Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 177–187 | Cite as

Physiological and yield responses of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench) to nitrogen sources at different levels of irrigation

  • Marziyeh Jalil Sheshbahreh
  • Mohsen Movahhedi DehnaviEmail author
  • Amin Salehi
  • Babak Bahreininejad
Research Article


Echinacea purpurea (L.) is one of the most important medicinal plants in the world showing different biochemical reactions as affected by drought stress and nitrogen fertilizer. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of nitrogen on soluble protein, enzyme activities, carotenoids metabolism, greenness and biological yield of the Echinacea purpurea under different levels of irrigation. The experiment was conducted in a research field in Iran during 2013–2015. Irrigation treatments included irrigation after 25, 50 and 75% soil water depletion, and nitrogen sources were no nitrogen (N), nitroxin, 40 kg N ha−1, 40 kg N ha−1 + nitroxin and 80 kg N ha−1. Nitroxin is a biofertilizer including Azotobacter and Azospirillum. The activity of catalase (11.9–21.3 mmol g−1fw min−1), peroxidase (40.1–48.9 µmol g−1fw min−1), polyphenoloxidase (0.79–3.63 mmol g−1fw min−1) increased in both years under drought stress conditions. The lowest greenness (50.1–45.9) was achieved from no-application of nitrogen in the irrigation treatment after 75% water depletion. The results demonstrated the beneficial effects of nitrogen sources on physiological reactions, especially peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase and carotenoids metabolism. It is concluded that irrigation of E. purpurea based on 50% water depletion and 80 kg nitrogen as well as the combination of nitroxin and 40 kg nitrogen treatments should be an appropriate choice for 2 years.


Antioxidant enzymes Biological yield Drought stress Soluble proteins Carotenoids 

Supplementary material

12298_2018_611_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (5.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 5230 kb)
12298_2018_611_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (269 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 268 kb)


  1. Abdalla M, El-Khoshiban N (2007) The influence of water stress on growth, relative water content, photosynthetic pigments, some metabolic and hormonal contents of two Triticium aestivum cultivars. J Appl Sci Res 3:2062–2074Google Scholar
  2. Appel K, Hirt H (2004) Reactive oxygen species: metabolism, oxidative stress and signal transduction. J Plant Biol 55:373–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartwal A, Mall R, Lohani P, Guru SK, Arora S (2013) Role of secondary metabolites and brassinosteroids in plant defense against environmental stresses. Plant Growth Regul 32:216–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boeckx T, Winters AL, Judith Webb K, Kingston-Smith AH (2015) Polyphenol oxidase in leaves: is there any significance to the chloroplast localization? J Exp Bot 66(12):3571–3579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bonomelli C, Cisterna D, Reciné C (2005) Effect of nitrogen fertilization on Echinacea purpurea mineral composition. Cien Investig Agrar 32(2):85–91Google Scholar
  6. Bradford M (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Annu Rev Biochem 72:248–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cakmak I, Horst W (1991) Effect of aluminum on lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase activities in root tip soybean. J Plant Physiol 83:463–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chang Z, Liu Y, Dong H, Teng K, Han L, Zhang X (2016) Effects of cytokinin and nitrogen on drought tolerance of creeping bentgrass. J PLoS ONE 11(4):e0154005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feller U, Anders I, Mae T (2008) Rubiscolytics: fate of Rubisco after its enzymatic function in a cell is terminated. J Exp Bot 59:1615–1624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Freire de Sousa DP, Braga BB, Gondim FA, Gomes-Filho E, Martins K, Batista de Brito PO (2016) Increased drought tolerance in maize plants induced by H2O2 is closely related to an enhanced enzymatic antioxidant system and higher soluble protein and organic solutes contents. Theor Exp Plant Physiol 28:297–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Furtana GB, Tipirdamaz R (2010) Physiological and antioxidant response of three cultivars of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) to salinity. Turk J Biol 34:287–296Google Scholar
  12. Ghanati F, Morita A, Yokota H (2002) Induction of suberin and increase of lignin content by excess Boron in Tabacco cell. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 48:357–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilik BR, Penrose D, Wenbo M (2001) Bacterial promotion of plant growth. Biotechnol Adv 19(2):135–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hassegawa RH, Fonseca H, Fancelli AL, Silva VN, Schammass EA, Reis TA, Corrêa B (2008) Influence of macro- and micronutrient fertilization on fungal contamination and fumonisin production in corn grains. Food Control 19:36–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Inze D (2008) Oxidative stress in plant. Environ Exp Bot 48(5):351–358Google Scholar
  16. Jalilian J, Mohammad Modarres-Sanavy SA, Saberali SF, Sadat-Asilan K (2012) Effects of the combination of beneficial microbes and nitrogen on sunflower seed yields and seed quality traits under different irrigation regimes. Field Crop Res 127:26–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kotapati KV, Kumar Palaka B, Kandukuri A, Pamuru RR, Ampasala DR (2014) Response of anti-oxidative enzymes and lipoxygenas to drought stress in Finger Millet leaves (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn). IJPAES 4(3):644–653Google Scholar
  18. Kramer PJ, Boyer JS (1995) Water relation of plants and soils. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee MRF, Tweed JKS, Minchin FR, Winters AL (2009) Red clover polyphenol oxidase: activation, activity and efficacy under grazing. J Anim Feed Sci Technol 149:250–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lichtenthder HK (1987) Chlorophylls and carotenoids: pigments of photosynthetic biomembranes. Methods Enzymol 147:350–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mohammadkhani N, Heidari R (2008) Drought-induced accumulation of soluble sugars and proline in two maize varieties. WASJ 3:448–453Google Scholar
  22. Nabizadeh E, Habibi H, Hosainpour M (2012) The effect of fertilizers and biological nitrogen and planting density on yield quality and quantity Pimpinella anisum L. Eur J Exp Biol 2(4):1326–1336Google Scholar
  23. Ort D (2001) When there is too much light. Plant Physiol 125:29–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Purves WK, Savada S, Orians GH, Heller HC (2004) Life: the science of biology. Sinauer Associate’s, Sunderland, p 1121Google Scholar
  25. Ramel F, Birtic S, Ginies C, Soubigou-Taconnat L, Triantaphylidès C, Havaux M (2012) Carotenoid oxidation products are stress signals that mediate gene responses to singlet oxygen in plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(14):5535–5540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reis AR, Favarin JL, Malavolta E, Júnior JL, Moraes MF (2009) Photosynthesis, chlorophylls, and SPAD readings in coffee leaves in relation to nitrogen supply. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 40:1512–1528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Saiedian S, Keyhani E, Keyhani J (2007) Polyphenol oxidase activity in dormant saffron (Crocus sativus L.) corn. Acta Physiol Plant 29:463–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sairam RK, Srivastava GC (2001) Water stress tolerance of wheat Triticum aestivum L.: variation in hydrogen peroxide accumulation and antioxidant activity in tolerant and susceptible genotype. Agron Crop Sci 186:63–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sanchez FJ, Manzanares M, Tenorio JL, Ayerbe L (1998) Turgor maintenance, osmotic adjustment and soluble sugar and proline accumulation in 49 pea cultivars in response to water stress. Field Crops Res 59:225–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tsai YL, Chiou SY, Chan KC, Sung JM, Lin SD (2012) Caffeic acid derivatives, total phenols, antioxidant and anti-mutagenic activities of Echinacea purpurea flower extracts. Food Sci Technol 46:169–176Google Scholar
  31. Turkan I, Bor M, Ozdemir F, Koca H (2005) Differential response of lipid peroxidation and antioxidants in the leaves of drought-tolerant P. Acutifolius Gray and drought-sensitive P. vulgaris L. subjected to polyethylene glycol mediated water stress. Plant Sci 168:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wang K, Zhang X, Ervin E (2012) Antioxidative responses in roots and shoots of creeping bentgrass under high temperature: effects of nitrogen and cytokinin. Plant Physiol 169(5):492–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Xiong D, Liu X, Liu L, Douthe C, Li Y, Peng S, Huang J (2015) Rapid responses of mesophyll conductance to changes of CO2 concentration, temperature and irradiance are affected by N supplements in rice. Plant Cell Environ 38:2541–2550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhang SG, Liu GL (2001) Plant nutrition and drought resistance of crops. Chin Bull Bot 1:64–69Google Scholar
  35. Zhang LX, Li SX, Zhang H, Liang ZS (2007) Nitrogen rates and water stress effects on production, lipid peroxidation and anti-oxidative enzyme activities in two maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes. J Agron Crop Sci 193:387–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhu Y, Fan X, Wu J, Wang T (2014) Effect of different levels of nitrogen deficiency on switch grass seedling growth. Crop J 2(4):223–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zolgharnein J, Niazi A, Afiuni-Zadeh S, Zamani K (2010) Determination of cichoric acid as a biomarker in Echinaceae purpurea cultivated in Iran using high performance liquid chromatography. Chin Med J 1:23–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of AgricultureYasouj UniversityYasoujIran
  2. 2.Research Division of Natural ResourcesIsfahan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEOIsfahanIran

Personalised recommendations