Volume 14, Issue 2 (7-2023)                   2023, 14(2): 41-60 | Back to browse issues page


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Department of Landscape Architecture and Plant Science, Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch, Arak.
Abstract:   (557 Views)
Abstract
The use of organic fertilizers is one of the appropriate ways to produce medicinal plants due to their proper impact on the various soil properties, maintaining environmental health and better plant growth. This study was conducted to investigate the impact of various vermicompost levels on the growth and the morphological and physiological properties of the medicinal-ornamental plant of the Mullein, under drought stress conditions. The research was carried out in the form of split plots in a complete blocks design with four replicates. Experimental treatments included the use of vermicompost organic fertilizer at three levels of zero, 4, and 8 kg/m2 (equivalent to zero, 4, and 8 tons per hectare) and drought stress at two levels of normal irrigation (no stress) and irrigation at 50% of soil field capacity (FC). The results showed that the use of vermicompost and drought stress improved the morphological and physiological traits of the medicinal plant of Mullein. The highest height of the stem, the stem flower, the number of leaves, the height of the flower, the dry weight of shoot, and the root length were obtained by the use of vermicompost at 4 and 8 kg/m2 levels. The use of vermicompost at the rate of 8 kg/m2 increased chlorophyll and anthocyanin, respectively, by 53.7 and 122% compared to control. It was observed that by applying vermicompost at the levels of 4 and 8 kg/m2, significant changes in the morphological and physiological traits of the Mullein plant occurred. On the other hand, the combination of vermicompost application and mild drought stress also caused positive changes in the plant traits. Therefore, mild drought stress, and also for improving the vegetative growth and reproductive efficiency of the medicinal-ornamental plant of the Mullein, the use of vermicompost at 4 kg/m2 (equivalent to 4 tons per hectare) are recommended.

Background and Objective: Due to the lack of water resources, it is important to introduce and use native plant species with valuable medicinal properties such as the Mullein (1). The use of organic fertilizers is one of the appropriate ways to produce medicinal plants due to its proper impact on the various soil properties, maintaining environmental health and better plant growth (2). Drought is one of the environmental stresses that affect the plant growth, structure and activities, and plant response to environmental stresses varies in morphological, cellular, and molecular levels. This study was conducted to investigate the impact of various vermicompost levels on the growth and the morphological and physiological properties of the medicinal-ornamental plant of the Mullein, under drought stress conditions.

Methods: The research was carried out in a research farm in the form of split plots in a complete blocks design with four replicates. Experimental treatments included the application of vermicompost organic fertilizer at three levels of zero, 4, and 8 kg/m2 (equivalent to zero, 4, and 8 tons per hectare) and drought stress at two levels of normal irrigation (no stress) and irrigation at 50% soil field capacity (FC). Then, the morphological and physiological properties of the Mullein were determined and analyzed.

Results: The results showed that the use of vermicompost fertilizer and drought stress improved the morphological and physiological traits of the medicinal plant. The highest height of the stem, the stem flower, the number of leaves, the height of the flower, the dry weight of shoot, and the root length were obtained by the use of vermicompost at 4 and 8 kg/m2 levels. The use of vermicompost at the rate of 8 kg/m2 increased chlorophyll and anthocyanin, respectively, by 53.7 and 122% compared to the control. The production of most secondary metabolites and plant growth increased significantly in the drought stress condition presumably due to osmotic regulation. It was observed that by applying vermicompost at the levels of 4 and 8 kg/m2, significant changes in the morphological and physiological traits of the Mullein plant occurred. The contents of chlorophyll and anthocyanin pigments increased by 1.67 and 0.25 mg/g, respectively, with the application of vermicompost fertilizer at the rate of 8 kg/m2 compared to the control.
Therefore, mild drought stress, and also for improving the vegetative growth and reproductive efficiency of the medicinal-ornamental plant of the Mullein, the use of vermicompost at 4 kg/m2 (equivalent to 4 tons per hectare) are recommended.

Conclusions: Due to improving soil physical and chemical properties and the nutritional conditions, vermicompost was able to increase the plant growth. The combination of vermicompost application and mild drought stress also caused positive changes in the plant traits. Therefore, mild drought stress, and also for improving the vegetative growth and reproductive efficiency of the medicinal-ornamental plant of the Mullein, the use of vermicompost at 4 kg/m2 (equivalent to 4 tons per hectare) are recommended. These results suggest that the planting of Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) provides an opportunity for significant reductions in the water use in urban landscapes.

References:
1. Dong, X., Mkala, E., Mutinda, E., Yang, J., Wanga, V., Oulo, M., Onjolo, V., Hu, G., Wang, Q., 2022. Taxonomy, comparative genomics of Verbascum Scrophulariaceae, with implications for the evolution of lamiales. BMC Genomics 23: 122.
2. Xiaolu, W., 2016. Drought stress and re-watering increase secondary metabolites and enzyme activity in Dendrobium moniliformePlant-Microbe-Animal Interactions 94: 385393.
 
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Plant growth under stressful conditions
Received: 2023/01/18 | Accepted: 2023/07/1 | Published: 2023/09/20

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