Salinity types and level-based effects on the growth, physiology and nutrient contents of maize (Zea mays)

  • Haroon Shahzad Arid Zone Research Centre, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, DI Khan; Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  • Sami Ullah Arid Zone Research Centre, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, DI Khan; Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  • Muhammad Iqbal Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  • Hafiz Muhammad Bilal Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Okara, Okara, Pakistan.
  • Ghulam Mustafa Shah Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari-Campus, Vehari, Pakistan.
  • Sajjad Ahmad Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari-Campus, Vehari, Pakistan.
  • Ali Zakir Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari-Campus, Vehari, Pakistan.
  • Allah Ditta Department of Environmental Sciences, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Sheringal, Sheringal, Dir (U), Pakistan.
  • Muhammad Aslam Farooqi Department of Entomology, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Islamia University Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur-63100, Pakistan.
  • Iftikhar Ahmad | iftikharahmad@cuivehari.edu.pk Department of Entomology, University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Islamia University Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

Abstract

Salinity is a devastating problem of arid and semi-arid climatic regions with uneven salt accumulation which hinders growth and development of crops. The deleterious effects of salinity mainly depend on level and source of salinity. We hypothesized that types of sodium salt (NaCl and Na2SO4) might cause variable toxicity in maize (Zea mays L.) plants. The objective of the present study was to compare the effect of different types of sodium salt (NaCl and Na2SO4), each at EC 5 and 10 dS m–1 on growth, physiology and nutrient contents of maize plant grown in earthen pots under wire house conditions. Results revealed toxic effects of salt stress on seed germination, root and shoot growth and biomass. Maize physiology in terms of sub-stomatal CO2 index, chlorophyll and relative water contents, photosynthetic and transpiration rate also reduced under salt stress. Among the types of salt and levels of salinity, NaCl applied at the rate of 10 dS m–1 caused the highest reduction in seed germination, growth and physiology due to high accumulation of Na and Cl ions whereas low in K ion in maize plant tissues. Based on the findings, we do conclude that NaCl applied at the rate of 10 dS m–1 has more negative impact on maize growth and nutrient acquisition than Na2SO4 at same level of salinity.

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Published
2019-11-28
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
Plant physiology, salinity, sodium chloride, sodium sulphate, tissue ion composition, Zea mays.
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How to Cite
Shahzad, H., Ullah, S., Iqbal, M., Bilal, H., Shah, G., Ahmad, S., Zakir, A., Ditta, A., Farooqi, M., & Ahmad, I. (2019). Salinity types and level-based effects on the growth, physiology and nutrient contents of maize (Zea mays). Italian Journal of Agronomy, 14(4), 199-207. https://doi.org/10.4081/ija.2019.1326