Revista Ciência Agronômica
On-line version ISSN 1806-6690
LIMA, Michella de Albuquerque; CASTRO, Victor Freitas de; VIDAL, Jones Batista and ENEAS-FILHO, Joaquim. Silicon application on plants of maize and cowpea under salt stress. Rev. Ciênc. Agron. [online]. 2011, vol.42, n.2, pp. 398-403. ISSN 1806-6690. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-66902011000200019.
Although silicon is not considered an essential nutrient for plants, it can increase the yield potential of some crops and has been used to mitigate the toxic effects of salt stress. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of sodium silicate applied in two different ways in maize and cowpea seedlings subjected to salinity. Seedlings were grown in Hoagland solutions and maintained in a greenhouse. Seedlings received 1.0 mM Na2SiO3 applied directly in the nutrient solutions or by foliar supply, and they were subjected to 100 mM NaCl for 15 days. We evaluated the dry weight of leaves, stems and roots, leaf area and ion leakage in leaves and roots. Salinity reduced dry weight of leaves, stems and roots and increased leaves and root ion leakage. Silicon application in the nutrient solution significantly increased all growth parameters and decreased ion leakage in maize seedlings, whereas this response was not observed in cowpea. Silicon was able to relieve the toxic effects of NaCl on growth only in maize seedlings when applied directly in the nutrient solution.
Keywords : Silicates; Salinity; Zea mays; Vigna unguiculata.