Silicon (Si) is known to alleviate a number of abiotic stresses in higher plants including salinity stress. Two independent experiments were conducted to evaluate the role of Si in alleviating salinity stress in two contrasting wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes, Auqab-2000' (salt sensitive) and SARC-3 (salt tolerant). In the first experiment, genotypes were grown in hydroponics with two levels of salinity (0 and 60 mM NaCl) with and without 2 mM Si in a completely randomized design with four replications. Salinity stress significantly (P 0.01) decreased all of the growth parameters, increased sodium (Na+) concentration, and decreased potassium (K+) concentration in shoots of both genotypes grown in hydroponics. Silicon significantly improved growth of both genotypes. The increase in growth was more prominent under salt stress (75%) than under normal condition (15%). In the second experiment, both genotypes were grown in normal [electrical conductivity (EC) = 1.23 d Sm-1] and natural saline field (EC = 11.92 d Sm-1) conditions with three levels of Si (0, 75, and 150 g g-1 Si) with three replications in a randomized complete block design. Silicon significantly (P 0.05) decreased growth reduction in both genotypes caused by salinity stress. The grain yield under salt stress decreased from 62% to 33% and from 44% to 20% of the maximum potential in Auqab-2000 and SARC-3, respectively, when 150 g g-1 Si was used. Auqab-2000 performed better in normal field conditions, but SARC-3 produced more straw and grain yield in saline field conditions. Addition of Si significantly (P 0.05) improved K uptake and reduced Na+ uptake in both of wheat genotypes and increased the K+/Na+ ratio in shoot. Enhanced salinity tolerance and improved growth in wheat by Si application was attributed to decreased Na+ uptake, its restricted translocation toward shoots, and enhanced K+ uptake.
Tahir, M. A., Aziz, T., & Rahmatullah, N. V. (2011). Silicon-Induced Growth and Yield Enhancement in Two Wheat Genotypes Differing in Salinity Tolerance. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 42, 395-407. https://doi.org/10.1080/00103624.2011.542219