, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 333-340
Date: 30 Mar 2010

Effect of silicon on growth and salinity stress of soybean plant grown under hydroponic system

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Silicon (Si) is abundant in the soil, yet its role in plant biology has been poorly understood. The role of Si in soybean growth and its effectiveness in salt stress alleviation was investigated. Sodium metasilicate (Na2SiO3) was given as Si source to hydroponically grown soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.). The plant growth attributes, i.e. plant height, plant fresh and dry biomass, chlorophyll contents and endogenous gibberellins (GAs) level improved with 2.5 mM Si, while endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) and free proline contents were not affected as compared to control. Sodium chloride (NaCl) significantly decreased growth attributes and endogenous gibberellins levels but markedly enhanced ABA and proline contents of soybean leaves. An addition of Si to salt stressed plants substantially alleviated the adverse effects of NaCl on growth, as it enhanced endogenous gibberellins, while reduced the levels of ABA and proline. GAs analysis of soybean leaves also showed that both early C13 hydroxylation and non C13 hydroxylation pathways of gibberellin biosynthesis were operating in soybean. The major GA biosynthesis pathway was identified as non C13 hydroxylation, which led to the formation of bioactive GA4. Current study suggests that Si application alleviates the detrimental effect of salinity stress on growth and development of soybean.

S. K. Lee, E. Y. Sohn, and M. Hamayun equally contributed to this article.