•Foliar application of Si, proline or methionine mitigated the adverse effects of drought stress on cowpea plants.•Growth and productivity, enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants were improved by Si, proline or methionine application to plants.•Si, proline or methionine application maintained RWC, increased WUE, and restored nutrients in plants under deficit irrigation.•Foliar application of Si, proline or methionine protected the antioxidative defense system in cowpea plants under drought stress.•Si had the highest, while methionine had the lowest ameliorative actions.
Scientia Horticulturae – Elsevier
Published: Jan 26, 2018
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