Responses of in vitro-cultured Allium hirtifolium to exogenous sodium nitroprusside under PEG-imposed drought stress

  • K. Ghassemi-Golezani
  • N. Farhadi
  • N. Nikpour-Rashidabad
Original Article


Drought stress is a major threat to plant production in semi-arid and arid areas of the world. This research was laid out to asses the effects of sodium nitroprusside (SNP) as a nitric oxide donor on growth, physiological and biochemical changes of in vitro-cultured Allium hirtifolium under polyethylene glycol (PEG) induced drought stress. Basal plate explants of A. hirtifolium were cultured on MS medium containing different levels of PEG (0, 2, 4, 8 and 16 mM) and SNP (0, 10, 40 and 70 µM). After prolonged drought, growth responses, oxidative stress indicators, and phytochemical variations of regenerated plantlets with or without PEG and/or SNP treatments were recorded. Water limitation reduced regeneration potential of explants and consequently number of shoots per explant. Relative water content, total chlorophyll and carotenoid contents of regenerated A. hirtifolium plantlets decreased, but accumulation of malondialdehyde, H2O2 and proline and the activities of superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, catalase and peroxidase enzymes increased with decreasing water availability. Total phenol and allicin contents were also increased in response to drought stress. Exogenous SNP in 10 and particularly in 40 µM was effective in enhancing regeneration rate and relative water content as well as protecting photosynthetic pigments under different levels of water availability. SNP also inhibited the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulation and lipid peroxidation in cell membranes via increasing the activities of superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase enzymes and accumulating proline and allicin. In general, these results suggest that exogenous SNP at 40 µM not only could somewhat protect A. hirtifolium from drought stress, but also can help to improve the propagation and allicin production of that plant under in vitro condition.


Allicin Antioxidant enzyme Carotenoid Chlorophyll Phenol Proline 



Ascorbate peroxidase




Nitric oxide


Polyethylene glycol




Plant growth regulator


Reactive oxygen species


Relative water content


Sodium nitroprusside




Superoxide dismutase



We appreciate the financial support of this work by the University of Tabriz.

Author contributions

The publication of this article is approved by all authors and explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Eco-physiology, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  2. 2.Department of Horticulture, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran

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