Effect of Heat Stress Duration on Growth, Flowering and Electrolyte Leakage in Four Cultivars of Calendula officinalis

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Horticultural Science and Landscape, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Iran.

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

3 Professor, Department of Horticultural Science and landscape, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Ornamental Plants, Research Center for Plant Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Iran


In the floriculture industry, the need for heat tolerant bedding plant cultivars is increasing because of the rising temperature around the world. A pot experiment was carried out to examine the impacts of four heat stress durations (0, 7, 14 and 21 days) on growth and ornamental traits to determine the relative heat tolerance of four cultivars of calendula (Calendula officinalis). Growth and development were quantified by measuring plant height, total leaf area, shoot and root fresh weight, shoot and root dry weight, time to flowering, flower number, average flower size, and flower longevity. Plant height, leaf area, and shoot and root growth at 35-42°C were significantly lower than those at normal temperatures (20-30°C). Time to flowering increased with temperature. Flower number, size and longevity were reduced by heat stress, so that among all durations, plants exposed to heat stress for 21d had the least mean. Longer heat stress reduced the plant height, leaf area, shoot and root growth, SPAD value, flower diameter and flower longevity of all cultivars., However, the range percentage reduction in growth and flowering parameters were different among cultivars. Experiment to determine the membrane damage showed an increase in percent electrolyte leakage with exposure of plants to higher temperatures. The studied cultivars differed in their sensitivity to heat stress. The results indicated that better cell membrane stability, higher shoot and root growth, and later flowering led to greater heat tolerance in ‘Indian Prince’ compared to other cultivars. 


To our knowledge, evaluation of heat tolerance in calendula cultivars is firstly reported.

Temperature above 35 °C resulted in damage to growth and flowering of calendula.

The decreases of growth under heat stress were genotype-dependent in calendula.

The cultivar ‘Indian Prince’ exhibited greater vegetative and reproductive tolerance to high temperature.

Cultivar ‘Zen’ had lower leaf electrolyte leakage and higher membrane stability.



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Volume 7, Issue 2
Spring 2017
Pages 63-72
  • Receive Date: 03 June 2016
  • Revise Date: 03 January 2017
  • Accept Date: 03 March 2017