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Enhancing Drought Tolerance in Wheat through Improving MorphoPhysiological and Antioxidants Activities of Plants by the Supplementation of Foliar Silicon

Zahoor Ahmad1,*, Ejaz Ahmad Waraich2, Celaleddin Barutçular1, Akbar Hossain3, Murat Erman4, Fatih ÇIĞ4, Hany Gharib5, Ayman EL Sabagh4, 5, *
1 Department of Field Crops, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Çukurova, Adana, 1380, Turkey
2 Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Punjab, 7800, Pakistan
3 Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute, Dinajpur, 5200, Bangladesh
4 Department of Field crops, Faculty of Agriculture, Siirt University, Siirt, 56100, Turkey
5 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kafrelsheikh, Kafr el-sheikh, 33516, Egypt
* Corresponding Authors: Zahoor Ahmad. Email: zahoorahmadbwp@gmail.com; Ayman EL Sabagh.
  Email: ayman.elsabagh@agr.kfs.edu.eg
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Crop Production under Abiotic Stress: Physiological and Molecular Interventions)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany https://doi.org/10.32604/phyton.2020.09143

Abstract

The main objective of the research is to assess the role of foliar application of silicon (Si) for enhancing the survival ability of wheat under drought stress through improving its morphology, physicochemical and antioxidants activities. Treatments were five doses of Si at the rate of 2, 4, 6 and 8 mM and a control. After completion of seeds germination, pots were divided into four distinct groups at various field capacity (FC) levels, such as 100% FC (well-irrigated condition), 75% FC (slight water deficit), 50% FC (modest water deficit) and 25% FC (severe water deficit stress condition). Foliar application of Si at the rate of 2, 4, 6 and 8 mM and a control were given after 30 days of sowing at the tillering stage of wheat. Findings of the present investigation indicated that increasing the level of water deficit stress reduced the morphological parameters (such as root and shoot fresh and dry-biomass weight) and physico-biochemical events ((such as chlorophyll contents by estimating SPAD value), total free amino acid (TFAA), total soluble sugar (TSS), total soluble protein (TSP), total proline (TP), CAT (catalase), POD (peroxidase), SOD (superoxide dismutase) and APX (ascorbate peroxidase)) of wheat; while foliar application of Si at 6 mM at tillering stage enhanced the drought tolerance in wheat by increasing morphology and physiochemical characters under all levels of drought stress. Similarly, antioxidants activities in wheat also enhanced by the application of Si at 6 mM under normal as well as all drought stress levels. Therefore, it may be concluded that foliar application of Si at 6 mM at the tillering stage of wheat is an important indication for increasing the drought tolerance by improving the morphology, physico-biochemical and antioxidants activities in plants under deficit water (drought) conditions.

Keywords

Foliar silicon; drought tolerance; morphology; physiochemical; antioxidants; wheat
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