Pepper plants growth, yield, photosynthetic pigments, and total phenols as affected by foliar application of potassium under different salinity irrigation water


Irrigation with high salinity water influences plant growth, production of photosynthetic pigments and total phenols, leading to reduction in crop yield and quality. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of potassium (K) foliar application in mitigating the negative effects of salt stress on pepper plants. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of foliar application of potassium (K) on pepper plants grown with different salinity water irrigation (3000 and 6000 ppm as compared to tap water with salinity level of 300 ppm). Irrigation using high salinity water decreased plant height, biomass production, and fruit yield as compared to those of the plants irrigated by tap water. Photosynthetic pigments and total phenols increased in the former as compared to those of the latter plants. The most serious affect was for the plants under highest salinity irrigation (6000 ppm) as compared to that of the plants under moderate salinity irrigation (3000 ppm). Foliar application of potassium mono phosphate (KMP) at 200ppm concentration increased the plant growth, biomass production, and fruit yield. Chlorophyll_a content and total phenols increased significantly with foliar application of 100 ppm KMP. Further increase in foliar KMP concentration to 200 ppm had no significant benefits on photosynthetic pigments and total phenols content. This study demonstrated that foliar application of KMP, to some extent, mitigated the negative effects of high salinity water irrigation on pepper plant growth and fruit yield.

Share and Cite:

Hussein, M. , El-Faham, S. and Alva, A. (2012) Pepper plants growth, yield, photosynthetic pigments, and total phenols as affected by foliar application of potassium under different salinity irrigation water. Agricultural Sciences, 3, 241-248. doi: 10.4236/as.2012.32028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Rhoades, J.D., Kandiah, A. and Mashali, A.M. (1992) The use of saline waters for crop production. FAO Irrigation and Drainage, FAO, Rome, 48.
[2] Lee, S.K.D. (2006) Hot pepper response to interactive effects of salinity and boron. Plant Soil Environment, 52, 227-233.
[3] Gunes, A., Inal, A. and Alpaslan, M. (1996) Effect of salinity on stomatal resistance, proline and mineral composition of pepper. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 19, 389-396. doi:10.1080/01904169609365129
[4] Munns, R. and Termaat, A. (1986) Whole-plant response to salinity. Austrian Journal of Plant Physiology, 13, 143-160. doi:10.1071/PP9860143
[5] Padem, H., Ocal, A. and Alan, R. (1999) Effect of humic foliar fertilizer on quality and nutrient content of eggplant and pepper seedlings. Acta Horticulturae, 491, 241-246.
[6] Lin, B. et al., (2000) Influence of calcium and nitrate on yield and quality of vegetables. Soils and Fertilizers, 2, 20-26.
[7] Fawzy, Z.F., Behairy, A.G. and Shehata, S.A. (2005) Effect of potassium fertilizer on growth and yield of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum, L.). Egyptian Journal of Agriculture Research, 2, 599-610.
[8] Zhang, Y., Gu, W.L., Dai, J.Y. and Su, Z.X. (1991) Effects of chemicals on superoxide. Plant Physiology Communications, 2, 105-107.
[9] Grattan S.R. and Grieve, C.M. (1998) Salinity-mineral nutrient relations in horticultural crops. Scientia Horticulturae, 78, 127-157. doi:10.1016/S0304-4238(98)00192-7
[10] Lopez, M.V.and Satti, S.M. (1996) Calcium and potassium-enhanced growth and. Plant Science, 114, 19-27. doi:10.1016/0168-9452(95)04300-4
[11] Caines, A.M. and Shennan, C. (1999) Interactive effects of Ca2+ and NaCl salinity onthe growth of two tomato genotypes differing in Ca2+ use efficiency. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 37, 569-576.
[12] Yurtseven, E., Kesmez, G.D. and ünlükara, A. (2005) The effects of water salinity and potassium levels on yield, fruit quality and water consumption of a native central anatolian tomato species (Lycopersicon esculantum). Agricultural Water Management, 78, 128-135. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2005.04.018
[13] Von Wettstein, D. (1957) Chlorophyll letale and der sub-mikroskopishe formweschselder plastiden. Experimental cell Research, 12, 427. doi:10.1016/0014-4827(57)90165-9
[14] Titto, R.S. (1985) Phenolic constituents in the leaves of northern willows: Methods for analysis of certain phenolics. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 33, 212- 217.
[15] Snedecor, G.W. and Cochran, W.G. (1980) Statistical Methods, 8th Edition, Iowa State University Press, Ames.
[16] Chartzoulakis, K.S. and Klapaki, G. (2000) Response of two greenhouse pepper hybrids to NaCl salinity during different growth stages. Scientia Horticulturae, 86, 247- 260. doi:10.1016/S0304-4238(00)00151-5
[17] Steduto, P., Albrizio, R., Giorio, P. and Sorrentino, G. (2000) Gas-exchange response and stomatal and non-stomatal limitations to carbon assimilation of sunflower under salinity. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 44, 243-255. doi:10.1016/S0098-8472(00)00071-X
[18] Morales-Garcia, Stewart, K.A. and Seguin, P. (2008) Effects of saline water on growth and physiology of bell pepper seedlings. International Journal of Vegetable Science, 14, 121-138. doi:10.1080/19315260801934431
[19] Hussein, M.M., Gaballah, M.S. and El-Faham, S.Y. (2004) Amino acids in grains of barley as affected by benzyl adenine and salinity from diluted seawater. Journal of Applied Science, 5, 655-658.
[20] Zafar, S., Ashraf, M.Y. and Ashraf, M. (2005) Protease activity and associated changes during germination and early seedling stages of cotton grown under saline conditions. International Journal of Biology, 1, 103-107. doi:10.3923/ijb.2005.103.107
[21] Hussein, M.M., Shaaban, M.M. and El-Saady, A.M. (2008) Response of cowpea plants grown under salinity stress to PK-foliar application. American Journal of Plant Physiology, 3, 81-88. doi:10.3923/ajpp.2008.81.88
[22] Hare, P.D., Cress, W.A. and Van Staden, J. (1997) Cyto-kinins and Water Stress: The involvement of cytokinins in plant responses to environmental stress. Plant Growth Regulation, 23, 79-103. doi:10.1023/A:1005954525087
[23] Hussein, M.M. and El-Greatly, N.H. (2007) Influences of Alph-tochopherol and potassium dihydrogen phosphate on growth and endogenous phytohormones of onion plants grown under salinity stress. Journal of Agricultural Science, 32, 9141-9151.
[24] Kaya, C., Tuna, A.L. and Yoka?, I. (2009) The role of plant hormones in plants under salinity stress tasks for vegetation science. Salinity and Water Stress, 44, 45-50. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-9065-3_5
[25] Demural, M.A., Aydin, M. and Youlmaz, A. (2005) Effect of salinity on growth, chemical composition and antioxi-dative enzyme activity of two malting barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars. Turkish Journal of Biology, 2, 8-12.
[26] Hussein, M.M. andOraby, S.H. (2008) Growth and anti-oxidant enzymes activity in onion plants as affected by thiamine and salinity. Plant Nutrition Management under Water Stress Conditions. 17th International Symposium of CIEC, Cairo, 260-278.
[27] Abd El-Baky, H.H., Hussein, M.M. and Baroty, G.S. (2008) Algal extraction improve antioxidants defense abilities and salt tolerance of wheat plant irrigated with sea water. Electronic Journal of Environmental Agiculture and Food Chemistry, 7, 281-283.
[28] Mousavi, A., Lessani, H., Babalar, M., Talaei, A.R. and Fallahi, E. (2008) Influence of salinity on chlorophyll, leaf water potential, total soluble sugars, and mineral nutrients in two young olive cultivars. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 31, 1906-1916. doi:10.1080/01904160802402807
[29] Azooz, M.M., Shadded, M.A. and Abdellatef, A.A. (2004) The accumulation and compartmentation of proline in relation to salt tolerance of three sorghum cultivars. Indian Journal of Plant Physiology, 9, 1-8.
[30] Dagar, J.C., Bhagwan, H. and Kumar, Y. (2004) Effect on growth performance and biochemical contents of Salva-dora persica when irrigated with water of different salinity. Indian Journal of Plant Physiology, 9, 234-238,.
[31] Levitt, J. (1980) Responses of plants to environmental stresses. Academic Press, New York.
[32] Jaleel, A., Sankar, B., Sridharan, R. and Panneersel, R. (2008) Soil salinity alters—growth, chlorophyll content, and secondary metabolite accumulation in Catharanthus roseus. Turkish Journal of Biology, 32, 79-83,.
[33] Chartzoulakis, K.S. (2005) Salinity and olive: Growth, salt tolerance, photosynthesis and yield. Agricultural Water Management, 78, 108-121. doi:10.1016/j.agwat.2005.04.025
[34] Ben Dkhil, B. and Denden, M. (2010) Salt stress induced changes in germination, sugars, starch and enzyme of carbohydrate metabolism in Abelmoschus esculentus L. (Moench.) seeds. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 5, 1412-1418.
[35] El-Tohamy, W.A., Ghoname, A.A. and Abou-Hussein, S.D. (2006) Improvement of pepper growth and productivity in sandy soil by different fertilization treatments under protected cultivation. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 2, 8-12.
[36] Fawzy, Z.F., El-Nemr, M.A. and Saleh, S.A. (2007) Influence of levels and methods of potassium fertilizer application on growth and yield of eggplant. Journal of Applied Sciences Research, 3, 42-49.
[37] Gupta, C.R. and Sengar, S.S. (2000) Response of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) to nitrogen and potassium fertilization in acidic soil of Bastar. Vegetable Science, 27, 94-95.
[38] Harneet-Kaur, Thakur, J.C. and Neena-Chawla, (2003) Effect of nitrogen and potassium on growth, yield and quality of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cv. Punjab Upma. Haryana Journal of Horticultural Sciences, 32, 286-288.
[39] Kotepong, P., Thongket, T., Kamlung, A. and Verasan, J. (2003) Effect of nitrogen and potassium on growth and yield of cherry tomato cv. CH154 in hydroponics. Proceedings of 41st Kasetsart University Annual Conference on Agricultural Extension and Communication, Bangkok, 3-7 February 2003, 97-203.
[40] Shafeek, M.R., El-Zeiny, A.H. and Ahmed, M.E. (2005) Effect of phosphate and potassium fertilizer on growth, yield and seed composition of pea plants in new reclaimed soils. Asian Journal of Plant Science, 4, 608-612. doi:10.3923/ajps.2005.608.612
[41] Abdel-Wahab, A.M. and Abd-Allaa, M.H. (1995) The role of potassium fertilizer in nodulation and nitrogen fixation of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) plants under drought stress. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 20, 147-150. doi:10.1007/BF00336594
[42] Kato, T., Taniguchi, A., Shinmura, D. and A. Horibata (2004) Sucrose-metabolism enzymes in developing rice endosperm: Their relations to grain filling of rice cultivars with extra-heavy panicles. Proceedings of the 4th International Crop Science Congress, Brisbane, 26 September-1 October 2004.
[43] Paul, R.H. (1990) The Role of Potassium. The Agronomy Guide, Aqua Botanic, Keizer.
[44] Vigay, N., Kumar, A. and Bhoite, A. (2009) Influence of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer on biochemical contents of Asparagus racemonus. Research Journal of Environmental Science, 3, 285-291. doi:10.3923/rjes.2009.285.291
[45] Li, W., Ping, H. and Jiyun, J. (2009) Potassium influenced phenylalanine ammonialyase, peroxidases and polyphenol oxidases in Fusarium graminearum infected maize (Zea mays L.). Proceedings of the International Plant Nutrition Colloquium XVI, UC Davis, 19 August 2009.
[46] Nguyen, P.M., Kwee, E.M. and Niemeyer, E.D. (2010) Potassium rate alters the antioxidant capacity and phenolic concentration of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) leaves. Food Chemistry, 123, 1235-1241. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.05.092
[47] Kaya, C., Higgs, D. and Kimak, H. (2001) The effect of high salinity (NaCL) and supplementary phosphorus and potassium on physiology and nutrient development of spinach. Bulgarian Journal of Plant Physiology, 27, 47-59.
[48] Wimmer, M.A., Muehling, K.H., Lauchli, A., Brown, P.H. and Goldbach, H.E. (2001) Interaction of salinity and boron toxicity in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences, 2001, 46-247.
[49] Matichenkov, V.V. and Kosobrukhov, A.A. (2004) SI effect on the plant resistance to salt toxicity. 13th International Soil Conservation Organisation Conference, Brisbane, 4-8 July 2004.
[50] Hsiao, C. and L?uchli, A. (1986) Role of potassium in plant-water relation. In: Tinker and L?uchli, A. Eds., Advances in Plant Nutrition 2, Praeger, New York.
[51] Geissler, N. Hussin S. and Koyro, H.W. (2009) Interactive effects of NaCl salinity and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration on growth, photosynthesis, water relations and chemical composition of the potential cash crop halophyte Aster tripolim L.. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 65, 220-231. doi:10.1016/j.envexpbot.2008.11.001
[52] Marschner, H. (1995) Mineral nutrition of higher plants. 4th Edition, Academic Press, London.
[53] Pant, H.K.and Reddy, K.R. (2003) Potential internal loading of phosphorus. Aricultural Land Water Research, 37, 965-972.
[54] Shaheen, A.M., Abdel-Mouty, M.M., Ali, A.H. and Rizk, F.A. (2007) Natural and chemical phosphorus fertilizers affect onion plant growth, bulbs yield and some physical and chemical properties. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 1, 519-524.
[55] Sivak, M.N. and Walker, D.A. (1986) Photosynthesis in vivo can be limited by phosphate supply. New Phyto, 102, 499-512. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1986.tb00826.x
[56] Kaya, C., Tuna, A.L., Ashraf, M. and Altunlu, H. (2007) Improved salt tolerance of melon (Cucumis melo L.) by the addition of proline and potassium nitrate. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 60, 397-403. doi:10.1016/j.envexpbot.2006.12.008

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.