Borage acid composition of the soybean oil, while

Borage (Borago officinalis L.) is an annual herb
originated from Syria (Gupta and Singh 2010)
and cultivated in some
countries including Iran, Turkey, Spain and India as ornament (Kaskoos et al. 2012). Borage is a multi-purpose crop that was traditionally
cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, but today it is largely cultivated
as an oilseed which contains fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid Gupta
and Singh 2010. There is more than 20% gamma linolenic acid in its grain
oil El-Hafid et al. 2002. Borage leaves are used as diuretic, demulcent,
emollient, expectorant, etc. Leung and Foster 1996. The oil compounds in borage grains are involved in the
synthesis of eicosanoids; hence they can be used adjunctively in the treatment
and prevention of atherosclerosis (Pieszak et al. 2012). Borage oil may be
useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis without producing the
gastrointestinal complications characteristic of traditional anti-rheumatic
medications (Deluca et al. 1995). The results of some studies indicate that borage is
commonly used adjunctively in disorders of the respiratory system, urinary
tract, arthritis and skin problems (Pieszak et al. 2012). The environmental
factors such as water availability during the grain-filling period can widely
affect the oil percentage and the unsaturated fatty acid composition of the
oil.

Drought stress can
reduce the duration of the seed-filling that will have an effect on seed oil
content and can influence the composition of its oil (Flagella et al. 2002). Monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid are less
susceptible to oxidative changes (Kirnak et al. 2010). Lee et al. (2008) reported that irrigation did not affect
unsaturated fatty acid concentration in soybean, however oleic acid tended to
increase and linolenic acid tended to decrease. Dornbos and Mullen (1992) also have
observed little effects of drought on the fatty acid composition of the soybean
oil, while high air temperature reduced the proportion of the polyunsaturated
components. However, Talha and Osman (1975) found an increase in oleic/linoleic
acid (O/L) ratio in sunflower oil under water stress. In contrast, Chakraborty et
al. (2016) showed that the oleic acid of groundnut was reduced, while linoleic
acid was increased as a result of water stress, resulting in a decrease of the
O/L ratio and oil stability. Santonoceto et al. (2003) also have shown that
sometimes oleic acid content per sunflower seed may increase with an increase
in water availability which ultimately increases the oleic/linoleic acid ratio.

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      Rapid germination and uniform seedling emergence and
establishment are the two essential pre-requisites conditions for achieving high
yield and quality in plants Tzortzakis 2009. Early emergence of seedlings could result
in vigorous plants Ghassemi-Golezani et al. 2008. One of the simple and
suitable techniques which can improve seedling vigor and field performance of
crops is seed priming. Primed seeds can rapidly imbibe and revive the seed
metabolism, leading to a better plant establishment, thereby enhancing drought
tolerance and improving crop yield Ajouri et al. 2004. Halo-priming (soaking
seeds in salt solutions) and hydro-priming (soaking seeds in water) are
important seed pretreatments for cultivation under stressful conditions.

Despite the high medicinal value of
borage, changes in secondary metabolites, oil content and fatty acid
composition of this plant in response to water stress has not been documented
so far. Therefore, this research was undertaken to investigate these aspects in
details.