Effects of tillage types on morpho-physiological characteristic and forage quality of vetch (Vicia pannonica) in rainfed condition

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University , Urmia, Iran;

2 Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, URMIA University, URMIA-IRAN

3 Department of Plant Production and Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

4 Agricultural Research Institute of Kurdistan Horticulture and Crop Science Department, Kurdistan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education center (AREEO), Sanandaj, Iran

5 University of Kurdistan


Effects of tillage types on morpho-physiological characteristic and forage quality of vetch (Vicia pannonica) in rainfed condition


Vetches are especially important due to their resistance to cold and water deficient stresses, and due to the high amount of crude protein and detergent fibers have the same nutritional value with alfalfa and clover. Planting vetch can increase soil nitrogen due to the symbiosis of its root nodes with Rhizobium bacteria. No-tillage reserve more moisture in soil than other tillage systems. No-tillage and reduce tillage significantly leads to an increase in mycorrhizal fungi in the soil compared to conventional tillage. Increase in leaf area index (LAI) and dry matter in plants under reduce and No-tillage systems has been observed. Also, increase in chlorophyll concentration, decrease in canopy temperature, increase in plant height and improvement of forage quality in plants under no-tillage system have been reported. In this experiment, the effects of different types of tillage on morpho-physiological traits related to yield and quality of vetch forage in order to protect the soil and select the best tillage system were evaluated.

Materials and Methods

This experiment was carried out in Saral Rainfed Agricultural Research Station located 55 km north of Sanandaj county, Kurdistan province, in the west of Iran. The effects of reduce tillage (RT), no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) systems were evaluated on rainfed vetch in rotation with wheat during two years (2018-02019). Sowing date was 18 and 9th of October in the two experimental years respectively. All sampling of rhizobium nodules, relative leaf water content, leaf area index, chlorophyll and carotenoids, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy temperature, enzymes, proline, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, leaf soluble proteins and carbohydrates, leaf elements took place in early seed filling stage. The combined (2-year data) analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed using SAS software by the general linear model (GLM). The means value were compared using LSD at P ≤ 0.05.

Results and Discussion

In this study, the yield of dry forage in reduced and no-tillage systems increased by 14 and 24%, respectively, compared to CT. A significant relationship (R = 0.75*) was obtained between the relative leaf water content and dry forage yield. According to the results, vetch in no-tillage system had the highest percentage of colonization (30.16%), the number of fungal spores (179.8) and rhizobium nodes (12.16) on the roots. The high symbiosis of mycorrhizal fungi in RT and NT compared to CT was probably due to higher water uptake and higher RWC. In the present study, vetches under NT system probably had higher chlorophyll a and b concentration due to more moisture, higher nitrogen and phosphorus in leaves. The results showed that the tillage treatments had significant effects on the activity of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which it was directly related to the amount of plant moisture and antioxidant enzymes. The lowest activity of enzymes was in vetches under no-tillage system.


In this experiment, reduce and no-tillage systems increased yield compared to conventional tillage. Significant increases in relative leaf water content and canopy temperature difference were observed in different types of tillage. Chlorophyll content and carotenoids in plants grown in the conventional tillage was lower than reduce and no-tillage systems. The percentage of colonization, sporulation of mycorrhizal fungi and the number of rhizobium nodes were higher in no-tillage system. The levels of antioxidant enzymes, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde and proline increased in CT compared to RT and NT. Types of tillage in rainfed conditions due to biological and structural changes in the soil cause positive morpho-physiological changes, and forage quality in rainfed vetch and seems to be effective in increasing yield and improving growth conditions.


Main Subjects


Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 31 August 2022
  • Receive Date: 18 May 2022
  • Revise Date: 30 July 2022
  • Accept Date: 31 August 2022
  • First Publish Date: 31 August 2022