The Study of Different Water Regimes on Photosynthetic Performance and Leaf Water Status of Pistachio Trees (Pistacia vera L.)

Document Type: Research Article


Department of Desert management and control, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran


Water deficiency is one of the most important environmental stresses that limit plant growth and crop production. Measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters is considered as an important indicator to evaluate the photosynthetic apparatus. In the present study, the effects of regulated water deficit, investigated in four water-regimes in pistachio orchard with 12-year-old trees of Akbari cultivar (Pistacia vera cv. Akbari). The water regime treatments included 20, 15.6, 10.4, and 6 % of field capacity (FC) equivalent and irrigation intervals of 4, 12, 18 and 24 days. Chlorophyll fluorescence indices of photosystem 2 (PSII), photosynthetic pigments, and leaf water status parameters were studied. Drought stress inhibited PSII activity and induced alterations in thylakoid proteins. The results showed significant effects on effective quantum yield of PSII (ΦPII), maximum quantum efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm), electron transport rate (ETR), quantum yield baseline (F0/Fm), non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), and photoinhibition (PIHN) rate. Such changes may be due to either degradation of photosynthesis apparatus function or photoinhibition process. From the results of the present study, it can be concluded that exposure of pistachio trees (P. vera cv. Akbari) to an interval of 18-days (T18) may not significantly affected the parameters measured. This means that with an increase in irrigation intervals to 16-days, compared to the traditional interval (varies from 8 to 10-days), soil may be able to provide enough moisture for the pistachio trees to complete metabolic activities.


Afrousheh M, Ardalan M, Hokmabadi H (2010) Nutrient deficiency disorders in Pistacia vera seedling rootstock in relation to eco-physiological, biochemical characteristics and uptake pattern of nutrients. Scientia Horticulturae. 124(2), 141-148.

Alves F, Costa J, Costa P, Correia C, Gonçalves B, Soares R, Pereira JM (2013) Grapevine water stress management in Douro Region: Long-term physiology, yield and quality studies in cv. Touriga Nacional. In: Group of International Experts of Vitivinicultural Systems for Co-Operation (Ed.). Proc. 18th Int. Symp. GiESCO, July, Porto, Portugal.

Anjum SA, Farooq M, Wang LC, Xue LL, Wang SG, Wang L, Zhang S, Chen M (2011) Gas exchange and chlorophyll synthesis of maize cultivars are enhanced by exogenously-applied glycinebetaine under drought conditions. Plant Soil Environment. 57(7), 326–331.

Arnon D (1949) Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts (phytophenoloxidase), in Beta vulgaris. Journal of Plant Physiology. 24, 1-15.

Bayoumi TY, Eid M, Metwali EM (2008) Application of physiological and biochemical indices as a screening technique for drought tolerance in wheat genotypes. African Journal of Biotechnology.7, 2341-2352.

Bolhar-Nordenkampf H, Oquist G (1993) Chlorophyll fluorescence as a tool in photosynthesis research. In: Hall DO, Scurlock JMO, Bolhar-Nordenkampf HR, Leegood RC, Long SP, editors. Photosynthesis and production in a changing environment: a field and laboratory manual. London: Chapman & Hall; pp. 193- 206.

Catalina A, González R, González MR, Zarco-Tejada PJ, Martín P (2011) Iron and water stress, photosynthetic efficiency differently affects vine photosynthetic efficiency and grape composition. Proceeding of 34th World Congress of Vine and Wine, June 2011, Porto, Portugal.

Dodd IC, Critchley C, Woodall GS, Stewart GR (1998) Photoinhibition in differently colored juvenile leaves of Syzygium species. Journal of Experimental Botany. 49(325), 1437–1445.

Faghire R, Anaya F, Ali Issa O, Wahbi S (2017) Physiological and growth response traits to water deficit as indicators of tolerance criteria between quinoa genotypes. Journal of Materials and Environmental Sciences. 8(6), 2084-2093.

Flexas J, Gago J, Joseph A, Berry JA (2014) Some critical aspects for the interpretation of remotely sensed chlorophyll fluorescence in terms of canopy photosynthesis. Proceeding of the 5th International workshop on remote sensing of vegetation fluorescence, 22-24 April 2014, Paris, France.

Flexas J, Escalona JM, Evain S, Gulías J, Moya Osmond CB, Medrano H (2002b) Steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence measurements as a tool to follow variations of net CO2 assimilation and stomatal conductance during water stress in C3 plants. Physiologia Plantarium. 114, 231-240.

He H, Ru Y, Biao J, Lin C, Hua F (2014) Rice photosynthetic productivity and PSII photochemistry under non-flooded irrigation. Scientific World Journal. 2014, 1-15.

Hidelblandi F, de Melo Edivan R, de Souza Jailson CC (2017) Fluorescence of chlorophyll a and photosynthetic pigments in Atriplex nummularia under abiotic stresses. Revista Brasileira De Engenharia Agricola E Ambiental. 21(4), 232-237.

Hailemichael G, Catalina A, González MR, Martin P (2016) Relationships Between Water Status, Leaf Chlorophyll Content and Photosynthetic Performance in Tempranillo Vineyards. South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 37(2), 149-156. doi. org/ 10. 1590 / 1807-1929/ agriambi. v21n4p232-237

Kamali A, Owji A (2016) Agro-ecological requirements for growing pistachio trees: A Literature Review. Elixir Agriculture. 96, 41450-41454.

Kirk JTO, Allen RL (1965) Dependence of chloroplast pigment synthesis on protein synthesis: Effect of actidione. Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications. 21, 523-530.

Li Y, Fuchs SMC, Cohen Y, Wallach R (2002) Water uptake profile response of corn to soil moisture depletion. Plant, Cell and Environment. 25, 491–500.

Lichtenthaler HK, Buschmann C, Knapp M (2005) How to correctly determine the different chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and the chlorophyll fluorescence decrease ratio RFd of leaves with the PAM fluorometer. Photosynthetica. 43, 379-393.

Maria ARL, José F, de Carvalho G, Larissa RC, Adamirda RNJ., Andreia VF, Ulysses MSJ (2006) Leaf water potential, gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence in acariquara seedlings (Minquartia guianensis Aubl.) under water stress and recovry. Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology. 18(2), 315-323.

Nayyer H, Kaur S, Singh KJ, Dhir KK, Bains T (2005) Water stress induced injury to reproductive phase in chickpea: evaluation of stress sensitivity in wild and cultivated species in relation to abscisic acid and poly amines. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 191, 450-457.

Neha GB, Vinay S, Nilima K (2014) Drought-induced changes in chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthetic pigments, and thylakoid membrane proteins of Vigna radiate. Journal of Plant Interactions. 9(1), 712–721.

Pilar Cendrero-Mateo M, Carmo-Silva E, Porcar-Castell A, Hamerlynck E, Papuga S, Susan Moran M (2015) Dynamic response of plant chlorophyll fluorescence to light, water and nutrient availability. Functional Plant Biology. 42(8), 746-757.

Pokorska B, Romanowska E, 2007. Photoinhibition and D1 protein degradation in mesophyll and a granal bundle sheath thylakoids of maize. Functional Plant Biology. 34(9), 844–852.

Porcar-Castell A, Tyystjärvi E, Atherton J, Van der Tol C, Flexas J, Pfündel E, Moreno J, Frankenberg C, Berry J, 2014. Linking chlorophyll a fluorescence to photosynthesis for remote sensing applications: mechanisms and challenges. Journal of Experimental Botany. 65(15), 4065-95.

Rahbarian R, Khavari-nejad R, Ganjeali A, Bagheri A, Najafi F (2001) Drought stress effects on photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence and water relations in tolerant and susceptible chickpea genotypes. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia Series Botanica.53(1), 47–56.

Ranjbar A (2015) Variation characteristics of chlorophyll fluorescence of a typical Eremophyte (Smirnovia Iranica (Sabeti)) during phenological stages in the sand drift desert (Case study: In Kashan Region). Desert Journal. 21(1), 35-41.

Ranjbar A (2017) Comparative study on the effects of water stress and rootstock on photosynthetic function in pistachio trees. Journal of Nuts. 8(2),151-159.

Ranjbar-Fordoei A (2018) Comparative Functioning of Photosynthetic Apparatus and Leaf Water Potential in Zygophyllum eurypterum) During Phenological Phases and Summer Drought. Desert Ecosystem Engineering Journal. 7(1), 43-30. DOI: 10.22052/jdee.2017.63258.

Ranjbar -fordoei A, Samson R, Lemeur R, Van Damme P (2002) Effects of osmotic drought stress induced by combination of NaCl and polyethylene glycol on leaf water status, photosynthetic gas exchange and water use efficiency of Pistacia khinjuk and P. mutica. Photosynth. 40, 165-169.

Roháček K (2002) Chlorophyll fluorescence parameters: the definitions, photosynthetic meaning, and mutual relationships. Photosynthetica. 40(1), 13-22.

Šajbidorova V, Lichtnerova H, Paganova V (2015) The impact of different water regime on chlorophyll fluorescence of Pyrus pyraster L. and Sorbus domestica. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis. 63(5), 1575-1579.

Schreiber U, Bilger W, Neubauer C (1994) Chlorophyll fluorescence as a nonintrusive indica­tor for rapid assessment of in vivo photosynthesis. In: Schulze E.D., Caldwell, M.M. (Ed.). Ecophysiology of photosynthesis. Berlin: Springer. pp. 49-70.

Shekari F, Soltaniband V, Javanmard A, Abbasi A (2015) The impact of drought stress at different stages of development on water relations, stomatal density and quality changes of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). Iran Agricultural Research. 34(2), 81-90.

Sivakumar R, Nandhitha GK, Nithila S (2017) Impact of Drought on Chlorophyll, Soluble Protein, Abscisic Acid, Yield and Quality Characters of Contrasting Genotypes of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). British Journal of Applied Science & Technology. 21(5), 1-10. DOI: 10.9734/BJAST/2017/34347.

Williams LE, Araujo FJ (2002) Correlations among Predawn Leaf, Midday Leaf, and Midday Stem Water Potential and their Correlations with other Measures of Soil and Plant Water Status in Vitis vinifer. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 127(3), 448–454.

Zlatev Z, Lidon FC (2012) An overview on drought induced changes in plant growth, water relations and photosynthesis. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture. 24(1), /ejfa.v24i1.10599.

Zhang Y, Xie Z, Wang Y, Su P, An L, Gao H (2011) Effects of water stress on leaf photosynthesis, chlorophyll content and growth of oriental lily. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 58(5), 844–850.