Turkish Journal of Botany




The effects of drought stress on plant growth and development are getting more pronounced due to increasing influence of climate change on environmental stresses. Current study was devised to explore the drought effects on eight commercial carrot cultivars, having different root colors as a base for further studies to understand the response of carrot. Drought stress for 10 days was applied to carrot plants at taproot formation stage in semicontrolled greenhouse. The results revealed that orange and yellow colored carrot cultivars exhibited the least decline in physiological functioning (relative water contents and dry matter) that assisted in maintaining higher yield and quality attributes in contrast to purple and black carrot cultivars. However, anthocyanin contents in nonpurple cultivars Tendersweet and Solar Yellow showed 72% decrease, whereas in purple carrot cultivars 3-fold increase was observed in Eregli Black and Cosmic Purple. Beta-carotene contents showed 59% decrease in cultivar Eregli Black under drought; however, it was increased in cultivars Solar Yellow and Coral Orange by 17% and 3%, respectively. Sugar accumulation exhibited variable response of carrot cultivars; minimal sucrose contents in cultivars Cosmic Purple, Solar Yellow and Tendersweet were detected after they were subjected to drought. Overall, the results showed that cultivars Atomic Red and Coral Orange performed well under water scarce condition. We believe this study may help the researchers to move forward in understanding the drought effects for the selection of promising cultivars to be used in development of tolerant varieties with breeding strategies.


Anthocyanins, drought stress, reducing sugars, HPLC, photosynthetic pigments, yield attributes

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