agro-morphological and physiological traits of potato, an experiment was carried out as split plot design based on randomized complete blocks with three replications in 2015 and 2016. The irrigation levels were control (well-watered), mild stress, severe stress and extreme stress, which were arranged in main plots. The second factor included four spaying treatments that were arranged in sub-plots. The foliar applications were as follows: no foliar application (control), gibberellic acid, epibrassinolide and acetyl salicylic acid. Results showed that drought stress and hormones had significant effect on most of the agro-morphological and physiological traits of potato. Leaf dry weight, shoot dry weight, tuber dry weight, plant height, number of stolons, number of tubers, leaf area index (LAI), relative water content (RWC), net photosynthesis rate, transpiration rate, intercellular CO2 concentration and stomatal conductance decreased, while amount of water saturation deficit (WSD) increased by the drought stress. It seems that the negative impact of drought stress on physiological traits, such as RWC, adversely affected the agro-morphological traits of potato. Except for chlorophyll index, hormones significantly affected agro-morphological and physiological traits of the potato plants. Epibrassinolide improved RWC, WUE, intercellular CO2 concentration, tuber dry matter, plant height, number of stolons, leaf dry weight, shoot dry weight and tuber dry weight, while application of gibberellic acid had better effects on LAI, WSD, transpiration rate and number of tubers as compared to epibrassinolide. In fact, these hormones mitigated the negative effects of drought stress in potato.


Ahmadi SH, Andersen MN, Plauborg F, Poulsen RT, Jensen CR, Sepaskhah AR and Hansen S, 2010. Effects of irrigation strategies and soils on field-grown potatoes: gas exchange and xylem [ABA]. Agricultural Water Management 97(10): 1486-1494.
Alexopoulos A,  Aivalakis G,  Akoumianakis KA and Passam HC, 2007. The effect of foliar applications of gibberellic acid and daminozide on plant growth, tuberisation and carbohydrate accumulation within tubers grown from true potato seed (TPS). Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 82(4): 535-540. 
Aliche EB, Oortwijn M, Theeuwen TPJM, Bachem CWB, Visser, RGF and van der Linden CG, 2018. Drought response in field grown potatoes and the interactions between canopy growth and yield.  Agricultural Water Management 206(C): 20-30.
Bajguz A, 2011. Suppression of Chlorella vulgaris growth by cadmium, lead, and copper stress and its restoration by endogenous brassinolide. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 60(3): 406-416.
Barani, M, Akbari N and Ahmadi H, 2013. The effect of gibberellic acid (GA3) on seed size and sprouting of potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum L.). African Journal of Agricultural Research 8(29): 3898-3903.
Barriopedro D, Fischer EM, Luterbacher J, Trigo RM and Garcia-Herrera R, 2011. The hot summer of 2010: redrawing the temperature record map of Europe. Science 332(6026): 220-224.
Bokshi AI, Morris SC and Deverall BJ, 2003. Effects of benzothiadiazole and acetylsalicylic acid on β‐1,3‐glucanase activity and disease resistance in potato. Plant Pathology 52(1):22-27.  
Cairns JE, Sanchez C, Vargas Hernández M, Ordoñez R and Araus JL, 2012. Dissecting maize productivity: ideotypes associated with grain yield under drought stress and well-watered conditions. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 54(12): 1007-1020.
Condon AG, Richards RA, Rebetzke GJ and Farquhar GD, 2004. Breeding for high water-use efficiency. Journal of Experimental Botany 55(407): 2447-2460.
 Crusciol CAC, Pulz AL, Lemos LB, Soratto RP and Lima GPP, 2009. Effects of silicon and drought stress on tuber yield and leaf biochemical characteristics in potato. Crop Science 49(3): 949-954.
Dahal K, Li XQ, Tai H, Creelman A and Bizimungu B, 2019. Improving potato stress tolerance and tuber yield under a climate change scenario - a current overview. Frontiers in Plant Science 10: 563.
Efimova MV, Khripach VA, Boyko EV, Malofii MK, Kolomeichuk LV, Murgan OK, Vidershpun AN, Mukhamatdinova EA and Kuznetsov VV, 2018. The priming of potato plants induced by brassinosteroids reduces oxidative stress and increases salt tolerance. Doklady Biological Sciences 478: 33-36.
Hu Y, Xia S, Su Y, Wang H, Luo W, Su S and Xiao L, 2016. Brassinolide increases potato root growth in-vitro in a dose-dependent way and alleviates salinity stress. Biomed Research International 2016:8231873. doi:10.1155/2016/8231873.
Ierna A and Mauromicale G, 2006. Physiological and growth response to moderate water deficit of off-season potatoes in a Mediterranean environment. Agricultural Water Management 82(1-2):193-209.
Jan S, Alyemeni MN, Wijaya L, Alam P, Siddique KH and Ahmad P, 2018. Interactive effect of 24-epibrassinolide and silicon alleviates cadmium stress via the modulation of antioxidant defense and glyoxalase systems and macronutrient content in Pisum sativum L. seedlings. BMC Plant Biology 18(1): 146.
Javanmardi J and Rasuli F, 2017. Potato yield and tuber quality as affected by gibberellic acid and zinc sulfate. Iran Agricultural Research 36(2): 7-12.
Jefferies RA and MacKerron DKL, 1994. Genotypic differences in water use efficiency in potato. Aspects of applied biology 38: 63-70.
Kauirik R and Naghizadeh M, 2015. Exogenous acetylsalicylic acid stimulates physiological changes to improve growth, yield and yield components of barley under water stress condition. Journal of Plant Physiology and Breeding 5(1): 35-45.
Lahlou O, Ouattar S and Ledent JF, 2003. The effect of drought and cultivar on growth parameters, yield, and yield components of potato. Agronomie 23(3): 257-268.
Lawlor DW, 2002. Limitation to photosynthesis in water-stressed leaves: stomata vs. metabolism and the role of ATP. Annals of Botany 89: 871-885.
Li YH, Liu YJ, Xu XL, Jin M, An LZ and Zhang H, 2012. Effect of 24-epibrassinolide on drought stress-induced changes in Chorispora bungeana. Biologia Plantarum 56(1): 192-196.
Li W, Xiong B, Wang S, Deng X, Yin L and Li H, 2016. Regulation effects of water and nitrogen on the source-sink relationship in potato during the tuber bulking stage. PLoS One 11(1):
López MM, López-López MJ, Martí R, Zamora J, López-Sanchez J and Beltra R, 2001. Effect of acetylsalicylic acid on soft rot produced by Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora in potato tubers under greenhouse conditions. Potato Research 44: 197-206.
Luitel BP, Khatri BB, Choudhary D, Paudel BP, Jung-Sook S, Hur OS, Baek HJ, Cheol KH and Yul RK, 2015. Growth and yield characters of potato genotypes grown in drought and irrigated conditions of Nepal. International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 3: 513-519.
Monneveux P, Ramírez DA and Pino MT, 2013. Drought tolerance in potato (S. tuberosum L.): can we learn from drought tolerance research in cereals? Plant Science 205-206: 76-86.
Ohashi Y, Nakayama N, Saneoka H and Fujita K, 2006. Effects of drought stress on photosynthetic gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and stem diameter of soybean plants. Biologia Plantarum 50(1):138-141.
Pazoki AR, Rezaei H, Habibi D and Paknejad F, 2012. Effect of drought stress, ascorbate and gibberllin foliar application on some morphological traits, RWC and cell membrane stability of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.). Iranian Journal of Agronomy and Plant Breeding 8(1)1-13 (In Persian with English abstract).
Rykaczewska K, 2017. Impact of heat and drought stresses on size and quality of the potato yield. Plant, Soil and Environment 63(1): 40-46.
Sadeghipour O and Aghaei P, 2012. Response of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to exogenous application of salicylic acid (SA) under water stress conditions. Advances in Environmental Biology 6(3): 1160-1168.
Sánchez-Rojo S, López-Delgado HA, Mora-Herrera ME, Almeyda-León HI, Zavaleta-Mancera HA and Espinosa-Victoria D, 2010. Salicylic acid protects potato plants from phytoplasma-associated stress and improves tuber photosynthate assimilation. American Journal of Potato Research. https://doi 10.1007/s12230-010-9175-y.
SAS Institute Inc., 2002. SAS System for Windows Computer Program. Version 9.00. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.
Sinclair TR and Ludlow MM, 1985. Who taught plants thermodynamics? The unfulfilled potential of plant water potential. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 33: 213-217.
Soleimanzadeh H, Habibi D, Ardakani MR, Paknejad F and Rejali F, 2010. Response of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) to drought stress under different potassium levels. World Applied Sciences Journal 8(4): 443-448.
Soltys-Kalina D, Plich J, Strzelczyk-Żyta D, Śliwka J and Marczewski W, 2016. The effect of drought stress on the leaf relative water content and tuber yield of a half-sib family of ‘Katahdin’-derived potato cultivars. Breeding Science 66(2): 328-331.
Stark JC, Love SL, King BA, Marshall JM, Bohl WH and Salaiz T, 2013. Potato cultivar response to seasonal drought patterns. American Journal of Potato Research 90: 207-216.
Stuart NW and Cathey HM, 1961. Applied aspect of the gibberellins. Annual Review of Plant Physiology 12: 369-394.
Talaat NB and Abdallah AM, 2010. Effect of 28-homobrassinolide and 24-epibrassinolide on the growth, productivity and nutritional value of two faba bean (Vicia faba L.) cultivars. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 56(6): 649-669.
Tandon HLS (Ed.), 1995. Methods of Analysis of Soils, Plants, Waters, Fertilizers and Organic Manures. Fertilizer Development and Consultation Organization, New Delhi, India.
Tátrai ZA, Sanoubar R, Pluhár Z, Mancarella S, Orsini F and Gianquinto G, 2016. Morphological and physiological plant responses to drought stress in Thymus citriodorus. International Journal of Agronomy. 2016:
Turner NC, 1981. Techniques and experimental approaches for the measurement of plant water status. Plant and Soil 58(1): 339-366.
Turner FT and Jund MF, 1991. Chlorophyll meter to predict nitrogen topdress requirement for semidwarf rice. Agronomy Journal 83: 926-928.
Upadhyaya CP, Bagri DS and Upadhyay DC, 2015. Ascorbic acid and/or 24-epibrassinolide trigger physiological and biochemical responses for the salt stress mitigation in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 3(4): 655-667.
Xie K, Wang XX, Zhang R, Gong X, Zhang S, Mares V, Gavilán C, Posadas A and Quiroz R, 2012. Partial root-zone drying irrigation and water utilization efficiency by the potato crop in semi-arid regions in China. Scientia Horticulturae134: 20-25.
Yactayo W, Ramírez DA, Gutiérrez R, Mares V, Posadas A and Quiroz R, 2013. Effect of partial root-zone drying irrigation timing on potato tuber yield and water use efficiency. Agricultural Water Management 123: 65-70.