THE EFFECT OF GLYCINE BETAINE ON THE ALLEVIATION OF DROUGHT STRESS IN STRAWBERRY PLANTShima Alaei, Nasser Mahna, Jafar Hajilou and Sahebali Bolandnazar
An experiment was conducted to study the effects of glycine betaine (GB) application and drought stress (DS) on the growth and yield of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch) cv. Paros. Three levels of DS (every day, 2 days and 4 days) and three levels of GB (0, 5, 10 mM) were implemented in a factorial design in a greenhouse. The physiological and morphological characteristics were measured during and at the end of the experiment. Leaf area, leaf area index, leaf area ratio, specific leaf area, dry matter of leaf, fruit and shoot decreased in drought stress, especially at the highest level. Flower and fruit number decreased with rising water stress levels, remarkably. Leaf relative water content and chlorophyll index were lower in drought stress, especially at the highest level. The yield components plunged in DS conditions. The results showed that drought stress diminished the vegetative characteristics. Both DS and GB had no effect on the fruit length, root dry weight and chlorophyll index. Leaf relative water content declined in drought stress, but interestingly was not influenced by the application of GB. According to analyses of variance, there were significant interactions between drought stress and GB application in yield, fruit weight and leaf dry weight. Surprisingly, increasing the GB level in the DS conditions, did not improve the morphological and physiological characteristics under DS. Based on the results of this study, the application of GB with a concentration of 5 and 10 mM could not be recommended for alleviating drought stress in strawberry plant.
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