Effect of Exogenous Application of L-arginine and Sodium Nitroprusside on Fruit Abscission and Physiological Disorders of Pistachio (Pistacia Vera L.) Scions

Document Type: Research paper


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran

2 Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman

3 Department of Ecology, Institute of Science and High Technology and Environmental Sciences, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran


Pistachio yield are often negatively affected by some physiological problems such as abscission of inflorescence buds and fruits, deformed or blank nuts, and non-split shells. In the present study the effect of exogenous application of arginine (Arg) (a substrate for nitric oxide (NO) synthase) and sodium nitroproside (SNP), as a NO-donor was investigated on yield production, fruit and inflorescence buds abscission, and physiological parameters of Pistacia vera. The experiment was conducted in randomized complete block design with factorial structure in a commercial pistachio orchard. Factors were included two levels of Arg (0.5 and 1 mM), two levels of SNP (50 and 100 μM) and their combination applied at two distinct time; one week before full bloom (first stage) and five weeks after full bloom (second stage). Comparing to SNP-treated trees, Arg was more effective on growth and physiological parameters of shoots and on fruit and inflorescence buds abscission, and on fruit parameters such as split and non-split shells, blank nuts, number of nuts per ounce. Effects of these treatments were considerably depending on the time of application and the concentrations of applied compounds. It is proposed that the effects of Arg and SNP may be related to the NO signaling and polyamines production.


  1. Arasimowicz M, Wieczorek J. 2007. Nitric oxide as a bioactive signaling molecule in plant stress responses. Plant Science 172, 876-887.
  2. Baninasab B, Rahemi M. 2006. Possible role of non-structural carbohydrates in alternate bearing of pistachio. European Journal of Horticultural Science 71, 277-282.
  3. Bradford M.M. 1976. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochemistry 72, 248-254.
  4. Byers R.E, Wolf T.K. 1991. The influence of low light on apple fruit abscission. Journal of Horticultural Sciences 66, 7-17.
  5. Cantoؘn F.R, Suaؘrez M.F, Caؘnovas F.M. 2005. Molecular aspects of nitrogen mobilization and recycling in trees. Photosynthesis Research 83, 265-278.
  6. Chen H, McCarig B, Melotto M, Yang S, He S, Howe G.A. 2004. Regulation of plant arginase by wounding, Jasmonate and the phytotoxin coronatine. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 279, 45998-46007.
  7. Crane J.C, Al-shalan I.M. 1977. Carbohydrate and nitrogen level in pistachio branches as related to shoot extension and yield. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 102, 396-399.
  8. Crane J.C, Al-shalan I, Carlson R.M. 1973. Abscission of inflorescence buds as affected by leaf area and number of nuts. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 98, 591-592.
  9. Crane J.C, Catlin P.B, Al-Shalan I. 1976. Carbohydrate levels in the pistachio as related to alternate bearing. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 101, 371-374.

10. Crane J.C, Iwakiri B.T. 1981. Morphology and reproduction of pistachio. Review Horticulture 3, 376-393.

11. Crane J.C, Iwakiri B.T. 1985. Vegetative and reproductive dominance in pistachio. Journal of Horticultural Sciences 20, 1092-1093.

12. Crane J.C, Nelson M.M. 1971. The unusual mechanism of alternate bearing in the pistachio. Journal of Horticultural Sciences 6, 489-490.

13. Dhindsa R.S, Dhindsa P, Thorpe A.T. 1981. Leaf senescence correlated with increased levels of membrane permeability and lipid peroxidation and decrease levels of superoxide dismutase and catalase. Journal of Experimental Botany 32, 93-101.

14. El-Bassiouny H.M.S, Mostafa H.A, El-Khawas S.A, Hassanein R.A, Khalil S.I, Abd El-Monem A. 2008. Physiological responses of wheat plant to foliar treatments with arginine or putrescine. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences 2, 1390-1403.

15. Eo J, Lee B.Y. 2011. Anatomical and Histological Changes in the Fruit Abscission Zone of Water Dropwort (Oenanthe stolonifera DC.). Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology 52(3), 315-320.

16. Esmaeilpour A, Khezri M. 2006. Abscission of Inflorescence Buds as Affected by Genetic Characteristics in Some Iranian Commercial Pistachio Cultivars. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 8(3), 360-362.

17. Estornell L.H, Agusti J, Merelo P, Talόn M, Tadeo F.R. 2013. Elucidating mechanisms underlying organ abscission. Review. Plant Science 199-200, 48-60.

18. Fabbri A, Ferguson L, Polito V.S. 1998. Crop load related deformity of developing Pistacia vera cv `Kerman' nuts. Scientia Horticulture 77, 219-234.

19. Ferguson L, Beede R.H, Freeman M.W, Haviland D.R, Holtz B.A, Kallsen C.E. 2005. Pistachio Production Manual (4th ed.). Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center, University of California, Davis, California.

20. Groppa M.D, Benavides M.P. 2008. Polyamines and abiotic stress, recent advances. Amino Acids 34, 35-45.

21. Iglesias D.J, Tadeo F.R, Primo-Millo E, Talon M. 2006. Carbohydrate and ethylene levels related to fruitlet drop through AZ A in citrus. Trees 20, 348-355.

22. Khezri M, Talaiea A, Javanshah A, Hadavi F. 2010. Effect of exogenous application of free polyamines on physiological disorders and yield of ‘Kaleh-Ghoochi’ pistachio shoots (Pistacia vera L.). Scientia Horticulturae. 125, 270-276.

23. Kumar N, Pal M, Singh A, Sairam R, Srivastava G.C. 2010. Exogenous proline alleviates oxidative stress and increase vase life in rose (Rosa hybrida L. ‘Grand Gala’). Scientia Horticulture 127, 79-85.

24. Lei Y, Yin C, Ren J, Li C. 2007. Effect of osmotic stress and sodium nitroprusside pretreatment on proline metabolism of wheat seedlings. Journal of Plant Physiology 516, 386-390.

25. Lewis MW, Leslie ME, Liljegren SJ. 2006. Plant separation, 50 ways to leave your mother. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 9, 59-65.

26. Li J, Yuan R .2008. NAA and ethylene regulate expression of genes related to ethylene biosynthesis, perception, and cell wall degradation during fruit abscission and ripening in ‘Delicious’ apples. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation 27, 283–295.

27. Lichtenthaler H.K .1987. Chlorophyll and carotenoids: pigments of photosynthetic biomembranes. Methods in enzymology 148, 350-382.

28. Lin C.C, Kao C.H .1995. Levels of endogenous polyamines and NaCl inhibited growth of rice seedlings. Plant Growth Regulation 17, 15-20.

29. Liu J.H, Nada K, Honda C, Kitashiba H, Wen X.P. 2006. Polyamine biosynthesis of apple callus under salt stress. Importance of the arginine decarboxylase pathway in stress responses. Journal of Experimental Botany 57, 2589-2599.

30. Marcelis L.F.M, Heuvelink E, Baan Hofman-Eijer L.R , Den Bakker J, Xue L.B. 2004. Flower and fruit abortion in sweet pepper in relation to source and sink strength. Journal of Experimental Botany 55, 2261-2268.

31. Mostafa H.A.M, Hassanein R.A, Khalil S.I, El-Khawas S.A, El- Bassionny H.M.S, Abd El-Monem A.A. 2010. Effect of arginine or putrescine on growth, yield and yield components of late sowing wheat. Journal of Applied Science and Research 6(2), 177-183.

32. Nakano Y, Asada K. 1981. Hydrogen peroxide is scavenged by ascorbate-specific peroxidase in spinach choloroplast. Plant Cell Physiology 22, 867-880.

33. Nasibi F, Barand A, Kalantari K M Rezanejad F. 2013. The effect of arginine pretreatment on germination, growth and Physiological parameters in the increase of low temperature tolerance in Pistaci avera L. in vitro culture. International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences 5, 1918-1925.

34. Nassar A.H, El–Tarabily K.A, Sivasithamparam K. 2003. Growth promotion of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) by a polyamine producing isolate of Streptomyces griseoluteus. Plant Growth Regulation 40(2), 97-106.

35. Nejadalimoradi H, Nasibi F, Kalantari K.M, Zanganeh R. 2014. Effect of Seed Priming with L-arginine and sodium nitroprusside on some physiological parameters and antioxidant enzymes of sunflower plants exposed to salt stress. Agricultural Communications 2(1), 23-30.

36. Nzima M, Martin G, Nishijima C. 1997. Leaf development, dry matter accumulation, and distribution within branches of alternate bear ‘Kerman’ pistachio trees. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 122, 31–37.

37. Parra-Lobato M.C, Gomez-Jimenez M.C. 2011. Polyamine-induced modulation of genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis and signaling pathways and nitric oxide production during olive mature fruit abscission. Journal of Experimental Botany 62, 4447-4465.

38. Plewa M.J, Smith S.R, Wanger E.D. 1991. Diethyldithiocarbamate suppresses the plant activation of aromatic amines into mutagens by inhibiting tobacco cell peroxidase. Mutation Researches 247, 57-64.

39. Porlingis I.C. 1974. Flower bud abscission in pistachio as related to fruit development and other factors. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 99, 121-125.

40. Roberts J.A, Elliott K.A, Gonzalez-Carranza Z.H. 2002. Abscission, dehiscence, and other cell separation processes. Annual Review of Plant Biology 53, 131-158.

41. Roe JH. 1955. The determination of sugar in blood and spinal fluid with anthrone reagent. Journal of Biological Chemistry 212, 335-343.

42. Sakamoto M, Munemura I, Tomita R, Kobayashi K. 2008. Reactive oxygen species in leaf abscission signaling. Plant Signaling and Behaviors 3, 1014-1015.

43. Samach A, Smith H.M. 2013. Constraints to obtaining consistent annual yields in perennials. II, Environment and fruit load affect induction of flowering. Plant Science 207, 168-176.

44. Shanker A.K, Djanaguiraman M, Sudhagar R, Chandrashekar C.N, Pathmanabhan G. 2004. Differential antioxidative response of ascorbate glutathione pathway enzymes and metabolites to chromium speciation stress in green gram (Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek. cv CO 4) roots. Plant Science 166, 1035-1043.

45. Spann T.M, Beede R.H, Dejong T.M. 2009. Contributions of short- and long-shoots to yield of ‘Kerman’ pistachio (Pistacia vera L.). Scientia Horticulturae 121, 495-500.

46. Stephenson A.G. 1983. Cost of over initiating fruit. Am mid nat 112, 379-86.

47. Stephenson, A.G. 1981. Flower and fruit abortion: proximate causes and ultimate functions. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 12, 253-279.

48. Takeda F, Ryugo K, Crane J.C. 1980. Translocation and distribution of c14-photosynthates in bearing and non bearing pistachio branches. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 105, 642-4.

49. Talaie A, Seyedi M, Panahi B, Khezri M. 2006. Effects of Shoot Girdling and Urea Combined with 6 –BenzylAdenine on Abscission of Inflorescence Buds in “Ohadi” Pistachio Cultivar (Pistacia vera L.). International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 08(4), 474-476.

50. Wright G.C. 1999. The carbohydrate economy of horticultural crops: introduction to the colloquium. Scientia Horticulturae 34, 1014-1015.

51. Zhu S, Zhou J. 2007. Effect of nitric oxide on ethylene production in strawberry fruit during storage. Food Chemistry 100(4), 1517-1522.