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Occurrence, comparative growth and composition of Tribulus terrestris L. under variable in-situ water stress

Ihsanullah Daur, Zahid H. Shah, Muhammad Z. Ihsan, Shahzad Ali, Muhammad Waqas, Hafiz M. Rehman, Abdallah A. Al-Feel, Ali K. Elsafori and Sayed S. Sohrab

Medicinal plants are widely used in the present-day economy, and therefore, their study is of considerable interest both to botanists and to pharmacologists. Till date, few studies have been carried out on the economic valuation of medicinal plants growing under drought-stressed and unstressed natural in-situ conditions. In the present study, T. terrestris L. plants, which have not been investigated with respect to the above objective, were collected from different geographical and climatic conditions during 2015—2016, and their occurrence, comparative growth, and chemical compositions were determined. The results of the study indicated heterogeneous distribution of T. terrestris L. across the study area. The plant growth parameters including the number of stems plant-1, average length of stems, number of leaves plant-1, number of flowers plant-1, fresh biomass plant-1 and dry biomass plant-1 were found to decrease because of drought stress. However, the chemical composition, including total phenolic content, antioxidant activity, ferric-reducing ability of plasma assay (μM FeSO4 g-1), and free radical scavenging activity (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl inhibition (%), and saponin content increased with drought stress. Mineral composition of plants was found to decrease with drought stress. Thus, the findings of this study are expected to be beneficial to researchers and medicinal plant businesses.

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