5-Aminolevulinic acid moderates environmental stress-induced bunch wilting and stress markers in date palm

  • Majid Alikhani-Koupaei
  • Reza FatahiEmail author
  • Zabihollah Zamani
  • Saeedeh Salimi
Original Article


Bunch wilting, a disorder of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and caused by climatic factors (low relative humidity along with high temperatures), critically damages its production in Iran. In this study, the effects of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) as precursor of chlorophyll and elicitor of antioxidants applied to be involve directly or indirectly in stress tolerance mechanisms, bunch wilting severity, and other physiological aspects on 10–12 years old date palm in two locations. 5-ALA concentrations included 0 (control), 200, 240 and 280 ppm, applied as aqueous solution at biweekly intervals from fruit set until the beginning of fruit Kimri stage on leaves around the fruit bunches (for three times). Results showed that the yield of trees and bunch weight increased; hydrolytic enzymes activities in stalk and fruit decreased and activities of peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase, important enzymes of the antioxidative system were increased. The plants’ redox state changed as identified by decrease in H2O2 and proline of fruits. Microelement concentrations of leaves were changed at damage stage. Perhaps, due to mild environmental conditions in location A, lower bunch wilting and better physiological conditions of fruits recorded compared to location B. Foliar application of 5-ALA resulted to a coordinated action of the antioxidative system, affecting the defense-related enzymes. The treatment caused biosynthesis of chlorophyll and adjustments in H2O2 and proline compositions in leaf, stalk, and fruit. Bunch wilting was alleviated by 240 ppm 5-ALA, moderating the response of tree load to environmental stress conditions.


Yield Antioxidants Enzymes Chlorophyll Photosynthesis 



5-Aminolevulinic acid


Reactive oxygen species


Total soluble solids


Net photosynthesis






Superoxide dismutase


Polyphenol oxidase




Pectin methyl esterase


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors would like to express that they have no competing interests regarding this research.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and EngineeringUniversity of TehranKarajIran
  2. 2.Cellular and Molecular Research Center and Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of MedicineZahedan University of Medical SciencesZahedanIran

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