Silicon improves salinity tolerance in wheat plants
Tuna, A. L.
Higgs, David Edward Barry
Girgin, A. R.
Durum wheat (Triticum durum cv. Gediz-75) and bread wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Izmir-85) were grown in a complete nutrient solution in a growth room to investigate effect of silicone supplied to the nutrient solution on plants grown at salt stress. The experiment was a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with two levels of NaCl in nutrient solution, 0 and 100 mM, and two levels of silicone (Si) in nutrient solution, 0.25 and 0.50 mM, as Na2SiO3. The plants grown at 100 mM NaCl produced less dry matter and chlorophyll content than those without NaCl. Supplementary Si at both 0.25 and 0.5 mM ameliorated the negative effects of salinity on plant dry matter and chlorophyll content. Membrane permeability and proline content in leaves increased with addition of 100 mM NaCl and these increases were decreased with Si treatments. Sodium (Na) concentration in plant tissues increased in both leaves and roots of plants in the high NaCl treatment and Si treatments lowered significantly the concentrations of Na in both leaves and roots. Bread wheat was more tolerant to salinity than durum wheat. The accumulation of Na in roots indicates a possible mechanism whereby bread wheat copes with salinity in the rooting medium and/or may indicate the existence of an inhibition mechanism of Na transport to leaves. Concentrations of both Ca and K were lower in the plants grown at high NaCl than in those in the control treatment and these two element concentrations were increased by Si treatments in both shoots and roots but remained lower than control values in most cases.