Beneficial Effects of Silicon Application in Alleviating Salinity Stress in Halophytic Puccinellia Distans Plants
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Little is known on the impact of silicon (Si) nutrition in halophytes. Accordingly, response of Si accumulating halophyte Puccinellia distans to Si nutrition was investigated. The experiment was carried out as factorial in a completely randomized design. Plants were hydroponically raised for six weeks under two salinity (0 and 200 mmol L− 1 NaCl) and Si (0 and 1.5 mmol L− 1 Na2SiO3) levels. Si improved plant dry weight and water relations under salinity. Salinity decreased the plant relative water content (RWC) but Si increased this parameter. Transpiration rate and stomatal density however, declined by salinity and Si even intensified these salt effect. Si affected salt tolerance mechanisms in P. distans. Thus, +Si plants had greater soluble sugars and amino acids and lower Na+ but increased cellulose and lignin and Na+ secretion from leaves. These possibly indicate more efficient osmotic adjustment and better operation of either salt exclusion and / or excretion mechanisms. In congruence, Si greatly enhanced the activity of H+-ATPase in both roots and shoots. +Si plants had reduced stress symptoms evidenced by lower proline and reduced electrolyte leakage indicating better membrane functioning. Altogether, Si application led to better performance of P. distans plants under saline conditions.
KeywordsATPase activity Halophyte Puccinellia distans Salinity Silicon
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We thank Golestan University Deputy of Research and Office of Higher Education for financial support to Z. Soleimannejad M.Sc. research project.
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