Response to Drought Stress of Three Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus L.) Cultivars

Document Type : Original Article


Ornamental Plants and Landscape Gardening Research Department, Alexandria 21554, Horticultural Research Institute, A.R.C., Giza, Egypt


Drought stress is the greatest vital abiotic factor, unfavorably affecting growth and horticultural production. The response of three Snapdragon cultivars, Crackle and Pop Exp. (‘White,’ ‘Red,’ and ‘Yellow’) to water deficit was studied by evaluating the morphological, physiological (leaf water relations and gas exchange assessed), photosynthetic leaf pigments, and mineral components (Mg, Ca, K, P, and N) traits. Plants were subjected to two different water deficits: well-watered at 100% field capacity (F.C.) (control), and decreased irrigation at 80% and 60% F.C. (drought stress) treatments. Cultivars varied in their response to the water deficit. Under 100% F.C., the Red cultivar had the greatest vegetative growth, but the white showed the greatest flower yield. Water deficit stress decreased plant height, number of branches and leaves, and leaf area in all cultivars. The root growth was delayed in the ‘Yellow’ cultivar compared to other cultivars. Under drought stress, ‘White’ gave the maximum spike yield; however, ‘Yellow’ had the lowest yield. Cultivar ‘Red’ had high Pn, Ci rates and a great value of plant pigments, mineral components (N, K, Mg), and water status, under favorable and water deficit stress conditions. Among the studied cultivars, ‘Red’ seemed more water deficit stress-tolerant than ‘White,’ as reflected through spike yield and vegetative growth traits.