Pedosphere 20(2): 153--162, 2010
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2010 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Amelioration of salt stress in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) by supplying potassium and silicon in hydroponics
1 University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha (Pakistan)
2 Institute of Soil & Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan)
3 Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan)
4 Sugarcane Research Institute, Ayub Agricultural Resea, Faisalabad (Pakistan)
      A hydroponics experiment was conducted to evaluate the role of potassium (K) and silicon (Si) in mitigating the deleterious effects of NaCl on sugarcane genotypes differing in salt tolerance. Two salt-sensitive (CPF 243 and SPF 213) and two salt-tolerant (HSF 240 and CP 77-400) sugarcane genotypes were grown for six weeks in 1/2 strength Johnson's nutrient solution. The nutrient solution was salinized by two NaCl levels (0 and 100 mmol L-1 NaCl) and supplied with two levels of K (0 and 3 mmol L-1) and Si (0 and 2 mmol L-1). Applied NaCl enhanced Na+ concentration in plant tissues and significantly (P ≤ 0. 05) reduced shoot and root dry matter in four sugarcane genotypes. However, the magnitude of reduction was much greater in salt-sensitive genotypes than salt-tolerant genotypes. The salts interfered with the absorption of K+ and Ca2+ and significantly (P ≤ 0.05) decreased their uptake in sugarcane genotypes. Addition of K and Si either alone or in combination significantly (P ≤ 0.05) inhibited the uptake and transport of Na+ from roots to shoots and improved dry matter yields under NaCl conditions. Potassium uptake, K+/Na+ ratios, and Ca2+ and Si uptake were also significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased by the addition of K and/or Si to the root medium. In this study, K and Si-enhanced salt tolerance in sugarcane genotypes was ascribed to decreased Na+ concentration and increased K+ with a resultant improvement in K+/Na+ ratio, which is a good indicator to assess plant tolerance to salt stress. However, further verification of these results is warranted under field conditions.
Key Words:  calcium silicate, dry matter, genotypes, potassium nitrate, uptake
Citation: Ashraf, M., RAHMATULLAH, Ahmad, R., Bhatti, A. S., Afzal, M., Sarwar, A., Maqsood, M. A. and Kanwal, S. 2010. Amelioration of salt stress in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) by supplying potassium and silicon in hydroponics. Pedosphere. 20(2): 153-162.
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