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

Manzer H Siddiqui, Mohamed H Al-Whaibi, Mohammad Faisal, Abdulaziz A Al Sahli
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2014, 33 (11): 2429-37
Research into nanotechnology, an emerging science, has advanced in almost all fields of technology. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of nano-silicon dioxide (nano-SiO2 ) in plant resistance to salt stress through improvement of the antioxidant system of squash (Cucurbita pepo L. cv. white bush marrow). Seeds treated with NaCl showed reduced germination percentage, vigor, length, and fresh and dry weights of the roots and shoots. However, nano-SiO2 improved seed germination and growth characteristics by reducing malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide levels as well as electrolyte leakage. In addition, application of nano-SiO2 reduced chlorophyll degradation and enhanced the net photosynthetic rate (Pn ), stomatal conductance (gs ), transpiration rate, and water use efficiency. The increase in plant germination and growth characteristics through application of nano-SiO2 might reflect a reduction in oxidative damage as a result of the expression of antioxidant enzymes, such as catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, and ascorbate peroxidase. These results indicate that nano-SiO2 may improve defense mechanisms of plants against salt stress toxicity by augmenting the Pn , gs , transpiration rate, water use efficiency, total chlorophyll, proline, and carbonic anhydrase activity in the leaves of plants.

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