How do different watering regimes affect the growth, chlorophyll fluorescence, phytohormone and phenolic acid content of greenhouse-grown Ceratotheca triloba?

Masondo N.A., Aremu A.O., Kulkarni M.G., Petřík I., Plačková L., Šubrtová M., Novák O., Grúz J., Doležal K., Strnad M., Finnie J.F., Van Staden J.

Klíčová slova: Abscisic acid, Cytokinins, Phytochemicals, Phytosynthesis, Traditional leafy vegetable, Water stress
Abstrakt: We evaluated the effect of different watering regimes on the growth, chlorophyll fluorescence, phytohormones, and phenolic acids in Ceratotheca triloba (Bernh.) Hook.f., a commonly consumed African indigenous leafy vegetable. The study was conducted in the greenhouse under different watering regimes [seven (daily); three (thrice); two (twice); one (once) day(s) per week] for a period of 2 and 4-months. In each pot (7.5 cm diameter; 150 ml volume), 50 ml of water was applied per treatment. At the end of the experiment, plant growth, chlorophyll fluorescence, phytohormones, and phenolic acids were determined. A decrease in water availability resulted in a consistent decline in plant growth after a 4-month growth period. The severity of reduced water availability was more noticeable in plants watered once a week with a 1.4-fold reduction in growth and quantum efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) value of 0.80. The significant decline in growth and chlorophyll fluorescence was probably due to the increased production of abscisic acid (ABA) and cytokinin (CK) content together with the detected phytohormones in plants with restricted water supply. Furthermore, plants watered once a week had a trade-off between growth and phenolic acid production, with significantly higher (threefolds) concentrations of vanillic, ferulic, caffeic, and 4-coumaric acids in 4-month-old plants. Even though C. triloba grew best in well-watered soil, the plant had the potential to adapt and survive in soils with limited water supply for longer periods of growth. These findings suggest that regulation of phytohormones and phenolic acids played an important role in improving the growth of C. triloba under limited water conditions.
DOI: 10.1007/s00344-018-9848-1 Autoři z ÚEB: Karel Doležal, Jiří Grúz, Ondřej Novák, Lenka Plačková, Miroslav Strnad