Evaluation of Yield and Yield Component of Borage (Borago officinalis L.) Affected as Irrigation Level and Plant Density

Document Type : Scientific - Research


Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Medicinal plants are in use by a large portion of population for their medicinal therapeutic effects. Borage (Borago officinalis L.) is an annual herbaceous, and hairy medicinal plant which height changes within 70 to 100 cm. Stems are straight, often branched, hollow, and covered by tough fibers. Its leaves are alternate and simple and are covered with tough fibers. The flowers are blue and rarely appear white or rose colored. This plant belongs to the family of Boraginaceae. The plant is also commercially cultivated for borage seed oil extracted from its seeds. Water is one of the important factors affecting growth and yield of medicinal plant. Increasing plant production per unit of water is one of the greatest challenges facing the researchers especially in arid and semi- arid regions. Plant density is an important agronomic factor that manipulate micro environment of the field and impacts growth, development and yield of plants. Within certain limits, increase of plant population density decreases the growth and yield per plant but the reverse occurs for yield per unit area. The optimum plant density to attain highest yield may vary with the plant and geographical location. Present study aims to investigate the possibility of improving the yield and yield components of borage affected as irrigation levels and plant densities.
Materials and Methods
A field experiment was conducted as split plot experiment based on a complete randomized block design (CRBD) with three replications at Agricultural Research Station, College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, during growing season of 2012-2013. Three irrigation levels (1000 (I1), 2000 (I2) and 3000 (I3) m3.ha-1) and four plant densities (16 (D1), 20 (D2), 26.67 (D3), 40 (D4) plants.m-2) allocated to the main plot and sub plot, respectively. Water requirement for the medicinal plant under Mashhad climatic conditions was determined by using AGWAT equal to 2000 m3.ha-1. When the plants were yellow harvesting operation was performed. At first, five plants per plot were randomly selected for measurement of yield components. After removal of margins, to determine the seed yield, the remaining area was harvested. The studied criteria were number of flowers, flower yield, biological yield, seed yield, number of seed, 1000-seed weight and number of branches per plant of borage. To analyze the variance of the experimental data and drawing of diagrams, MSTAT-C 8 and Excel software was used. Means were compared according to Duncan multiple test at the 5% probability level.
Results and Discussion
Results showed that simple and interaction effects of irrigation level and plant density were significant on flower yield, seed yield, biological yield, flower number, branch number and seed number of borage. One thousand-seed yield affected significantly by different irrigation levels. These morphological changes in growth can be considered as a morphological adaptation of the medicinal plant to water and environmental stresses to decrease transpiration and to induce a lower consumption of water. The growth is the most important process that is affected by water stress and the decrease in the growth of cells leads to decrease the plant height and number of branches. The highest and the lowest flower yield were observed in I3D3 and I1D1 with 0.81 and 0.14 g.m-2, respectively. The maximum and the minimum flower number, biological yield and seed yield were recorded in D3I3 (with 69.60 flowrs.m-2, 592.07 g.m-2 and 29.57 g.m-2) and D1I1 (with 3.89 flowrs.m-2, 134.42 g.m-2 and 3.36 g.m-2) respectively.
According to the results obtained in the present study, the effects of irrigation levels and plant densities had significant effects on yield and yield components of borage. By increasing in irrigation level improved growth characteristics and yield, but by increasing in plat density up to 40 plants.m-2 declined its growth and yield due to inter species competition for water and nutrient absorption.
This research was funded by Vice Chancellor for Research of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, which is hereby acknowledged.


Alizadeh, A., and Kamali, G.A. 2007. Crops Water Requirements. Imam Reza University Press, Mashhad, Iran. 223 pp. (In Persian)
Amiri Deh Ahmadi, S.R., Rezvani Moghaddam, P., and Ehyaee, H.R. 2012. The effects of drought stress on morphological traits and yield of three medicinal plants (Coriandrum sativum, Foeniculum vulgare and Anethum graveolens) in greenhouse conditions. Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research 10(1): 116-124. (In Persian with English Summary)
Bannayan, M., Nadjafi, F., Azizi, M., Tabrizi, L., and Rastgoo, M. 2008. Yield and seed quality of Plantago ovate and Nigella sativa under different irrigation treatments. Indian Journal of Crops Production 27: 11-16.
Behdani, M.A., and Rashed, M.H. 1999. Effect of variety and plant density on yield and yield components of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.). Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology 12: 57-64. (In Persian with English Summary)
Berenguer, M., and Faci, J. 2001. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) yield compensation processes under different plant densities and variable water supply. European Journal of Agronomy 15: 43-55.
Bullock, D.G., Nielson, R.I., and Nyquist, W.E. 2000. A growth analysis comparison of sweet basil growth in conventional and equidi plant spacing. Crop Science 29: 256-258.
Carrubba, A., Torre, R.L.A., and Matranga, A. 2002. Cultivation trials of some aromatic and medicinal plants in a semi-arid mediterranean environment. Proceeding of an International Conference on MAP. Acta Horticulture (ISHS) 576: 207-213.
Dastborhan, S., Ghassemi-Golezani, K., and Zehtab-Salmasi, S. 2013. Changes in morphology and grain weight of borage (Borago officinalis L.) in response to seed priming and water limitation. International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences 5(3): 313-317.
De Bruyn, J., Pretorius, P., and Human, J.J. 1995. Water sensitive periods during the reproductive growth phase of Glysine max L. II Establishing water stress sensitivity. Crop Science 174: 197-203.
Delaluz, L.A., Fiallot, V.F., Ferradat, C.R., and Borregot, G.M. 2002. Investigation agricolas an especies de uso frecuente enia medicina tradicional 111. Toronjl de menthe (Mentha piperita L.) Revista cubana de Plantas Medicinales 7(2): 1-4.
Fereres, E., Orgaz, F., and Villalobos, F.L. 1998. Crop productivity in water-limited environments. In: Proceedings of the Fifth ESA Congress, Nitra, the Slovak Republic p. 317-318.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2000. FAO Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture. Special Alert, No. 308. Near East and South Asia.
Gardner, F.P., Pearce, R.B., and Mitchell, R.L. 1985. Physiology of Crop Plants. The Iowa State University Press. 327 pp.
Golshadi, A., Ansari, R., Agari, S., Sarrafzadegan, F., and Bashtam, M. 2002. An investigation of knowledge, beliefs and practice to herbal medicines in population of Isfahan city. Journal of Medicinal Plants 2: 21-28. (In Persian with English Summary)
Hassani, A., and Omidbaygi, R. 2002. Effects of water stress on some morpgological, physiological and metabolic characteristics of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.). Journal of Agricultural Sciences 12(3): 47-59. (In Persian with English Summary)
Hopkins, W.G. 1995. Introduction to Plant Physiology. John Wiley and Sons, INC. New York, USA.
Jangir, R.P., and Singh, R. 1996. Effect of irrigation and nitrogen on seed yield of cumin (Cuminum cyminum). Indian Journal of Agronomy 41: 140-143.
Kafi, M., and Keshmiri, E. 2011. Study of yield and yield components of Iranian land race and Indian RZ19 cumin (Cuminum cyminum) under drought and salinity stress. Journal of Horticulture Science 25(3): 327-334. (In Persian with English Summary)
Khajehpour, M.R. 1999. Principals of Agronomy. Jihad Daneshgahi Publications Center, Industrial University of Isfahan Branch, Isfahan, Iran. (In Persian)
Koocheki, A. 1998. Production and Improvement of Crops for Dryland. Mashhad University Publications, Mashhad, Iran. (In Persian)
Koocheki, A., Nassiri Mahallati, M., and Azizi, G. 2006. The effect of different irrigation intervals and plant densities on yield and yield components of two fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) landraces. Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research 4(1): 131-140. (In Persian with English Summary)
Krishnamoorthy, V., Madalageri, M.B., and Basavaraj, N. 2000. Response of ajowan (Trachyspermum ammi L.) to seed rate and spacing. International Journal of Tropical Agriculture 18: 379-383.
Lebaschi, M.H., and Sharifi Ashourabadi, E. 2004. Growth indices of some medicinal plants under different water stresses. Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants 20(3): 249-261. (In Persian with English Summary)
Maman, N., Mason, S.C., Lyon, D.J., and Dhungana, P. 2004. Yield Components of pearl millet and grain sorghum across environments in the Central Great Plains. Crop Science 44: 2138-2145.
Martin, R.J., and Deo, B. 2000. Effect of plant population on calendula (Calendula officinalis L.) flower production. New Zealand Journal of Crops and Horticultural Sciences 28: 37-44.
Mollafilabi, A. 2000. Technology of seed production and mass proliferation of medicinal herbs. Iranian Organization for Scientific and Industrial Researches, Khorasan Center, Iran. (In Persian)
Nadjafi, F., and Rezvani Moghaddam, P. 2002. Effects of irrigation regimes and plant densities on yield and agronomic characteristics of isabgol (Plantago ovata). Journal of Agricultural Sciences and Technology 16(2): 59-65. (In Persian with English Summary)
Naghdi Badi, H., Sorooshzadeh, A., Rezazadeh, S., Sharifi, M., Ghalavand, A., and Omidi, H. 2007. Review on Borage (Valuable medicinal plant and the plant source of gamma linolenic acid). Journal of Medicinal Plants 24: 1-13. (In Persian)
Noroozpoor, G., and Rezvani Moghaddam, P. 2006. Effect of different irrigation intervals and plant density on oil yield and essences percentage of black cumin (Nigella sativa). Pajouhesh and Sazandegi 77: 133-138. (In Persian with English Summary)
Omid Beigi, R. 1996. Producing and Processing of Medicinal Plant. Tarahan Nashr Publication. Mashhad, Iran. 424 pp. (In Persian)
Patel, B.S., Sadaria, S.G., and Patel, J.C. 1996. Influence of irrigation, nitrogen and phosphorus on yield, nutrient uptake and water use efficiency of blond pysllium (Plantago ovata). Indian Journal of Agronomy 41: 136-139.
Pirzad, A., Alyari, H., Shakiba, M.R., Zehtab-Salmasi, S., and Mohammadi, A. 2006. Essential oil content and composition of German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) at different irrigation regimes. Agronomy Journal 5(3): 451-455. (In Persian)
Rezvan Bidokhti, S., Sanjani, S., Dashtban, A.R., and Hesam Arefi, I. 2012. Evaluation of yield and yield components of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) in different plant densities under deficit irrigation. Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research 10(2): 382- 391. (In Persian with English Summary)
Shubhra, K., Dayal, J., Goswami, C.L., and Munjal, R. 2004. Effects of water-deficit on oil of Calendula aerial parts. Biologia Plantarum 48(3): 445-448.
Simon, J.E., Bubenheim, R.D., Joly, R.J., and Charles, D.J. 1992. Water stress induced alterations in essential content and composition on of sweet basil. Journal of Essential Oil Research 4: 71-75.
Surendra, S.R., Tomar, K.P., Gupta, K.P., Mohd, A., and Nigam, K.B. 1994. Effect of irrigation and fertility levels on growth and yield of coriander (Coriandrum sativum). Indian Journal of Agronomy 30: 442-447.
Wettasinghe, M., and Shahidi, F. 2005. Fe (III) chelation activity of extract of Borago and evening primrose meals. Food Research International 35: 65-71.
Zargari, A. 1982. Medicinal Plants. Tehran University Press, Tehran, Iran. (In Persian)