International Journal of
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Plant Physiol. Biochem.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2162
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPPB
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 113

Full Length Research Paper

The physiological and behavioural responses of argan seedlings (Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels) to water stress in the semi-arid Western Algeria

Benaouf Zohra*
  • Benaouf Zohra*
  • Laboratory of Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Houari Boumediene University of Sciences and Technology (U.S.T.H.B), El Alia, BP 32, Bab Ezzouar, 16111 Algiers, Algeria.
  • Google Scholar
Miloudi Ali
  • Miloudi Ali
  • Laboratory of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Mascara 29000, Algeria.
  • Google Scholar
Belkhodja Moulay
  • Belkhodja Moulay
  • Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Oran 31000, Algeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 01 March 2014
  •  Accepted: 04 June 2014
  •  Published: 30 June 2014


This paper presents the behavior, morpho-physiological and biochemical responses of argan seedlings to three water regimes at 30, 60 and 100% of field capacity. Based on the results of the growth parameters, we use the best result obtained from height growth. The increase in the number of leaves and thorns is obtained in seedlings subjected to water stress levels of about 60 and 100% against the application of a severe water stress of 30 and 0%. This led to reduction in the height of the stem, the number of leaves, and radial growth of biomass, and increased the length of the root portion. Regarding the water parameters, we noted a gradual decline in the relative water, the fresh and dry weight of leaves, stems and roots contents, with minimum values ​​in the most severe stress (30 and 0%). Regarding the biochemical parameters, a decline in the relative water content is followed by a significant accumulation of soluble sugars and protein. Regarding the physiological parameters, stomata density intensifies level maintained at low water contents where the number of stomata per unit area behaves greatly compared to that of the hydrated treatments. Sweating is greatly reduced by increased water deficit; it is even more pronounced in the most severe treatment (30 and 0%).


Key words: Argania spinosa, germination, morphological, physiological, growth parameters, water, physiological water stress, biochemical water stress.


Abbreviations: RWC, Relative water content; DWR, dry weight of the root; DWA, dry weight of the aerial part.