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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Identification of water and nutrient stress in sage (Salvia officinalis) through imaging techniques

Prashamsha Acharya1, Shamaila Zia-Khan2, Joachim Müller2

1University of Hohenheim, Center for Organic Farming, Germany
2University of Hohenheim, Inst. of Agricultural Engineering, Tropics and Subtropics Group, Germany


Salvia officinalis is one of the most economically important medicinal and aromatic plants cultivated for its higher amount of essential oil compared to other Salvia species. It has been widely used in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals preparation, and preservative mainly for its antioxidative property. The soil moisture content and nutrients are crucial factors for the composition of essential oil. The major essential oil contents of sage are α-Pinene, α-Thujone, β-Thujone, camphor, cineole, and camphene. However, water stress reduces the biological yield by causing variation in physiological and metabolic processes. Similarly, a higher level of nitrogen is crucial for the formation of terpenoid compounds and chlorophyll which are necessary for the accumulation of essential oil and for activating photosynthetic and other physiological processes in plant respectively.
The existing studies on the impact of water status and nutrients on S. officinalis on essential oil content and yield are limited and conflicting. Some of the studies show no significant differences in essential oil content for different nitrogen levels. While other studies show an increase in the accumulation of β- Pinene in essential oil with increasing N fertilisation.
Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify the effects of abiotic stresses on the plant growth responses as well as to determine the optimal soil water and nitrogen content. In this study, infrared and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging techniques will be applied in order to identify stresses and their effects on yield and essential oil content. The study is conducted under the greenhouse conditions on 90 potted sage plants where, 3 water treatments namely, 100 % (control), 60% (medium stress) and 30% (severe stress) irrigation will be applied based on the soil potential measurements. Additionally, 3 nitrogen treatments i.e.,120kg/ha (control), 80kg/ha (medium stress) and 40 kg/ha (severe stress) will be applied. The results of this study will be helpful in screening the abiotic stresses in sage and promoting precision agriculture for its optimum cultivation.

Keywords: Chlorophyll fluorescence, infrared imaging, soil water status, stomatal conductance, tensiometer

Contact Address: Prashamsha Acharya, University of Hohenheim, Center for Organic Farming, Schwerzstrasse 1, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany, e-mail: prashamsha.acharya2@gmail.com

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