Morphological and phytochemical variations in Leonurus cardiaca L. under water deficit stress

M. Shokrpour, F. Borna Nasrabadi, V. Nazeri, F. Ghaziani
Water deficit is a major limiting factor to grow plants including medicinal plants. Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), a medicinal plant with effects of blood dilution and muscle relaxation is interesting for the pharmaceutical industries. Finding a drought-tolerant genotype of the species can be a good way to overcome water limiting conditions. In this research, four Iranian motherwort ecotypes were evaluated in drought environments by conducting an experiment in a split-plot design based on RCBD with three replications. Three irrigation levels of 100%, ⅓ and ⅔ of field capacity were considered to simulate water-limited conditions. The results showed that water stress affected morphological traits significantly. The phenolic and flavonoid contents and antioxidant activity of motherwort ecotypes were significantly affected. The highest and the lowest total phenol content were observed in Taleghan and Sarab ecotypes, respectively. Water deficit increased the amount and percentage of leonurine, the main medicinal metabolite. The ecotypes of Taleghan and Sarab had the highest and the lowest leonurine, respectively, in all three levels of irrigation. Positive associations were found between water deficit levels and the amount of total phenol, flavonoids, antioxidant, proline, catalase, guaiacol peroxidase, hydrogen peroxide, and the amount and percentage of leonurine. Generally, there was a great variation among the motherwort ecotypes in response to water deficit. Based on the all studied attributes, the most drought tolerant and susceptible ecotypes were Taleghan and Sarab, respectively.
Shokrpour, M., Borna Nasrabadi, F., Nazeri, V. and Ghaziani, F. (2021). Morphological and phytochemical variations in Leonurus cardiaca L. under water deficit stress. Acta Hortic. 1315, 457-462
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1315.68
motherwort, ecotype, abiotic stress, leonurine

Acta Horticulturae