Assessment of Antioxidant Activity, Grain and Oil Production of Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) in Saline Conditions


1 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

2 Seed and Plant Improvement Research Department, East Azarbaijan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Tabriz, Iran.


Salt stress is one of the major factors limiting crop productivity worldwide. Grain amaranth is new crop with high yield potential and good nutrition value which can be a good substitute for salt-sensitive crops in saline areas. This research was conducted to evaluate different level of salinity and applied salinity stress at several growth stages on some morphological and physiological traits of Amaranth via split plot experiment based on completely randomized with three replications. The main factor included five level of salinity (Control, 75, 150, 225 and 300 mM NaCl). The sub factor consisted applied salinity stress at four growth stages (Plant establishment, branching, flowering and grain filling period) under hydroponic system with Hoagland solution. According result of analysis of variance interaction applying different levels of salinity at different growth stages was significant at 1% probability level for all traits (instead hydrogen peroxide; H2O2, malon di aldehyde; MDA and total phenolic). Mean comparison results showed that application of 300 mM salinity concentration after plant establishment stage led to death of amaranth. Salinity application after establishment decreased significantly plant height, number of branches and panicle per plant as 44.9, 31.8 and 35.4%, respectively. Root volume only decreased after salinity 225 mM after plant establishment and 300 mM at the branching as 38 and 45%, respectively. Production of grain weight was not affected by 75 mM salinity, but at higher salinity showed significant decrease. The highest decrease in grain weight obtained by applying 225 mM salinity after the plant establishment and salinity at 300 mM after branching as 86.6 and 71.3%, respectively, resulting in a decrease in both 1000 kernel weight and grain number, respectively. Salinity application increased H2O2, MDA and total phenolics contents, severely. Most of characteristics were not affecting by 75 mM NaCl, but other concentrations had a negative effect on the growth and production of amaranth. In this study, the most sensitive application time to salinity was after plant establishment and the most tolerant was grain filling stage. 


Abdel Aziz, N. G., M. H. Mahgoub. and H. S. Siam. 2011. Growth, flowering and chemical constituents performance of Amaranthus tricolor plants as influenced by seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) extract application under salt stress conditions. J. Appl. Sci. Res. 7(11): 1472-1484.

Allemann, J., E. Van Der Heever. and A. Viljoen. 1996. Evaluation of Amaranthus as a possible vegetable crop. Appl. Plant Sci. J. 10: 1-4.

Beveridge, C. A., J. L. Weller, S. R. Singer. and J. M. I. Hofer. 2003. Auxiliary meristem development. Budding relationships between networks controlling flowering, branching, and photoperiod responsiveness. Plant Physiol. J. 131: 927-934.

Carillo, P., M. Grazia Annunziata, G. Pontecorvo, A. Fuggi. and P. Woodrow. 2010. Salinity stress and salt tolerance. In: Shanker, A. and B. Venkateswarlu, (Ed) Abiotic stress in plants- mechanisms and adaptations. Dep. Life Sci. University of Naples. Italy.

Cramer, G. R. 2002. Response of abscisic acid mutants of Arabidopsis to salinity. Funct. Plant Biol. J. 29(5): 561–567.

Cunningham, A. B., P. J. De Jager. and L. C. B. Hansen. 1992. The indigenous plant use program. Foundation for Research Development, Pretoria. South Africa.

Dave, D. S. and N. K. Patel. 2011. Salinity effect on Amaranthus lividus Linn. (Amaranthaceae) in relation of physiological and biochemical aspects. Life Sci. Leaflets. J. 21: 1018-1042.

Flowers, T. J. 2004. Improving crop salt tolerance. J. Exp. Bot. 55(396): 307-319.

Fricke, W. and W. S. Peters. 2002. The biophysics of leaf growth in salt-stressed barley. A study at the cell level. Plant Physiol. J. 129: 374–388.

Gaber, M. A. 2010. Antioxidative defense under salt stress. Plant Signal Behav. J. 5(4): 369-374.

Gelalcha, S. and R. R. Hanchinal. 2013. Correlation and path analysis in yield and yield components in spring bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes under irrigated condition in Southern India. African J. Agric. Res. 8(24): 3186-3192.

Huerta-Ocampo, J. A., A. Barrera-Pacheco, Ch. S. Mendoza-Hernández, E. Espitia-Rangel, H. P. Mock. and A. P. Barba. 2014. Salt Stress-Induced Alterations in the Root Proteome of Amaranthus cruentus L. J. Proteome Res. 13(8): 3607–3627. DOI: 10.1021/pr500153m.

Kang, J. G. and M. W. Van Iersel. 2004. Nutrient solution concentration affects shoot:root ratio, leaf area ratio, and growth of subirrigated salvia (Salvia Splendens). Hort. Sci. J. 39(1): 49-54.

Läuchli, A. and S. R. Grattan. 2007. Plant growth and development under salinity stress. In: Jenks, MA., P. M. Hasegawa, S. M. Jain (Ed) Advances in molecular breeding toward drought and salt tolerant crops. Springer. Netherlands.

Makus, D. J. 2003. Salinity and nitrogen level affect agronomic performance, leaf color and leaf mineral nutrients of vegetable amaranth. Subtropical Plant Sci. J. 55: 1-6.

Meloni, D. A., M. A. Oliva, C. A. Martinez. and J. Cambraria. 2003. Photosynthesis and activity of superoxide dismutase peroxidase and glutathione reductase in cotton under salt stress. Environ. Exp. Bot. 49: 69-76.

Moosavi, A., R. Tavakkol Afshari, F. Sharif-Zadeh. and A. Aynehband. 2009. Seed Sci. Technol. 37: 781-785.

Munns, R. and M. Tester. 2008. Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Annual Rev. Plant Biol. J. 59: 651 681.

Nenova, V. 2008. Growth and mineral concentrations of pea plants under different salinity levels and iron supply. Genetic Appl. Plant Physiol. J. 34(3-4): 189-202.

Noreen, Z. and M. Ashraf. 2009. Assessment of variation in antioxidative defense system in salt-treated pea (Pisum sativum) cultivars and its putative use as salinity tolerance markers. J. Plant Physiol. 166(16): 1764-1774.

Odjegba, V. J. and I. C. Chukwunwike. 2012. Physiological responses of Amaranthus hybridus L. under salinity stress. Indian J. Innovations Develop. 1(10): 742-748.

Omami, E. N. 2005. Response of amaranth to salinity stress. Dep. Prod. Soil Sci. PhD. Thesis. Faculty Natur. Agric. Sci. University of Pretoria. South Africa. 203 pp.

Omami, E. N., P. S. Hammes. and P. J. Robbertse. Differences in salinity tolerance for growth and water use efficiency in some amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) genotypes. New Zealand J. Crop Hort. Sci. 34(1): 11-22.

Shah, W. A., H. Ullah Khan, S. Anwar. and K. Nawab. 2011. Yield and yield components of wheat as affected by different grain rates and nitrogen levels. Sarhad J. Agric. 27(1): 17-25.

Shalhevet, J. 1994. Using water of marginal quality for crop production: major issues. Agric. Water Manage. J. 25: 233-269.

Sharp, R. E. and M. E. Le Noble. 2002. ABA, ethylene and control of shoot and root growth under water stress.J. Exp. Bot. 53(366): 33-37.

Tijen, D. and T. Ismail. 2005. Comparative lipid peroxidation, antioxidant defense systems and proline content in roots of two rice cultivar differing in salt tolerance. Env. Exp. Bot. J. 53(3): 247-257.

Velikova, V., I. Yordanov. and A. Edreva. 2000. Oxidative stress and some antioxidant systems in acid rain treated bean plants, protective role of exogenous polyamines. Plant Sci. J. 151: 59-66.

Wahid, A. and A. Ghazanfar. 2006. Possible involvement of some secondary metabolites in salt tolerance of sugarcane. J. Plant Physiol. 163(7): 723-730.

Wahome, P. K., H. H. Jesch. and I. Grittner. 2001. Mechanisms of salt stress tolerance in two rose rootstocks: Rosa chinensis ‘Major’ and R. rubiginosa. Scientia Hort. J. 87(13): 207-216.

Wang, Y. and X. Li. 2008. Salt stress-induced cell reprogramming, cell fate switch and adaptive plasticity during root hair development in Arabidopsis. Plant Signaling and Behavior. J. 3(7): 436-438.

Wang, X., G. Zhao. and H. Gu. 2009. Physiological and antioxidant responses of three leguminous species to saline environment during grain germination stage. African J. Biotech. 8(21): 5773-5779.

Wouyou, A., Ch. B. Gandonou, F. A. Komlan, D. Montcho, A. S. Zanklan, S. Lutts. and S. L. Gnancadja. 2017. Salinity resistance of five amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L.) cultivars at young plants stage. Intl. J. Plant Soil Sci. 14(3): 1-11.

Yadav, S., M. Irfan, A. Ahmad. and S. Hayat. 2011. Causes of salinity and plant manifestations to salt stress: A review. J. Environ. Biol. 32: 667-685.

Yaniv, Z., E. Shabelsky. and D. Schafferman. 1999. Colocynt h: Potential arid land oil grain from on ancient cucurbit. ASHS Press. Alexandria. pp: 257-261.