Silicon mediated biochemical changes in wheat under salinized and non-salinzed solution cultures
Silicon (Si) can alleviate salinity damage, a major threat to agriculture that causes instability in wheat production. We report on the effects of silicon (150 mg L-1) on the morphological, physiological and biochemical traits in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars (salt sensitive; Auqab-2000 and salt tolerant; SARC-5) differing in salt tolerance under saline (10 dS m-1) and non-saline (2 dS m-1) hydroponic culture. Silicon supplementation into the solution culture improved wheat growth and K+:Na+ with reduced Na+ and increased K+ uptake. Moreover, higher relative water content (RWC), increase in chlorophyll fractions and its ratios and stimulated activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were observed. Nevertheless, the activity of peroxidase (POD) was reduced. We conclude that silicon inclusion into the growth medium is of assistance for wheat growth by maintaining plant water status, better K+:Na+, low electrolyte leakage and improved plant defense system adversely influenced by salt stress. SARC-5 showed better performance than Auqab-2000.
Key words: Antioxidants, K+:Na+, silicon, salt stress, wheat growth.