Document Type: Original Article


Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of NaCl priming to increase salt tolerance in Dracocephalum moldavica L. an experiment was conducted as factorial based on completely randomized design at Shahrekord University. Research method: Seeds of medicinal plant D. moldavica were primed with NaCl (1 M/ for 24 h/ at darkness/ under 25˚C) and then 30-day-old plants were introduced to salinity (0, 100 and 150 mM NaCl) for one month. The analyzed parameters consisted of dry weight, leaf area, total water content, leaf relative water content, electrolyte leakage, lipid peroxidation, photosynthetic pigments concentrations, total phenolic content and the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Main findings: NaCl-priming alleviated the injurious effects of salinity in the salinized plants. The biomass increased up to 64.5% and 3-fold at 100 and 150 mM NaCl, compared to exclusively salinity. Ion leakage and lipid peroxidation decreased as well. Moreover, NaCl-priming led to increase leaf area, improve water status, photosynthetic pigments content and antioxidant enzymes activities in favor of improving the biomass of salinized D. moldavica. Total phenolic content increased by salinity alone, but NaCl-priming markedly decreased it at normal condition. The pattern of polyphenols concentration and accumulation was different under NaCl-priming + salinity treatment. Limitations: No special limitations were founded. Originality/Value: Seed priming with NaCl enhanced salt tolerance in D. moldavica through improving water status and photosynthesis, protection of cellular membrane integrity and changes in antioxidant enzyme activity. Alternation in polyphenols concentration might be a signature of changes in the medicinal properties of different parts of this medicinal plant.


Main Subjects

Abraha, B., & Yohannes, G. (2013). The role of seed priming in improving seedling growth of maize (Zea mays L.) under salt stress at field conditions. Agricultural Sciences, 4(12), 666-672.

Alaei, S., Moradi Khibary, Z., & Ahmadi Rad, A. (2015). Effect of different concentration of salt and PEG solution on Dracocephalum moldavica seed germination and seedling early growth. Biological Forum – An International Journal, 7(1), 1755-1759.

Ali, Y., Aslam, Z., Ashraf, M. Y., & Tahir, G. R. (2004). Effect of salinity on chlorophyll concentration, leaf area, yield and yield components of rice genotypes grown under saline environment. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 1(3), 221-225.

Afkari Bajehbaj, A. (2010). Effects of NaCl priming on salt tolerance in sunflower germination and seedling grown under salinity conditions. African  Journal of Biotechnology, 9(12), 1764-1770.

Armin, A., Asgharipour M. R., & Razavi-Omrani, M. (2010). The effect of seed priming on germination and seedling growth of watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus). Advances in Environmental Biology, 4(3),501-505.

Azimian, F., & Roshandel, P. (2015). Magnetic field effects on total phenolic content and antioxidant activity in Artemisia sieberi under salinity. Indian Journal of Plant Physiology, 20(3), 264-270.

Azimian, F., & Roshandel, P. (2016). Increasing salt tolerance and antioxidant activity in Artemisia aucheri by H2O2-priming. Journal of Plant Physiology and Breeding, 6(2), 31-47.

Bakht, J., Shafi, M., Jamal, Y., & Sher, H. (2011). Response of maize (Zea mays L.) to seed priming with NaCl and salinity stress. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 9(1), 252-261.

Boikova, V. V., & Akulova, Z. V. (1995). Effect of infusion of some medicinal plants on ovulation in experimental animals. Rastitel'nye-Resursy, 31(2), 27-60.

Buchanan, B. B., & Balmer, Y. (2005). Redox regulation: a broadening horizon. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 56, 187–220.

Campos, P. S., Quartin, V., Ramalho, J. C., & Nunes, M. A. (2003). Electrolyte leakage and lipid degradation account for cold sensitivity in leaves of Coffea sp. Plants. Journal of Plant Physiology, 160, 283-292.

Chachoyan, A. A., & Oganesyan, G. B. (1996). Antitumor of some species of family Lamiaceae. Rastitel, 32(4), 59-64.

Chen, K., & Arora, R. (2013). Priming memory invokes seed stress-tolerance. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 94, 33-45.

Chen, D. H., Ye, H. C., & Li, G. F. (2000). Expression of a chimeric farnesyldiphosphate synthase gene in Artemisia annua L. transgenic plants via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Plant Science, 155, 179-185.

Lugojan, C., & Ciulca, S. (2011). Evaluation of relative water content in winter wheat. Journal of Horticulture, Forestry and Biotechnology, 15(2), 173-177.

Elouaer, M. A., & Hannachi, C. (2012). Seed priming to improve germination and seedling growth of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) under salt stress. EurAsian Journal of BioSciences, 6, 76-84.

Soughir, M., Elouaer, M. A., &  Hannachi, C. (2013). The effect of NaCl priming on emergence, growth and yield of fenugreek under saline conditions. Agronomic Research in Moldavia, XLVI (2), 73-83.

Farhoudi, R., & Sharifzadeh, F. (2006). The effects of NaCl priming on salt tolerance in canola (Brassica napus L.) seedlings grown under saline conditions. Indian Journal of Crop Science, 1(1/2), 74-78.

Farhoudi, R., Saeedipour, S., & Delfie, M. (2011). The effect of NaCl seed priming on salt tolerance, antioxidant enzyme activity, proline and carbohydrate accumulation of Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) under saline. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 6(6), 1363-1370.

Fuller, M. P., Hamza, J. H., Rihan, H. Z., & Al-Issawi, M. (2012). Germination of primed seed under NaCl stress in wheat. ISRN Botany, 2012, 1-5.

Gill, S. S., & Tuteja, N. (2010). Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant machinery in abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 48, 909-930.

Gong, H., Zhu, X., Chen, K., Wang, S., & Zhang, C. (2005). Silicon alleviates oxidative damage of wheat plants in pots under drought. Plant Science, 169, 313-321.

Hossain, M. A., Bhattacharjee, S., Armin, S. M., Qian, P., Xin, W., Li, H., Burritt, D. J., Fujita, M., & Tran, L. P. (2015). Hydrogen peroxide priming modulates abiotic oxidative stress tolerance: insights from ROS detoxification and scavenging. Frontiers in Plant Science, 6, 1-19.

Jamal, Y., Shafi, M., & Bakht, J. (2011). Effect of seed priming on growth and biochemical traits of wheat under saline conditions. African Journal of Biotechnology, 10(75), 17127-17133.

Kakasy, A. Z., Lemberkovics, E., Kursinszki, L., Janicask, G., & Szoke, E. (2002). Data to the phytochemical evaluation of moldavian dragonhead phytochemical evaluation of moldavian dragonhead (Dracocephalum moldavica L., Lamiaceae). Herba Polonica, 48(3), 112-119.

Kato, M., & Shimizu, S. (1985). Chlorophyll metabolism in higher plants. Plant Cell Physiology, 26, 1291-1301.

Khapkin, I. S. (1994). Prospects of using preparations from plants for regulating phatelet aggregation. Bastilel mye-Resursy, 30(1-2), 86-90.

Ksouri, R., Megdiche, W., Debez, A., Falleh, H., Grignon, C., & Abdelly, C. (2007). Salinity effects on polyphenol content and antioxidant activities in leaves of halophyte Cakile maritime. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 45, 244-249.

Kumar, M., Sirhindi, G., Bhardwaj, R., Kumar, S., & Jain, G. (2010). Effect of exogenous H2O2 on antioxidant enzymes of Brassica juncea L. seedlings in relation to 24-epibrassinolide under chilling stress. Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 47(6), 378-382.

Lichtenthaler, H. K., & Buschmann, C. (2001). Chlorophylls and carotenoids: Measurement and characterization by UV‐VIS spectroscopy. In: Current protocols in food analytical chemistry, F4.3.1-F4.3.8. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York.

Nemat-Ala, M. M., & Hassan, N. M. (2006). Changes of antioxidants levels in two maize lines following atrazine treatments. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 44, 202-210.

Omidbaigi, R. (2000). Production and Processing of Medicinal Plants. Vol. 1, pp. 286.

Racz, G., Tibori, G., & Csedo, C. (1978). Composition of volatile oil from Dracocephalum moldavica L. Farmacia, 26(2), 93-96.

Rice-Evans, C. A., Miller, N. J., & Paganga, G. (1996). Structure–antioxidant activity relationships of flavonoids and phenolicacids. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 20, 933-956.

Rainha, N., Lima, E., Baptista, J., & Rodrigues, C. (2011). Antioxidant properties, total phenolic, total carotenoids and chlorophyll content of anatomical parts of Hypericum foliosum. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 5(10), 1930-1940.

Sedghi, M., Ali, N., & Esmaielpour, B. (2010). Effect of seed priming on germination and seedling growth of two medicinal plants under salinity. Journal of Emirate in Food Agriculture, 22, 130-139.

Shehzad, M., Ayub, M., Ahmad, A. U. H., & Yaseen, M. (2012). Influence of priming techniques on emergence and seedling growth of forage sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.). The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences, 22(1), 154-158.

Tian, Y., Guan, B., Zhou, D., Yu, J., Li, G., Lou, Y. (2014). Responses of seed germination, seedling growth, and seed yield traits to seed pretreatment in maize (Zea mays L.). The Scientific World Journal, 2014, 1-8.

Wahid, A., Perveen, M., Gelani, S., & Basra, S. M. (2007). Pretreatment of seed with H2O2 improves salt tolerance of wheat seedlings by alleviation of oxidative damage and expression of stress proteins. Journal of Plant Physiology, 164(3), 283-294.