Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 461–471 | Cite as

Salicylic acid and kinetin mediated stimulation of salt tolerance in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) genotypes varying in salinity tolerance

  • Ali Raza GurmaniEmail author
  • Sami Ullah Khan
  • Amjad Ali
  • Tehseen Rubab
  • Timothy Schwinghamer
  • Ghulam Jilani
  • Abid Farid
  • Jinlin Zhang
Research Report Cultivation Physiology


Greenhouse studies were undertaken to evaluate the genetic performance of two cucumber genotypes (Long Green and Summer Green) at four salinity levels (0, 25, 50, and 100 mM NaCl). Seeds were pretreated with 50 mg salicylic acid (SA) L−1 and 25 mg kinetin (Kin) L−1. Under hydroponic conditions, seed pretreatment with Kin significantly increased shoot and root dry biomass and reduced the salt injury index in both genotypes. SA reduced the salt injury index of Long Green cucumbers. In a pot experiment, Kin treatment reduced Na+ and increased K+ concentration, photosynthesis, and chlorophyll content in both genotypes, compared to SA under saline soil conditions. Kin treatment improved fruit yield in both genotypes, while SA had a statistically significant effect on Long Green fruit yield. The application of SA and Kin enhanced salinity tolerance in both genotypes by the activation of antioxidants, especially superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and catalase, which offset oxidative injury. Summer Green exhibited better salt tolerance and improved osmoregulation that resulted in higher fruit yield than Long Green. It was concluded that cucumber genotypes differed in salt tolerance, and seed pre-treatment with Kin minimized salt stress injury, even in sensitive genotype which could sustain crop production under saline conditions.


Cucumber Fruit yield Ionic regulation Kinetin Salicylic acid Salt tolerance 



The authors are thankful to Dr. Jalal-Ud-Din, Principal Scientist, Plant Physiology Program, Crop Sciences Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan for chemical analysis and technical discussion.


  1. Abdi H, Williams LJ (2010) Newman-Keuls test and Tukey test. Encyclopedia of research design. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 1–5Google Scholar
  2. Aebi H (1984) Catalase in vitro. Methods Enzymol 105:121–126CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Afzal I, Basra SMAS, Cheema N, Haq MA, Kazmi MA, Irfan S (2011) Enhancement of antioxidant defense system induced by hormonal priming in wheat. Cereal Res Commun 39:334–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Afzal I, Basra SMA, Farooq M, Nawaz A (2006) Alleviation of salinity stress in spring wheat by hormonal priming with ABA, salicylic acid and ascorbic acid. Int J Agric Biol 8:23–28Google Scholar
  5. Arnon DI (1949) Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts. Polyphenoloxidase in Beta vulgaris. J Plant Physiol 24:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bates LS, Waldren RP, Teare LD (1973) Rapid determination of free proline for water stress studies. Plant Soil 39:205–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ben-Asher J, Tsuyuki I, Bravdo BA, Sagih M (2006) Irrigation of grapevines with saline water: I. Leaf area index, stomatal conductance, transpiration and photosynthesis. Agric Water Manag 83:13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davies PJ (2004) Plant hormones: biosynthesis, signal transduction, action. Kluwer Academic Press, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  9. Du YY, Wang PC, Chen J, Song CP (2008) Comprehensive functional analysis of the catalase gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana. J Integrat Plant Biol 50(10):1318–1326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Du C, Fan H, Guo S (2010) Applying spermidine for differential responses of antioxidant enzymes in cucumber subjected to short term salinity. J Am Soc Hort Sci 135:18–24Google Scholar
  11. Ghasemzadeh A, Jaafar HZE (2013) Interactive effect of salicylic acid on some physiological features and antioxidant enzymes activity in ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Molecules 5:5965–5979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gadallah MAA (1999) Effects of kinetin on growth, grain yield and some mineral elements in wheat plants growing under excess salinity and oxygen deficiency. Plant Growth Regul 27:63–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Giannopolitis CN, Ries SK (1977) Superoxide dismutases: I. Occurrence in higher plants. Plant Physiol 59:309–314CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Gurmani AR, Bano A, Ullah N, Zhang JL, Khan SU, Flowers TJ (2013) Exogenously applied silicate and abscisic acid ameliorates the growth of salinity stressed wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings through Na+ exclusion. Aust J Crop Sci 8:1123–1130Google Scholar
  15. Gurmani AR, Bano A, Khan SU, Din J, Zhang JL (2011) Alleviation of salt stress by seed treatment with abscisic acid (ABA), 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) and chlormequat chloride (CCC) optimizes ion and organic matter accumulation and increases yield of rice (O. sativa L.). Aust J Crop Sci 10:1278–1285Google Scholar
  16. Hoagland DR, Arnon D (1950) The water culture method for growing plants without soil. Circular 347, California Agricultural Experiment Station, University of California-Berkeley, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  17. Iqbal M, Ashraf M (2005) Pre-sowing seed treatment with cytokinins and its effect on growth, photosynthetic rate, ionic levels and yield of two wheat cultivars differing in salt tolerance. J Integ Plant Biol 47:1315–1325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Iqbal M, Ashraf M (2006) Wheat seed priming in relation to salt tolerance: growth, yield and levels of free salicylic acid and polyamines. Ann Bot Fennici 43:250–259Google Scholar
  19. Iqbal M, Ashraf M (2013) Gibberellic acid mediated induction of salt tolerance in wheat plants: growth, ionic partitioning, photosynthesis, yield and hormonal homeostasis. Environ Exp Bot 86:76–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaya C, Ashraf M, Dikilitas M, Tuna AL (2013) Alleviation of salt stress-induced adverse effects on maize plants by exogenous application of indole acetic acid (IAA) and inorganic nutrients—a field trial. Aust J Crop Sci 7:249–254Google Scholar
  21. Kaya C, Tuna AL, Okant M (2010) Effect of foliar applied kinetin and indole acetic acid on maize plants grown under saline conditions. Turk J Agric 34:529–538Google Scholar
  22. Khan MA, Gul B, Weber DJ (2004) Action of plant growth regulators and salinity on seed germination of Ceratoides lanata. Can J Bot 82:37–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Khan NA, Sayeed A, Masood A, Nazar R, Iqbal N (2010) Application of salicylic acid increases contents of nutrients and antioxidative metabolism in mung bean and alleviates adverse effects of salinity stress. Int J Plant Biol 1:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kong J, Dong Y, Xu L, Liu S, Bai X (2014) Effects of foliar application of salicylic acid and nitric oxide in alleviating iron deficiency induced chlorosis of Arachis hypogaea L. Botanical Studies 55(1):9CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Kuiper D, Schuit J, Kuiper PJC (1990) Actual cytokinins concentrations in plant tissue as an indicator for salt resistance in cereals. Plant Soil 123:243–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lutts S, Kinet JM, Bouharmont J (1996) NaCl-induced senescence in leaves of rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivar differing in salinity resistance. Ann Bot 78:389–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nimir EAN, Shiyuan LU, Zhou G, Wenshan G, Ma MBL, Yonghui W (2015) Comparative effects of gibberellic acid, kinetin and salicylic acid on emergence, growth and antioxidant defense system of sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) under salinity and temperature stresses. Crop Past Sci 66:145–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pundir CS, Malik V, Bhargava AK, Thakur M, Kalia M, Singh V, Kuchhal NK (1999) Studies on horseradish peroxidase immobilized onto arylamine and alkylamine glass. J Plant Biochem Biotechnol 8:123–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shi Q, Zhu Z (2008) Effects of exogenous salicylic acid on manganese toxicity, element contents and antioxidative system in cucumber. Environ Exp Bot 63:317–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Singh PK, Gautam S (2013) Role of salicylic acid on physiological and biochemical mechanism of salinity stress tolerance in plants. Crop Past Sci 35:2345–2353Google Scholar
  31. Stępień P, Kłobus G (2006) Water relations and photosynthesis in Cucumis sativus L. leaves under salt stress. Biol Plant 50:610–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stevens J, Senartna T, Sivasithamparam K (2006) Salicylic acid induces salinity tolerance in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Roma): associated changes in gas exchange, water relations and membrane stabilization. Plant Growth Regul 49:77–83Google Scholar
  33. Tufail A, Arfan M, Gurmani AR, Khan A, Bano A (2013) Salicylic acid induced salinity tolerance in maize (Zea mays L.). Pak J Bot 45:75–82Google Scholar
  34. Wakeel A, Farooq M, Qadir M, Schubert S (2011) Potassium substitution by sodium in plants. Crit Rev Plant Sci 30:401–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wang Y, Hu J, Qin G, Cui H, Wang Q (2012) Salicylic acid analogues with biological activity may induce chilling tolerance of maize (Zea mays L.) seeds. Can J Bot 90:845–855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yeo AR, Flowers TJ (1983) Varietal differences in the toxicity of sodium ions in rice leaves. Physiol Plantarum 59:189–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhang JL, Shi HZ (2013) Physiological and molecular mechanisms of plant salt tolerance. Photosyn Res 115:1–22CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhang QF, Li YY, Pang CH, Lu CM, Wang BS (2005) NaCl enhances thylakoid-bound SOD activity in the leaves of C3 halophyte Suaeda salsa L. Plant Sci 168:423–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhang JL, Flowers TJ, Wang SM (2010) Mechanisms of sodium uptake by roots of higher plant. Plant Soil 326:45–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhang JL, Wang SM, Flowers TJ (2013) Differentiation of low-affinity Na+ uptake pathways and kinetics of the effects of K+ on Na+ uptake in the halophyte Suaeda maritima. Plant Soil 368:629–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zhu J, Bie Z, Li Y (2008) Physiological and growth responses of two different salt-sensitive cucumber cultivars to NaCl stress. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 54:400–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society for Horticultural Science and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Raza Gurmani
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Sami Ullah Khan
    • 2
  • Amjad Ali
    • 3
  • Tehseen Rubab
    • 4
  • Timothy Schwinghamer
    • 5
  • Ghulam Jilani
    • 6
  • Abid Farid
    • 7
  • Jinlin Zhang
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Soil SciencesThe University of HaripurHaripurPakistan
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyThe University of HaripurHaripurPakistan
  3. 3.Department of HorticultureThe University of Agriculture PeshawarPeshawarPakistan
  4. 4.Department of BiochemistryPMAS Arid Agriculture University RawalpindiRawalpindiPakistan
  5. 5.Department of Plant Science, Macdonald CampusMcGill UniversitySte Anne de BellevueCanada
  6. 6.Department of Soil Science and SWCPMAS Arid Agriculture University RawalpindiRawalpindiPakistan
  7. 7.Department of EntomologyThe University of HaripurHaripurPakistan
  8. 8.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and TechnologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations