Exogenous application of moringa leaf extract modulates the antioxidant enzyme system to improve wheat performance under saline conditions

Azra Yasmeen*, S. M.A. Basra, Muhammad Farooq, Hafeez ur Rehman, Nazim Hussain, Habib ur Rehman Athar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


Amongst naturally occurring plant growth stimulants, moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) has attained enormous attention being rich in cytokinin, antioxidants and macro-micro nutrients in its leaves. In this study, potential of foliar applied moringa leaf extract (MLE; 30 times diluted), benzyl amino purine (BAP; 50 mg L-1) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; 120 μM) at tillering, jointing, booting and heading growth stages was evaluated to induce salt resistance in wheat. Water spray treatment was taken as control. Wheat cv. Sehar-2006 was grown under normal (4 dS m-1), medium (8 dS m-1) and high (12 dS m-1) soil saline conditions. Application of these stimulants decreased the shoot Na+ and Cl- contents, with simultaneous increase in shoot K+ contents. Maximum shoot K+ (48. 62 %) contents were recorded with MLE application under high salinity. Activities of leaf antioxidants viz. superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and contents of total soluble phenolics were increased at medium salinity level; whereas ascorbate contents were also improved by MLE application at high salinity level. However, maximum increase in leaf total soluble protein (35. 9 %) was observed with BAP application at medium salinity. The shoot length, shoot and root dry weights were decreased with increase in level of salt stress. Grain weight (18. 5 %) and kernel yield (18. 5 %) were also improved by MLE application under saline and normal conditions than other stimulators used. In conclusion, foliar applied moringa leaf extract could ameliorate salinity-induced adverse effects by activation of antioxidant defense system and decrease in accumulation of Na+ and Cl- into shoots under moderate saline conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Growth Regulation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Growth stimulants
  • Moringa oleifera
  • Salinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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