Influence of silica nanoparticles on germination and early seedling growth of Sorghum bicolor L. under water stress
Abdulrahman Ali Al-Zandi
Drought stress is one of the most adverse factors of plant growth and productivity. Plant growth and development are negatively affected by a wide range of external stresses, including water deficits. Advanced technologies, such as nanotechnology plays a key role in agricultural soil and could partly help the plant to tolerate different stresses. The role of nanoparticles in the improvement of plant tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought and salinity remains unclear. This study was conducted to investigate effects of application of silicon oxide nanoparticles on germination and growth parameters of white maize (Sorghum bicolor L.). Water stress at three levels (control, 25 and 50% water deficit) and nanosilica applied at four concentrations (0, 5, 10 and 20 ppm) were conducted. The results suggested that the drought stress at (25 and 50%) decreased the germination percentage by 80% in comparison to control treatment (86%). The maximum effect of nanosilica on increasing germination percentage (96.6%) was found at 5 ppm treatment in case of full water treatment. The results showed that the water deficit at 50% highly decreased grain root length by 6.83 cm in comparison to the control (11.50 cm). Positive effect of nanosilica application (12 cm) was detected in 25% water stress stage at 10 ppm. The present work clearly showed that shoot length of grains was markedly inhibited by water stress (0.20 cm) at 50% water deficit. The shoot length was improved by (6.60 cm) after exposure to 5 ppm nanosilica under full application of water (100%). Regarding the effect of water stress on the seedling weight, the obtained data indicating clearly seedling weight reduction by 1.12 gm under 50% water deficit, and this effect was alleviated by 3.20 gm after exposure to 20 ppm nanosilica under 100% water treatment.