Carrageenan has been proved as potent growth promoting substance in its depolymerized form. However, relatively little is known about its role in counteracting the adverse effects of drought stress on plants. In a pot experiment, lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus Steud.), grown under different water stress regimes [(100% field capacity (FC), 80% FC and 60% FC)], was sprayed with 40, 80 and 120 mg L-1 of gamma irradiated carrageenan (ICA). Foliar application of ICA mitigated the harmful effects of drought stress to various extents and improved the biochemical characteristics, quality attributes and active constituents (citral and geraniol) of lemongrass significantly. Among the applied treatments, ICA-80 mg L-1 proved the best in alleviating detrimental effects of drought. However, drought stress (80 and 60% FC), irrespective of the growth stages, had an adverse impact on most of the studied attributes. Generally, 60% FC proved more deleterious than 80% FC. At 80% FC, application of ICA-80 mg L-1 elevated the essential oil (EO) content by 18.9 and 25%, citral content by 7.33 and 8.19% and geraniol content by 9.2 and 8.9% at 90 and 120 days after planting (DAP), respectively, as compared to the deionized-water (DW) spray treatment (80% FC+ DW). Whereas, at 60% FC, foliar application of 80 mg L-1 ICA significantly augmented the EO content by 15.4 and 17.8% and active constituents viz. citral and geraniol, by 5.01 and 5.62% and by 6.06 and 5.61% at 90 and 120 DAP, respectively, as compared to the control (water-spray treatment).
Singh, M., Khan, M. M. A., Uddin, M., Naeem, M., & Qureshi, M. I. (2017). Proliferating effect of radiolytically depolymerized carrageenan on physiological attributes, plant water relation parameters, essential oil production and active constituents of Cymbopogon flexuosus Steud. under drought stress. PLoS ONE, 12(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180129