Foliar Application of Arginine Improves Vegetative and Reproductive Characteristics of Bearing Pistachio Trees

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Horticultural Science and Landscape, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran

3 Damghan Pistachio Station, Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center of Semnan Province (Shahroud), AREEO, Shahroud, Iran


Pistachio is one of the most important horticultural crops in Iran.  There is a unique role for amino acids in the plant response to stressful conditions, and special physiological role for Arginine (Arg) compared to other amino acids.  The effects of this compound were investigated on vegetative and reproductive characters of bearing pistachio trees of ‘Ahmad-Aghaei’. The experiments were done as a factorial based on RCBD with four concentrations of Arg (0, 100, 200 and 300 µM) and three spraying stages (post harvest, flower buds swollen and flowering). Based on the results, Arg improved the vegetative and reproductive characters. Arg increased length and diameter of shoot, leaf area, the number of floweringbuds, the number of nuts in cluster, fresh weight of cluster, nut splitting (%) and ounce, and decreased flower buds abscission percent and blankness. Arg also significantly increased photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a and b and total chlorophyll) in bearing pistachio trees. The best concentration of Arg was 200 µM applied of the flowering stage, but the strongest effect on the number of nut in cluster, fresh weight of cluster and blankness were observed when spraying at the flower bud swollen stage.


Abrishami MH (1995) Persian pistachio. Iran University Press. pp. 669. [In Persian].
Acar I and Eti S (2007) Abscission of pistachio flowers and fruits as affected by different pollinators. Pakistan Journal of Biological Science. 10, 2920-2924.
Alcázar R, Marco F, Cuevas JC, Patron M, Ferrando A, Carrasco  P,  Tiburcio  AF,    Altabella T  (2006)  Involvement  of  polyamines  in  plant  response to  abiotic  stress. Biotechnology Letters.  28, 1867–1876.
Alizadeh M, Rahemi M (2003) Using foliar applications of urea combined with 6-benzyladenine to decrease pistachio floral bud abscission.  Journal of Iranian Agriculture Science.34 (3), 659-665. [In Persian].
Arnon DE (1949) Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts: Polyphenol oxidase in Beta vulgaris. Plant Physiology. 24, 1-15.
Aziz A, Brunb O, Audran J (2001) Involvement of polyamines in the control of fruitlet physiological abscission in grapevine (Vitis vinifera). Physiologia Plantarum, 113, 50–58.
Baninasab B, Rahemi M (2008) Effect of exogenous polyamines on flower bud retention in Pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) trees. Horticulture, Environment and Biotechnology. 49(3), 149-154.
Barand A, Manuchehri Kalantari Kh, Nasibi F, Rezanejad F (2012) Physiological effects of arginine pretreatment oninduction of lowtemperature resistance in pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) in vitro condition. Master of Science Thesis. Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman. pp. 99.
 Bastam N, Baninasab B, Ghobadi C (2013) Interactive effects of ascorbic acid and salinity stress onthe growth and photosynthetic capacity of pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) seedlings. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology. 88, 610-616.
Cederbaum SD, Yu H, Grody WW, Kern RM, Yoo P, Iyer RK (2004) Arginases I and II: Do their functions overlap? Molecular Genetics and Metabolism. 81, 38-44.
Crane JC, Iwakiri BT (1985) Vegetative and reproductive dominance in pistachio. Hort Science. 20 (6), 1092-1093.
Crane JC, Nelson MM (1971) The unusual mechanism of alternate bearing in the Pistachio. HortScience. 6, 489-490.
El-Bassiouny HM, Mostafa HA, El-Khawas SA, Hassanein RA, Khalil SI, Abd El-Monem AA (2008) Physiological responses of wheat plant to foliar treatments with arginine or putrescine. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. 2(4), 1390-1403.
Ferguson L, Beede RH, Freeman MW, Haviland DR, Holtz BA, Kallsen CE (2005) Pistachio Production Manual (4th ed.). Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center, University of California, Davis, California. pp. 252.
Galston AW, Kaur-Sawhney R (1990) Polyamines in plant physiology. Plant Physiology. 94 (2), 406-410.
Galston AW, Kaur-Sawhney R, Altabella T, Tiburcio F (1997)  Plant  polyamines  in  reproductive  activity  and  response  to  abiotic  stress. Botanica Acta. 110, 197–207.
Hare PD, Cress WA (1997) Metabolic implications of stress-induced proline accumulation in plants. Plant Growth Regulation. 21 (2), 79-102.
Kakkar RK, Bhaduri S, Rai VK, Kumar S (2000) Amelioration of NaCl stress by arginine in rice seedlings: Changes in endogenous polyamines. Biologia Plantarum. 43(3), 419-422.
Kamiab F, Talaie A, Khezri M, Javanshah A (2013) Exogenous application of free polyamines enhance salt tolerance of pistachio (Pistacia vera L.). Plant Growth Regulation. 72 (3), 257-278
Khezri M, Talaie A, Javanshah A, Hadavi F (2010) Effect of exogenous application of free polyamines on physiological disorders and yield of ‘Kaleh-Ghoochi’ pistachio shoots (Pistacia vera L.). Scientia Horticulturae. 125(3), 270-276.
Liu JH, Nada K, Honda C, Kitashiba H, Wen XP (2006) Polyamine biosynthesis of apple callus under salt stress. Importance of the arginine decarboxylase pathway in stress responses. Journal of  Experimental Botany. 57(11), 2589-2599.
Lovatt CJ, Ferguson L (1994) Using Foliar Applications of Urea Combined with 6-Benzyladenine to Decrease Pistachio Floral Bud Abscission in an “On” Year to Increase Yield the Next Year. California Pistachio Industry. Annual Report. pp.155-158.
Malik, AU, Singh Z (2006) Improved fruit retention, yield and fruit quality in mango with exogenous application of polyamines. Scientia Horticulturae. 110(2), 167-174.
Marjani HE (2000) Evaluation of the application N P K fertilizer on two cultivars of Amigdalus.Annual Research Report, Azarbaijan'sAgriculture Research Center. pp. 52-63. [In Persian].
Molamohamadi  A,  Khezri  M,  Safari  VR,  Tavasolian  I (2014)  Evaluation  effect  of  alphatochoferol and  ascorbic  acid  on  some  growth  traits  and yield in pistachio. Master of Science Thesis, Shahid Bahonar University, Faculty of Agriculture, Horticulture Department, Kerman, Iran. 200 P. [In Persian].
 Nassar AH, EL-Tarabily KA, Sivasithamparam K (2003) Growth promotion of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) by a polyamine producing isolate of Streptomyces griseoluteus. Plant Growth Regulation. 40, 97-106.
Niven ACM, Fabbri A, Dollo L, Polito V, Metheney P, Ferguson L, Cruz H, Bentley W, Blackwell B (1994) Investigation of damage by other means indeveloping pistachios, California Pistachio Industry.Annual Report Crop Year. pp. 87–91.
Nzima MD, Martin GC, Nishijima C (1999) Effect of fall defoliation and spring shading on shoot carbohydrate and growth parameters among individual branches of alternate bearing “Kerman” 'pistachio trees. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 124 (1), 52-60.
Picchioni GA, Brown PH, Weinbaum SA, Muraoka TT (1997) Macronutrient allocation to leaves and fruit of mature, alternate-bearing pistachio trees: Magnitude and seasonal patterns at the whole-canopy level. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 122(2), 267-274.
Rahdari P, Panahi B (2012) The evaluation of application amino acids on some quantitative and qualitative of pistachio. Journal of Iran Biology. 25(4), 6006-6017 
Roussos PA, Pontikis CA, Zoti MA (2004) The role of free polyamines in the alternate-bearing of pistachio (Pistacia vera cv. Pontikis). Trees. 18(1), 61-69.
Shuraki YD, Sedgley M (1996) Fruit development of Pistacia vera (Anacardiaceae) in relation to embryo abortion and abnormalities at maturity. Australian Journal of Botany. 44(1), 35-45.
Spann TM, Beede RH, DeJong TM (2009) Contributions of short and longshoots to yield of ‘Kerman’ pistachio (Pistacia vera L.). Scientia Horticulturae. 121, 495–500.
Stephenson AG (1981) Flower and fruit abortion: Proximate causes and ultimate functions. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 12(1), 253-279.
Stern RA, Gazit S (2000) Application of the polyamine putrescine increased yield of ‘Mauritius’ litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.). The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology. 75(5), 612-614.
Thompson M (1996) Flowering, pollination and fruit set. In: Webster AD, Looney NE (Eds.), Cherries: Crop Physiology, Production and Uses. CAB Intl, UK. pp. 223–241.
Weatherley P (1950) Studies in the water relations of the cotton plant. New Phytologist. 49(1), 81-97.
Weinbaum SA, Picchioni GA, Muraoka TT, Ferguson L, Brown PH (1994) Fertilizer nitrogen and boron uptake, storage, and allocation vary during the alternate-bearing cycle in pistachio trees. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 119(1), 24-31.
Zeid IM (2009) Effect of arginine and urea on polyamines content and growth of bean under salinity stress. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum. 31(1), 65-70.
Zeng DQ, Brown PH (1998) Effect of potassium application on soil potassium availability, leaf potassium status, nut yield and quality in mature pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) tree. California Pistachio Industry, Annual Report. pp. 60-90.