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Ahmed A. Al-Badawy, Nadia M. Abdalla, Mahmoud A. Hassan and Ahmed F. Ali

Nigellia sativa L. plants were fertilized with different rates of NPK fertilizers and sprayed with the growth regulators BL-2142 at 0, 250, 500, and 1000 ppm, CCC at 0, 500, 1000, and 1500 ppm and Multiprop at 0. 12.5, 25, and 50 ppm.

The results indicated that both of NPK fertilization and growth regulator treatments enhanced the plant growth in terms of stem diameter, branch number and herb dry weight. Also, these treatments caused early flowering, increased fruit number and seed yield compared to the control plants.

The interaction between NPK fertilization and growth regulators had a synergistic effect. The highest seed yield was obtained when the plants received 200, 100, and 25 kg/feddan (feddan = 4200 sqm) of urea, calcium superphosphate and potassium sulphate, respectively and sprayed with CCC at 500 ppm.

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Ahmed A. Al-Badawy, Nadia M. Abdalla, Mahmoud A. Hassan and Ahmed F. Ali

Nigellia sativa L. plants were fertilized with different rates of NPK fertilizers in combination with the growth regulators, BL-2142, CCC and Multiprop sprayed at varied concentrations.

Fertilization and growth regulators increased the volatile and fixed oil content in the seeds. The photosynthetic pigments in the leaves, the reducing sugar and the total carbohydrate contents, N, P, and K uptake in the herb were also increased.

The interaction between fertilization and growth regulators had a synergistic effect on increasing the volatile and fixed oil percentage and yield, the photosynthetic pigments, N, P, K uptake. The highest volatile oil yield was found when the plants received 100, 200 and 50 kg/feddan (4,200 sqm) of urea, calcium superphosphate and potassium sulphate, respectively and sprayed with 500 ppm BL-2142, 1000 ppm CCC or 12.5 pm Multiprop. The volatile oil, fixed oil yield and seed yield were highly and significantly correlated with each other.

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Jehanzeb Khan, Yubin Yang, Qiang Fu, Weiqiang Shao, Jianke Wang, Li Shen, Yan Huai, Guy Kateta Malangisha, Abid Ali, Ahmed Mahmoud, Yi Lin, Yongyuan Ren, Jinghua Yang, Zhongyuan Hu and Mingfang Zhang

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is an important horticultural crop that is sensitive to heavy metals such as lead (Pb) in polluted water or soil. However, there are no available data regarding Pb tolerance phenotyping in watermelon. Watermelon seedlings were exposed to various Pb doses (0, 20, 40, 60, 80 µm·L–1 Pb) for 14 days, after which 20 µm Pb was identified as the optimal treatment for lead tolerance analysis in watermelon because it caused significant symptoms (leaf chlorosis, stubby and yellow roots) but little damage to seedlings. Subsequently, the Pb responses were analyzed in eight watermelon varieties (V1–V8), and membership function analysis was used to determine a single Pb tolerance index. Of the eight watermelon varieties, V4 and V7 were ranked the most Pb tolerant; V1, V2, V5, and V6 were moderately Pb tolerant; and V3 and V8 were the most Pb-sensitive varieties. Compared with most Pb-sensitive varieties (V3 and V8), the most Pb-tolerant varieties (V4 and V7) maintained high antioxidant activity, and had lower malondialdehyde (MDA) and total soluble protein (TSP) contents. In addition, carotenoid and chlorophyll (both a and b) contents were stimulated and inhibited, respectively, in leaves of high-Pb translocation varieties (V4 and V8). Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed relative root length as an indicator of Pb tolerance because it correlated significantly with shoot growth. These results provide useful insight into the mechanism of Pb tolerance in cucurbit crops, as well as information regarding the breeding of watermelon with enhanced tolerance to this heavy metal (Pb).