Exploration of drought tolerance and recovery potential of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) genotypes based on chlorophyll α fluorescence kinetics

Erdal Ş. Ç., EKMEKÇİ Y.

Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, vol.45, no.7, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11738-023-03566-z
  • Journal Name: Acta Physiologiae Plantarum
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Carthamus tinctorius, OJIP chlorophyll α fluorescence transients, Photosynthetic and physiological responses, Recovery, Selection, Water deficit
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, five registered cultivars and seven lines of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) for drought stress tolerance with recovery capacities were examined during moderate (5 days) and severe (7 days) drought and following re-irrigation periods (5 days) using polyphasic chlorophyll α fluorescence kinetics and some physiological parameters. The drought stress induced decrease in leaf water potential, photosynthetic efficiency and pigment contents, and an increase in membrane damage in all genotypes. After re-watering periods, RB-05 and AD-L/14 genotypes were able to recover by overcoming these adverse effects due to drought. Twelve genotypes were classified according to pigment and membrane factor indexes, and drought and recovery factor indexes. Moreover, principal component analysis clearly showed the relationship between the treatment groups and revealed a clear homogeneity in the physiological status of plants. Additionally, drought tolerance levels of the selected genotypes were characterized in detail by chlorophyll α fluorescence kinetics and some JIP test parameters (efficiencies and quantum yields and specific energy flux parameters). Chlorophyll fluorescence data revealed drought and re-watering period changes as well as specific differences between tolerant and sensitive safflower genotypes. Evaluation of the results showed that sensitive genotypes (LN and AD-L/12) tried to overcome the negative effects caused by drought, while tolerant genotypes (RB-05 and AD-L/14) exhibited better photosynthetic performance and recovered with re-watering. As a result, RB and AD-L/14 could be recommended to be used as genetic material in breeding programs and grown in drought-prone areas.