Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 273–286 | Cite as

Response of exogenous salicylic acid on cadmium induced photosynthetic damage, antioxidant metabolism and essential oil production in peppermint

  • Bilal Ahmad
  • Hassan Jaleel
  • Yawar Sadiq
  • M. Masroor A. Khan
  • Asfia ShabbirEmail author
Original paper


The present inquest was undertaken in view of the alarming increase in the concentration of cadmium, nickel etc., in the arable soils of Uttar Pradesh, India and the little attention paid to the effect of these heavy metals on the performance of pharmaceutically imperative essential oil (EO) producing crops like peppermint (Mentha piperita L.). We devised a pot experiment to study the influence of exogenously sourced salicylic acid (SA) (10−4 M) in the amelioration of growth, protection of photosynthesis and essential oil production against 30, 60 and 120 mg kg−1 soil of cadmium (Cd)-accrued stress in peppermint. Plants grown with Cd showed remarkably deleterious effects on growth, photosynthesis, carbon and nitrate assimilating enzymes and yield and active constituents of EO in addition to the marked elevation in the oxidative stress. SA successfully alleviated the Cd induced toxicity in peppermint, improved photosynthesis by enhancing activity of RuBisCo and carbonic anhydrase and minimized the oxidative stress by mitigating the production of free radicals by the maintenance of free radical scavenging enzymes and reduced glutathione (GSH) pool. Furthermore, the decrease in the concentration of EO and menthol due to Cd stress was successfully alleviated by SA application which was evident from the gas chromatograms of EO of Cd stressed SA treated plants.


Antioxidant system Salicylic acid Chlorophyll fluorescence Cadmium Menthol 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of Life SciencesAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia

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