Effects of Fertilizer Treatments on Antioxidant Activities and Physiological Traits of Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) under Water Limitation Conditions


1 Department of Medicinal Plants, Shahid Bakeri Higher Education Center of Miandoab, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


Drought stress is a major environmental stress that restricts plant growth and production in the majority of agricultural fields of the world. The application of different fertilizers, especially biofertilizers and organic fertilizers, might play an important role in the production of medicinal plants in order to improve their resistance to deficit water stress. In order to evaluate the effects of fertilizer treatments on antioxidant enzyme activity and physiological characteristics of basils (Ocimum basilicum L.) under water-limited conditions, a study was arranged as a factorial layout based on a randomized complete block design with three replications. Two irrigation intervals (6, and 12 days) and six fertilizers levels [chemical fertilizers (N, P, K), vermicompost (10 t  ha-1) + mycorrhizal fungi (Glomus intraradices), vermicompost +bacterial biofertilizer [Azetobarvar1 (Azotobacter vinelandii as nitrogen-fixing bacteria), Phosphatebarvar2 (Pseudomonas putida and Bacillus lentus as phosphorus solubilizing bacteria), Pota barvar-2 (Pseudomonas koreensis and Pseudomonas vancouverensis as potassium releasing bacteria)], bacterial biofertilizer+mycorrhizal fungi, chemical fertilizers 50% (Basic NPK fertilizer was applied at the rate of 90–120–100 kg/ha in the form of urea, triple super phosphate, and potassium sulfate, respectively)+ bacterial biofertilizer and control] were assigned as the first and second experimental factors, respectively. The results showed that water limitation decreased the chlorophyll content and relative water content, but carotenoids and antioxidantenzyme activities (catalase, superoxide dismutase, and peroxidase) and also osmolytes (proline and sugar) contents were increased. But, the application of fertilizer sources alleviated the drought effects, so the application of fertilizers (especially chemical fertilizers 50% + bacterial biofertilizer) increased these traits at all irrigation levels. Overall, in addition to cellular mechanisms, such as osmoregulation and antioxidant defense, fertilizers sources application can improve antioxidant activities and physiological traits of basil under water-limited conditions.


1. Penuelas J, Munne-Bosch S. Isoprenoids: an evolutionary pool for photoprotection. Trends Plant Sci. 2005;10:166-169.
2. Khalilzadeh R, Seyed Sharifi R, Jalilian J. Antioxidant status and physiological responses of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to cycocel application and bio fertilizers under water limitation condition. J Plant Interact. 2016;1:130-137.
3. Rezaei-Chiyaneh E, Seyyedi SM, Ebrahimian E, Siavash Moghaddama S, Damalasd CA. Exogenous application of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) alleviates the effect of water deficit stress in black cumin (Nigella sativa L.). Ind Crops Prod. 2018;112:741-748.
4. Kaushal M, Wani SP.  Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria: drought stress alleviators to ameliorate crop production in drylands. Ann Microbiol. 2016;66:35-42.
5. Schweiger PF, Jakobsen I. Direct measurement of arbuscular mycorrhizal phosphorus uptake into field- grown winter wheat. Agron J. 1999;91:998-1002.
6. Yuan J, Ruan Y, Wang B, Zhang J, Waseem R, Huang Q, Shen Q. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria strain Bacillus amyloliquefaciena NJN- 6- enriched bio- organic fertilizer suppressed Fusarium wilt and promoted the growth of banana plants. J Agric Food Chem. 2013;61:3774-378.
7. Heidari M, Mousavinik SM, Golpayegani A. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) effect on physiological parameters and mineral uptake in basil (Ociumum basilicm L.) under water stress. J Agric Biol Sci. 2012;6:6-11
8. Ghavami A, Abdossi V, Rafiee M, Khalighi A. The effect of mycorrhiza and vermicompost bio-fertilizers on some physiological characteristics of sweet basil plant (Ocimum basilicum L.) under the stress condition caused by water deficit. Ukr J Ecol. 2017;7:325-329.
9. Syros T, Yupsanis T, Economou A. Factors affecting the determination of peroxidase activity of Ebenus cretica L. cuttings- A preliminary survey. Propag. Ornam. Plants. 2001;1:50-53.
10. Ngo T, Lenhoff M. A sensitive and versatile chromogenic assay for peroxidase and peroxidase-coupled reactions. Anal Biochem. 1980;105:389–397.
11. Minami M, Yoshikawa H. A. Simplified assay method of superoxide dismutase activity for clinical use. Clin Chem Acta. 1979;92:337-342.
12. Aebi H. Catalase in vitro Methods Enzymol. 1984;105:121-126.
13. Lichtenthaler HK; Welbum AR. Determination of total carotenoids and chlorophylls a and b leaf extracts in different solvents. Biochem Soc Trans. 1983;11:591-592.
14. Desingh R, Kangaraj G. Influence of salinity stress on photosynthesis and antioxidative system in two cotton varieties. J Plant Physiol Pathol. 2007;33:221-234.
15. Bates L. Rapid determination of free proline for water stress studies. Plant Soil. 1973;39:205-207.
16. Esfandiari E, Shakiba MR, Mahboob SA, Alyari H, Shahabivand S. The effect of water stress on the antioxidant content, protective enzyme activities, proline content and lipid peroxidation in wheat seedling. Pak J Biol Sci. 2008;11:1916-1922.
17. Ranjbar Fordoei A, Dehghani Bidgholi R. Impact of salinity stress on photochemical efficiency of photosystem II, chlorophyll content and nutrient elements of nitere bush (Nitraria schoberi L.) plants. J Range Sci. 2016;6:3-9.
18. Paknejad F, Majidi heravan E, Noor Mohammadi Q, Siyadat A, Vazan S. Effects of drought stress on chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, chlorophyll content and grain yield of wheat cultivars. J Biol Sci. 2007;7:841-847.
19. Ashraf M, Harris PJC. Photosynthesis under stressful environments: an overview. Photosynthetica. 2013;51:163-190.
20. Talaat NB, Shawky BT. 24-Epibrassinolide ameliorates the saline stress and improves the productivity of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Environ Exp Bot. 2012;82:80-88.
21. Gao S, Ouyang C, Wang S, Xu Y, Tang L, Chen F. Effects of salt stress on growth, antioxidant enzyme and phenylalanine ammonia lyase activities in Jatropha curcas L. seedlings. Plant Soil Environ. 2008;54:374-381.
22. Farhoudi R, Modhej A, Afrous A. Effect of salt stress on physiological and morphological parameters of rapeseed cultivars. J Sci Res Dev. 2015;2:111-117.
23. Ashraf M, Foolad MR. Roles of glycine betaine and proline in improving plant abiotic stress resistance. Environ Exp Bot. 2007;59:206-216.
24. Szabados L, Savouré A. Proline: a multifunctional amino acid. Trends Plant Sci. 2010;15:89-97.
25. Aspinall D, Paleg LG. Proline accumulation: physiological aspects, In: Paleg LG, Aspinall D, eds. The Physiology and biochemistry of drought resistance in plants. Australia: Academic Press, Sydney. 1981;205-241.
26. Pereira WE, De Siqueira DL, Martínez CA, Puiatti M. Gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence in four citrus rootstocks under aluminum stress. J Plant Physiol. 2000;157:513-520.
27. Barnabas B, Jager K, Feher A. The effect of drought and heat stress on reproductive processes in cereals. Plant Cell Environ. 2008;31:11–38
28. Sinclair TR, Ludlow MM. Influence of soil water supply on the plant water balance of four tropical grain legumes. Aust. J Plant Physiol. 1986;13:329-341.
29.  Kazeminasab A, Yarnia M, Lebaschy MH, Mirshekari B, Rejali F. The Effect of Vermicompost and PGPR on Physiological Traits of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis L.) Plant under Drought Stress. J Med Plant & By-product. 2016;2:135-144.
30. Ritchie SW, Nguyen HT, Holaday AS. Leaf water content and gas exchanges parameters of two wheat genotypes differing in drought resistance. Crop Sci. 1990;30:105-111.
31. Nelsen CE, Safir GR. The water relations of well-watered, mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal onion plants. J Am Soc Hortic Sci. 1982;107:271-274.