, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 1595–1608 | Cite as

Change in biochemical parameters of Persian oak (Quercus brantii Lindl.) seedlings inoculated by pathogens of charcoal disease under water deficit conditions

  • Ehsan Ghanbary
  • Masoud Tabari KouchaksaraeiEmail author
  • Lucia Guidi
  • Mansoureh Mirabolfathy
  • Vahid Etemad
  • Seyed Ali Mohammad Modarres Sanavi
  • Daniel Struve
Original Article


Key message

Drought alone or in combination with charcoal disease pathogens led to modifications in some biochemical characteristics of Persian oak seedlings. Drought conditions enhances the effects of charcoal fungus with effects at biochemical level.


Charcoal disease is one of the common diseases in oak forest of Zagros in western Iran that has increased in the recent years. The disease is associated with abiotic stress, especially drought, and contributes to the decline of Persian oak (Quercus brantii Lindl.), the major oak species in this forest association. Persian oak seedlings were exposed to a factorial combination of two irrigation levels and inoculation with either Biscogniauxia mediterranea or Obolarina persica (agents of charcoal disease). Proline, total soluble sugar and soluble protein contents in seedling foliage were increased in response to charcoal pathogen inoculation, especially when combined with water stress, while starch, chlorophyll a + b and carotenoid contents strongly declined. Pathogen inoculation stimulated malondialdehyde content, electrolyte leakage, and hydrogen peroxide and superoxide radical contents in oak leaves, and were increased by water stress. The combination of charcoal disease agents and water stress increased peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activity while, for catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities, the interaction between the two factors of variability was not significantly increased. Ascorbate peroxidase activity was at maximum level in seedlings infected with O. persica independently of water stress. Glutathione reductase had the highest activity in inoculated seedlings under soil moisture stress while those under higher soil moisture levels, the enzyme was increased only when inoculated with O. persica. Contents of non-enzymatic antioxidants including ascorbic acid and glutathione increased in response to combined pathogen inoculation and water stress and was higher when seedlings were inoculated with O. persica than with B. mediterranea. Chitinase activity significantly increased because of pathogen inoculation. Furthermore, foliar phenylalanine ammonia lyase activity was higher under all treatment combinations, as compared to the controls. The effects of B. mediterranea or O. persica pathogens on foliar biochemical responses of Q. brantii seedlings were more severe under water-stress and it was more sensitive to B. mediterranea than O. persica.


Antioxidants Charcoal disease Chitinase Phenolic compounds Proline ROS 



We do acknowledge the helps in the greenhouse by Dr. Saham Mirzaei Tork. We gratefully acknowledge the technical assistance of Dr. Mehrdad Zarafshar and Dr. Mohammad Khezry for all their support in the laboratory.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ehsan Ghanbary
    • 1
  • Masoud Tabari Kouchaksaraei
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucia Guidi
    • 2
  • Mansoureh Mirabolfathy
    • 3
  • Vahid Etemad
    • 4
  • Seyed Ali Mohammad Modarres Sanavi
    • 5
  • Daniel Struve
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural ResourcesTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  3. 3.Iranian Plant Protection Research InstituteTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Forestry, Faculty of Natural ResourcesTehran UniversityKarajIran
  5. 5.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of AgricultureTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  6. 6.Department of Horticulture and Crop ScienceOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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