Carbon and nitrogen stoichiometry in Brassica napus L. seedlings after supplementation with Ca2+ and K+ under irrigated and drought stress conditions

  • R Alam
  • A Iqbal
  • I Khan
  • I Ali
  • I Munir
  • M Tahir
  • N Jan
  • A Swati
Keywords: Drought, nutrients supplementation, carbon, nitrogen, C/N ratio.


Exposure of plants to long periods of water scarcity, mainly in arid and semi-arid regions, is one of the major reasons for over 50% reduction in average yields. Proper management of Brassica napus to enhance its ability to survive under drought and high temperature stress at early growth stages, besides development of tolerant genotypes, could improve its production in the rainfed areas. In the present study, we report the interactive effects of Ca2+, K+ and N supplementation and water availability on the fresh biomass, N and C content, as well as C/N ratio of crop plants. Exposure to water stress significantly reduced the fresh biomass, Nitrogen (N), Carbon (C) content and the C/N ratio. Ca2+ and K+ supplementation before drought positively affected fresh biomass by stimulating N uptake and C assimilation. However, the C/N ratio was reduced after supplementation with Ca2+ and K+. The N supplementation before drought imposition, though enhanced the N uptake, but the excessive damage to cell membranes and electrons leakage from Electron Transport Chain (ETC) during photosynthesis resulted in a decrease in C assimilation. Consequently, there was a decrease in the C/N ratio in seedlings exposed to drought after supplementation with N.

Key words: Drought, nutrients supplementation, carbon, nitrogen, C/N ratio.