John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Nano silicon dioxide mitigates the adverse effects of salt stress on Cucurbita pepo L

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Nanotechnology, an emerging science, has advanced research in almost all fields of technology. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of nano silicon dioxide (nSiO) in plant resistance to salt stress through improving the antioxidant system of squash (Cucurbita pepo L. cv. White Bush Marrow). We found that seeds treated with NaCl showed reduced germination percentage, vigor index, length, fresh weight (FW), and dry weight (DW) of the roots, and shoots. However, nSiO improved seed germination, and growth characteristics by reducing malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) level, and, electrolyte leakage. Also, application of nSiO enhanced net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration rate (E), water use efficiency (WUE), and reduced chlorophyll (Chl) degradation. The increase in the germination and growth characteristics of plants by the application of nSiO might reflect the reduction of oxidative damage due to the expression of antioxidant enzymes, such as catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase and ascorbate peroxidase. These results indicate that nSiO may improve defense mechanisms of plants against salt stress toxicity by augmenting the Pn, gs, E, WUE, Total Chl, proline (Pro) and carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity in the leaves of plants. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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