Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 61–76 | Cite as

Iron supplement ameliorates drought-induced alterations in physiological attributes of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Original Article


This study was conducted to examine the response of fennel to foliar applied Fe under contrasting moisture conditions. Twelve fennel genotypes were subjected to two levels of irrigation (irrigation after 35 and 85 % depletion of available soil water) and two levels of Fe solution (0 and 4 g kg−1). Plants subjected to drought showed notable reductions in leaf chlorophyll a (Chl a), Chl b, relative water content (RWC), water potential (ψw), carotenoids, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), seed yield and plant dry mass (DM). Though, drought-treated plants indicated notable increases in proline concentration, super oxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activities and seed essential oil concentration. Genotypic variations for DM and grain yield were consistent with differences among the genotypes in ψw, RWC, proline, Chl a and Chl b concentrations. Fe led to significant increases in APX and SOD activities and carotenoids, Chl a and Chl b concentrations. The mitigative effect of Fe tended to be more notable on the drought-stricken plants for a majority of the traits. From our findings, Fe could be appreciated as a micronutrient effective in ameliorating at least in part the stressful effects of drought on plants.


Chlorophyll Fe Grain yield Medicinal plant Proline 



This work was financed by the Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, College of AgricultureIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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