Antioxidant and carbohydrate changes of two pomegranate cultivars under deficit irrigation stress

  • Morteza Ebtedaie Shiraz University, College of Agriculture, Dept. Horticultural Science, P.O. Box 65186-71441 Shiraz
  • Akhtar Shekafandeh Shiraz University, College of Agriculture, Dept. Horticultural Science, P.O. Box 65186-71441 Shiraz
Keywords: field capacity, enzyme activity, Punica granatum L., water stress


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biochemical responses to water stress tolerance of two pomegranate cultivars, ‘Rabbab’ and ‘Shishehgap’. After the establishment of rooted stem cuttings of both cultivars under greenhouse conditions, they were treated with four levels of deficit irrigations (100%, 75%, 50% and 25% of field capacity) in a completely randomized design with four replications. The results showed a significant difference between the two cultivars regarding antioxidant enzymes activities. In both cultivars, the water stress increased the activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase and ascorbate peroxidase. However, at high water deficit (25% field capacity, FC), ‘Rabbab’ showed significantly higher enzyme activity than ‘Shishehgap’. In each level of irrigation, there were not considerable differences in peroxidase activity between the two cultivars. An increment of 162% and 65.5% in soluble sugar was gained at 50% FC in ‘Rabbab’ and ‘Shishehgap’, respectively. ‘Rabbab’ showed better growth performance in each level of irrigation than ‘Shishehgap’. Therefore, it can be concluded that 'Rabbab', with lesser decline in leaf relative water content (RWC), a strong antioxidant system and accumulation of more soluble carbohydrates, can resist higher water stress than 'Shishehgap'.


Download data is not yet available.


Aghaleh M, Niknam V, Ebrahimzadeh H, Razavi K, 2010. Effect of salt stress on physiological and antioxidative responses in two species of Salicornia (S. persica and S. europaea). Acta Physiol Plant 33: 1261-1270. https:/

Al-Said FA, Opara UL, Al-Yahyai RA, 2009. Physico-chemical and textural quality attributes of pomegranate cultivars (Punica granatum L.) grown in the Sultanate of Oman. J Food Eng 90: 129-134. https:/

Anjum SA, Wang L, Farooq M, Khan I, Xue L, 2011. Methyl jasmonate-induced alteration in lipid peroxidation, antioxidative defence system and yield in soybean under drought. J Agron Crop Sci 197: 296-301. https:/

Becana M, Matamoros MA, Udvardi M, Dalton DA, 2010. Recent insights into antioxidant defenses of legume root nodules. New Phytol 188: 960-976. https:/

Blum A, 2011. Plant breeding for water-limited environments. Springer. 258 pp. https:/

Chance B, Maehly AC, 1955. Assay of catalase and peroxidas. In: Methods in enzymology; Culowic SP & Kaplan NO (eds), pp: 764-765. Academic Press Inc, NY.

Chaves MM, Oliveira MM, 2004. Mechanisms underlying plant resilience to water deficits: prospects for water-saving agriculture. J Exp Bot 55: 2365-2384. https:/

Dhindsa RS, Plumb-Dhindsa P, Thorpe TA, 1981. Leaf senescence: Correlated with increased levels of membrane permeability and lipid peroxidation and decreased levels of superoxide dismutase and catalase. J Exp Bot 32: 93-101. https:/

Dubois M, Gilles KA, Hamilton JK, Rebers PA, Smith F, 1956. Colorimetric method for determination of sugar and analytical chemistry. Anal Chem 28: 350-356. https:/

Eslamian S, Soltani S, 2002. Plenty analysis of flood (translation). Arkan Pub, Paper 344.

Fawole OA, Opara UL, Theron KI, 2012. Chemical and phytochemical properties and antioxidant activities of three pomegranate cultivars grown in South Africa. Food Bioprocess Technol 5 (7): 2934-2940. https:/

Flexas J, Medrano H, 2002. Drought‐inhibition of photosynthesis in C3 plants: Stomatal and non‐stomatal limitations revisited. Ann Bot 89: 183-189. https:/

Galindo A, Calín-Sànchez Á, Collado-González J, ‎Ondo-o S, Hernández F, Torrecillas A, ‎Carbonell-Barrachina AA, ‎2014‎. ‎Phytochemical and quality attributes of pomegranate fruits for juice consumption as affected by ripening stage and deficit irrigation. J Sci Food Agric 94: 2259-2265‎. https:/

Gill SS, Tuteja N, 2010. Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant machinery in abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. Plant Physiol Bioch 48: 909-930. https:/

Gomez-Cadenas A, Tadeo FR, Talon M, Primo-Milo E, 1996. Leaf abscission induced by ethylene in water-stressed intact seedlings of Cleopatra Mandarin requires previous abscisic acid accumulation in roots. Plant Physiol 112: 401-408. https:/

Greenwood DJ, Zhang K, Hilton HW, Thompson AJ, 2010. Opportunities for improving irrigation efficiency with quantitative models soil water sensors and wireless technology. J Agri Sci 148: 1-16. https:/

Heldt H, Piechulla B, 2011. Plant Biochemistry, 4th ed. Academic Press, London, 622 pp.

Hessini K, Martinez JP, Gandour M, Albouchi A, Soltani A, Abdelly C, 2009. Effect of water stress on growth, osmotic adjustment, cell wall elasticity and water-use efficiency in Spartina alterniflora. Environ Exp Bot 67: 312-319. https:/

Hoekstra FA, Golovina EA, Buitink J, 2001. Mechanisms of plant desiccation tolerance. Trends in Plant Sci 6(9): 431-438. https:/

Hojati M, Modarres-Sanavy SAM, Karimi M, Ghanati F, 2011. Responses of growth and antioxidant systems in Carthamus tinctorius L. under water deficit stress. Acta Physiol Plant 33: 105-112. https:/

Holland D, Bar-Ya’akov I, 2008. The pomegranate: New interest in an ancient fruit. Chron Hort 48: 12-15.

Holland D, Hatib K, Bar-Ya´akov I, 2009. Pomegranate: Botany, Horticulture and Breeding. Hortic Rev 35: 127-191. https:/

Hongbo S, ZongSuo L, Ming AS, 2006. Osmotic regulation of 10 wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes at soil water deficits. Colloid Surf B 47: 132-139. https:/

Huseynova IM, 2012. Photosynthetic characteristics and enzymatic antioxidant capacity of leaves from wheat cultivars exposed to drought. Biochim Biophys Acta–Bioenergetics 1817: 1516–1523. https:/

Jiménez M, De Juan JA, Tarjuelo JM, Ortega JF, 2010. Effect of irrigation uniformity on evapotranspiration and onion yield. J Agri Sci 148: 139-157. https:/

Khalvati M, Bartha B, Dupigny A, Schröder P, 2010. Arbuscular mycorrhizal association is beneficial for growth and detoxification of xenobiotics of barley under drought stress. J Soil Sed 10: 54-64. https:/

Levin GM, 2006. Pomegranate roads: a Soviet botanist's exile from Eden. Floreant Press, Forestville, CA, USA. pp: 15-83.

Li Y, Sun C, Huang Z, Pan J, Wang L, Fan X, 2009. Mechanisms of progressive water deficit tolerance and growth recovery of Chinese maize foundation genotypes Huangzao 4 and Chang 7-2, which are proposed on the basis of comparison of physiological and transcriptomic responses. Plant Cell Physiol 50: 2092-2111. https:/

Manivannan P, Jaleel CA, Kishorekumar A, Sankar B, Somasundaram R, Sridharan R, Panneerselvam R, 2007. Changes in antioxidant metabolism of Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp by propiconazole under water deficit stress. Colloid Surf B 57: 69-74. https:/

McCready RM, Guggolz J, Silviera V, Owens HS, 1950. Determination of starch and amylase in vegetables. Anal Chem 22: 1156-1158. https:/

Mena P, Gironés-Vilaplana A, Moreno DA, García-Viguera C, 2011. Pomegranate fruit for health promotion: Myths and realities. Funct Plant Sci Biotechnol 5: 33-42.

Miller G, Suzuki N, Ciftcie Yilmaz S, Mittler R, 2010. Reactive oxygen species homeostasis and signalling during drought and salinity stresses. Plant Cell Environ 33: 453-467. https:/

Mittler R, 2002. Oxidative stress, antioxidants and stress tolerance. Trends Plant Sci 7: 405-410. https:/

Mittler R, Vanderauwera S, Gollery M, Van Breusegem F, 2004. Reactive oxygen gene network of plants. Trends Plant Sci 9: 490-498. https:/

Morton J, 1987. Pomegranate. In: Fruits of warm climates; Morton JF (Ed), pp: 352-355. Miami, FL, USA.

Nakano Y, Asada K, 1981. Hydrogen peroxide is scavenged by ascorbate specific peroxide in spinach chloroplast. Plant Cell Physiol 22: 867-880.

Richards LA, 1949. Methods of measuring soil moisture tension. Soil Sci 68: 95–112. https:/

Saraswathi SG, Paliwal K, 2011. Drought induced changes in growth, leaf gas exchange and biomass production in Albizial ebbeck and Cassia siamea seedlings. J Environ Biol 32: 173-178.

Sharma P, Jha AB, Shanker DR, Pessarakli M, 2012. Reactive oxygen species, oxidative damage and antioxidative defense mechanism in plants under stressful conditions. J Bot Article ID 217037, 26 pp.

Shigeoka S, Ishikawa T, Tamoi M, Miyagawa Y, Takeda T, Yabuta Y, 2002. Regulation and function of ascorbate peroxidase isozymes. J Exp Bot 53: 1305-1319. https:/

Sofo A, Tuzio AC, Dichio B, Xiloyannis C, 2005. Influence of water deficit and rewatering on the components of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle in four interspecific Prunus hybrids. Plant Sci 69: 403-412. https:/

Tahi H, Wahbi S, Modafar CE, Aganchich A, Serraj R, 2008. Changes in antioxidant activities and phenol content in tomato plants subjected to partial root drying and regulated deficit irrigation. J Plant Biosyst 142: 550-562. https:/

Taiz L, Zeiger E, 2010. Plant Physiology, 5th Ed. Sinauer Assoc. Inc., Sunderland.

Thakur A, 2004. Use of easy and less expensive methodology to rapidly screen fruit crops for drought tolerance. Acta Hortic 662: 231-235. https:/

Varasteh F, Arzani K, Zamani Z, Mohseni A, 2009. Evaluation of the most important fruit characteristics of some commercial pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) cultivars grown in Iran. Acta Hort 818: 103-108. https:/

Wang S, Liang D, Li C, HaoY, Ma F, Shu H, 2012. Influence of drought stress on the cellular ultrastructure and antioxidant system in leaves of drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive apple rootstocks. Plant Physiol Biochem 51: 81-89. https:/

Zamani Z, Sarkhosh A, Fatahi R, Ebadi A, 2007. Genetic relationships among pomegranate genotypes studied by fruit characteristics and RAPD markers. J Hort Sci Biotech 82: 11-18. https:/

Zhang Y, Zhong CL, Chen Y, Chen Z, Jiang QB, Wu C, 2010. Improving drought tolerance of Causarina equisetifilia seedlings by arbuscular mycorrhizal under glasshouse conditions. New For 40 (3): 261-271. https:/

How to Cite
EbtedaieM., & ShekafandehA. (2017). Antioxidant and carbohydrate changes of two pomegranate cultivars under deficit irrigation stress. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 14(4), e0809.
Plant physiology