Cereal Research Communications

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 172–185 | Cite as

Silicon Fertilization Improves the Maize (Zea mays L.) Performance under Limited Moisture Supply

  • M. Amin
  • R. AhmadEmail author
  • A. Ali
  • M. Aslam
  • D. J. Lee


Field crops are subjected to numerous inconsiderate climatic hazards that negatively affect physiological processes, growth and yield. Drought is one of the major abiotic factors that limits the agricultural productivity especially in the arid and semi-arid areas of the globe. Silicon (Si) is a naturally occurring beneficial nutrient which modulates plant growth and development events and has been known to improve the crop tolerance to abiotic stresses. With the objective to investigate the role of silicon nutrition on maize hybrids under limited moisture supply, a two year field study was conducted during 2010–11 at Post Graduate Research Station (PARS), University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan. We evaluated growth of two maize hybrids P-33H25 and FH-810 under well watered (100% field capacity) and water deficit situation (60% field capacity) as affected by Si application. Silicon was added in soil @ 100 mg/kg using Calcium Silicate as source. Water deficit condition significantly reduced agro-morphological and physiological attributes of maize plants. Silicon application significantly increased the plant height, leaf area index, yield and related attributes along with improvement in photosynthetic rate, leaf water status and osmotic adjustment under limited moisture supply. It was concluded that silicon application to drought-stressed maize enhanced its growth and yield owing to improved photosynthetic rate, higher osmotic adjustment, increased water status and lowered transpiration.


water deficit silicon hybrid maize gaseous exchange water relations yield 


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The work reported in this manuscript is a part of research work being conducted by PhD scholar Muhammad Amin whose study was funded by the Higher Education Commission through Indigenous Ph.D. Fellowship.


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2016

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Amin
    • 1
  • R. Ahmad
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Ali
    • 2
  • M. Aslam
    • 1
  • D. J. Lee
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyGhazi UniversityDera Ghazi KhanPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Crop Science and BiotechnologyDankook UniversitySouth Korea

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