top of page
Windows 7 ultimate collection of wallpapers (60).jpg

Brassinosteroid a Potential Plant Growth Regulator to Alleviate Drought Stress in Apple Cultivars

Sudarshana Kumari 1 and Anju Thakur 2


DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.11424887


The objective of this study was to understand the effect of foliar application of brassinosteroid (BRs) to mitigate the adverse impacts of drought stress on one year old apple seedlings of two cultivars i.e. Super Chief and Red Chief. Both the cultivars were pre-treated by foliar application of brassinosteroid (0.05 and 0.10 ppm), 3 days before imposition of drought. Drought was imposed on plants withholding water for 15 and 30 days. Adequate moisture was maintained in control plants near to field capacity. Results of this study revealed that drought for 15 and 30 days led to a reduction in Physio-biochemical characteristics with a higher reduction under 30 days of drought. Pre-treatment with brassinosteroid at 0.05 and 0.10 ppm concentration prior to subjecting to drought helped in minimizing the detrimental effect of drought in both cultivars. However, 0.05 ppm was more effective in counteracting the effect of drought by maintaining vital physiological and biochemical changes. The chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthetic rate, canopy temperature depression, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate showed significant increase under 0.05 ppm brassinosteroid treatment as compared to 15 and 30 days of stress. However, brassinosteroid at both concentrations could help in the relative accumulation of osmoregulating substances (proline) and activities of anti-oxidant enzymes namely peroxidase under different stress durations and treatments. Foliar application of brassinosteroid (0.05 ppm) prior to imposition of stress can prove the way for reversal of deleterious effects of water stress on apple plants. Therefore, it may be concluded that foliar application of BRs prior to drought has the potential to reverse the deleterious effect of drought in apple plants.


1 Department of Agronomy, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara-144411, Jalandhar, Punjab, India
2 Department of Basic Sciences, Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan-173230, India



Kumari S and Thakur A (2024) Brassinosteroid a Potential Plant Growth Regulator to Alleviate Drought Stress in Apple Cultivars. Environ Sci Arch 3(STI-1): 37-48.


Abohatem M, Zouine J and Harami IE (2011) Low concentration of BAP and high rate of subcultures improve the establishment and multiplication of somatic embryos in date palm suspension cultures by limiting oxidative browning associated with high levels of total phenols and peroxidase activities. Scientia Horticulturae 130: 344-48. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2011.06.045
Ahmad F, Singh A, Kamal A (2018) Cross check of brassinosteroids with other phytohormones under various abiotic stresses. Journal of Applied Biology and Biotechnology 6: 56-62. DOI:10.7324/JABB.2018.60110
Ali B (2017) Practical applications of brassinosteroids in horticulture-some field perspectives. Scientia Horticulturae 225: 15–21. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2017.06.051
Bajguz A and Tretyn A (2003) The chemical characteristic and distribution of brassinosteroids in plants. Phytochemistry 62(7): 1027-1046. DOI: 10.1016/s0031-9422(02)00656-8
Bajguz A and Hayat S (2009) Effects of brassinosteroids on the plant responses to environmental stresses. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 47(1): 1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2008.10.002
Balaguer L, Pugnaire FI, Martinez FE, et al. (2002) Ecophysiological significance of chlorophyll loss and reduced photochemical efficiency under extreme aridity in Stipa tenacissima L. Plant and Soil 240: 343-352. DOI:10.1023/A:1015745118689
Bhardwaj K (2010) Influence of rootstocks and pbr’s on growth and physiology of apple under different soil moisture regimes. Thesis. Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni-173230, Solan (H.P.)
Bhusal N, Han SG and Yoon TM (2019) Impact of drought stress on photosynthetic response, leaf water potential, and stem sap flow in two cultivars of bi-leader apple trees (Malus×domestica Borkh.). Scientia Horticulturae 246: 535–543. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2018.11.021
Bolat I, Dikilitas M, Ercisli S et al. (2014) The effect of water stress on some morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics and bud success on apple and quince rootstocks. TheScientific World Journal
Chandel JS (1989) Effect of different rootstocks and moisture levels on growth, water relations and nutrient uptake of container grown apple plants. Ph.D. Thesis. Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni, Solan, HP, India.
Fariduddin Q, Khripach S, Hasan SA, Ali B, Hayat S, Ahmad A (2009) Effect of 28- homobrassinolide on the drought stress-induced changes in photosynthesis and antioxidant system of Brassica juncea L. Acta physiologiae plantarum 31: 889-97. DOI:10.1007/s11738-009-0302-7
Giuliani MM, Carucci F, Nardella et al. (2018) Combined effects of deficit irrigation and strobilurin application on gas exchange, yield and water use efficiency in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Scientia Horticulturae 233: 149-58.
Hanson AD and Hitz WD (1982) Metabolic responses of mesophyte plants to water deficit. Annual review of plant physiology 33:163-203. DOI:10.1146/annurev.pp.33.060182.001115
Helyes L, Pek Z and McMichel B (2006) Relationship between the stress degree day index and biomass production and effect and timing of irrigation in snapbean (Phaseolus vulgaris var. nanus) stands: results of a long-term experiments. Acta Botanica Hungarica, 48(3-4), 311-321. DOI:10.1556/ABot.48.2006.3-4.6
Jie YY, John G, Streeter et al. (2010) Influence of soil drought stress on photosynthesis, carbohydrates and the nitrogen and phosphorus absorb in different sections of leaves and stem of Fugi/M.9EML, a young apple seedling. African journal of biotechnology 9: 5320-25.
Khamsuk O, Sonjaroon W and Suwanwong S et al. (2018) Effects of 24–epibrassinolide and the synthetic brassinosteroid mimic on chili pepper under drought. Acta physiologiae plantarum 40:1–12. DOI:10.1007/s11738-018-2682-z
Kumari S, Thakur A and Singh N et al. (2020) Influence of drought stress and brassinosteroid on growth and physio-biochemical characteristics of apple plants. Indian of Horticulture 77(1): 88-93. DOI:10.5958/0974-0112.2020.00007.9
Lima JV and Lobato AKS (2017) Brassinosteroids improve photosystem II efficiency, gas exchange, antioxidant enzymes and growth of cowpea plants exposed to water deficit. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants 23:59–72. DOI: 10.1007/s12298-016-0410-
Lui B, Cheng L, Ma F, Zou Y, Ling D (2012) Growth, biomass allocation and water use efficiency of 31 apple cultivars grown under two water regimes. Agroforestry systems 84: 117-129. DOI: 10.17221/152/2022-HORTSCI
Mali PC and Mehta SL (1977) Effect of drought on enzymes and free proline in rice varieties. Phytocmemistry. 16:1355-58. DOI:10.3329/jasbs.v45i2.46597
Mihaljevic I, Viljevac Vuletic M, Simic D et al. (2021) Comparative study of drought stress effects on traditional and modern apple cultivars. Plants 10(3): 561.
Misger FA and Kumar A (2008) Effect of soil moisture regimes on plant growth, water relations and yield of Red Delicious/M9 Apple trees. Journal of horticulture 21:53-56.
Misra AN, Misra M and Singh R (2012) Chlorophyll fluorescence: In Plant Biology and Biophysics (Ed. Misra, A. N.) ISBN 979-953-307-290-5.
Noctor G, Mhamdi A and Foyer CH (2014) The roles of reactive oxygen metabolism in drought: Not so cut and dried. Plant physiology 164: 1636–1648. DOI: 10.1104/pp.113.233478
Pratima P, Sharma N and Sharma DP (2016) Canopy temperature and water relations of Kiwifruit cultivar Allison in response to deficit irrigation and in situ moisture Conservation. Current Science 111: 375-79.
Singh N, Sharma DP and Chand H (2016) Impact of climate change on apple production in India: A Review Current World Environment 11:251-59.
Singh TN, Aspinall D and Paleg LG et al. (1972) Proline accumulation and varietal adaptation to drought in barley, a potential metabolic measure of drought resistance. Nature New Biology 236: 188-90. DOI: 10.4161/psb.21949
Sofo A, Scopa A, Nuzzaci M et al. (2015) Ascorbate peroxidase and catalase activities and their genetic regulation in plants subjected to drought and salinity stresses. International journal of molecular sciences 16: 13561-78. DOI: 10.3390/ijms160613561
Surendar KK, Devi DD and Ravi (2013) Effect of water deficit on yield and epicuticular wax, proline and free amino acid content of banana cultivars and hybrids. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 9: 201-09. DOI:10.5376/pgt.2013.04.0015
Talaat NB (2020) 24–Epibrassinolide and Spermine combined treatment sustains maize (Zea mays L.) drought tolerance by improving photosynthetic efficiency and altering phytohormones profile. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 20:516–529. DOI:10.1007/s42729-019-00138-4
Thakur A and Thakur CL (2018) Evaluation of four medicinal herb species under conditions of water stress. Indian journal of plant physiology .
Vardhini BV and Anjum NA (2015) Brassinosteroids make plant life easier under abiotic stresses mainly by modulating major components of antioxidant defence system. Environmental Science 2: 1-16.
Viljevac M, Dugalic K, Mihaljevic I et al. (2013) Chlorophylls content and photosynthetic efficiency in two sour cherry Prunus cerasus (L.) genotypes under drought stress. Acta botanica Croatica 72: 221–235. DOI:10.2478/botcro-2013-0003
Yuan GF, Jia CGLiZ, Su B et al. (2010) Effect of brassinosteroid on drought resistance and abscisic acid concentration in tomato under water stress. Scientia Horticulturae 126: 103-108. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2010.06.014
Yuan GF, Jia CGLiZ, Su B, Zhang LP, Liu N, Wang QM (2010) Effect of brassinosteroid on drought resistance and abscisic acid concentration in tomato under water stress. Scientia Horticulturae 126: 103-108. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2010.06.014s
Zu X, Lu Y and Wang QH et al. (2017) A new method for evaluating the drought tolerance of upland rice cultivars. The Crop Journal 5: 488–498. DOI:10.1016/j.cj.2017.05.002
Zullo MAT and Adam G (2002) Brassinosteroids phytohormones structure bioactivity and applications. Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology 14: 143-81. DOI: 10.3390/ijms20020331


License: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. Visit for more details

Reporter Name



bottom of page