Productivity of new sweet plant in Morocco (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) under water stress
Abderrahmane Benhmimou, Mohammed Ibriz, Chaouki Al Faïz, Ahmed Douaik, Abdelkarim Khiraoui, Fatima Zahra Amchra and Mounira Lage
Because of the prospect of global climate change most crop will be exposed to negative impacts caused by water stress. A pot experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of different irrigation regimes on growth, yield and quality parameters of stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) plants in the Regional Centre of Agronomic Research of Rabat in Morocco (INRA). We applied three irrigation treatments calculated to be 100, 80 and 50% of the mean maximum evapotranspiration (ETm) calculated daily. The results showed that water stress significantly reduced plant height, stem diameter, number of leaves plant -1 and leaf area plant -1 by 22.44%, 36.54%, 45.10% and 58.15 % at I3 (50% ETm), respectively as compared to I1 (100% ETm). All of the above responses led to reduced fresh biomas and dry leaf yields. Similarly, the total steviol glycosides yield decreased by 37.66% at I3 as compared to I1. By contrast, the total steviol glycosides content significantly increased in I3 stevia leaves than I1 (24.71%). These findings demonstrate that stevia is sensitive to water deficit but adopts adaptive strategies that maintains its yield and increases the content of steviol glycosides.
Abderrahmane Benhmimou, Mohammed Ibriz, Chaouki Al Faïz, Ahmed Douaik, Abdelkarim Khiraoui, Fatima Zahra Amchra and Mounira Lage. Productivity of new sweet plant in Morocco (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) under water stress. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. 2017; 5(5): 126-131.