Effects of Stress Modifier Biostimulants on Vegetative Growth, Nutrients, and Antioxidants Contents of Garden Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) Under Water Deficit Conditions
Mohammadi, Mahdi Manji
Moghaddam, Sina Siavash
Heydarzadeh1 , Saeid
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The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of stress modulators on vegetative growth, antioxidants, and nutrient content of Thymus vulgaris L. under water deficit stress conditions. A factorial experiment was performed in the form of a randomized complete block design with 10 treatments and 3 replications in the 2019–2020 growing season. The factors were stress modulators at 5 levels (ZN: zinc nano-fertilizer, AA: amino acid, SW: seaweed, HA: humic acid and C: control) and irrigation regime at 2 levels [FIrr: full irrigation (100% field capacity) and DIrr: deficit irrigation (50% field capacity)]. The highest plant height, number of branches, and total dry weight of the garden thyme plant were observed in the foliar application of HA and SW under full irrigation conditions. Relative water content, chlorophyll a and b, and uptake of nutrients (N, P, and K) were reduced under water deficit stress, but the foliar application of stress modulators increased relative water content, chlorophyll content, and nutrient uptake of the garden thyme plant significantly compared with control. The water deficit increased proline content, total flavonoid, and phenol content in the garden thyme plant. So, the highest total flavonoid and phenol content was obtained from plants treated with HA, whereas proline content was higher in the control plants. Soluble sugars and essential oil increased significantly under water deficit stress conditions. The foliar application of HA compared to the control plant increased soluble sugars and essential oil in garden thymes. The activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and ascorbate peroxidase enzymes were improved in stress modulator treatments such as HA and SW compared to control plants under water deficit stress conditions. The plants of garden thymes showed a good response to stress modulator treatments under water stress conditions, and HA and SW treatments were found to be more effective.