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Title

The effect of silicon on some morpho-physiological and phytochemical traits of Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea L. ) under salinity stress

Pages

 Start Page 55 | End Page 68

Abstract

 Salinity is one of the most significant abiotic stresses that affects plant growth and yield in various ways. On the other hand, silica, the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust, increases plants' tolerance under stress; therefore, given the importance of the Purple Coneflower, we investigated the effect of silicon on some of the morphological and phytochemical traits of this a medicinal plant under salt stress. For this purpose, a pot experiment was conducted as a factorial based on a completely randomized design with four levels of salinity (control, 25, 50 and 75 mM sodium chloride), four levels of silicon (control, 0. 75, 1. 5 and 2. 25 mM), and four replications. The experiment was done in greenhouse of Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 2016. The stress was imposed in Hydroponics (perlite and coir) culture medium with Hoagland nutrition solution. Since flowering begun, growth, morphological, physiological and phytochemical indices including root length, fresh weight of shoots and roots, Dry weight of shoots and roots, leaf scorch, leaf relative water content, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, carotenoids, total chlorophyll, total flavonoids, total phenol and antioxidant activity of the root were measured. Salt stress increased all measured traits to a moderate amount and then decreased them. All traits except the percentage of leaf scorch improved with silicon concentration. The interaction of these two factors was significant in all traits except fresh and Dry weight of shoots and the percentage of leaf scorch. In addition, the negative effects of salinity stress, especially on low to moderate levels decreased significantly in growth, morphophysiological and phytochemical traits of the plant with silicon and thereby the growth improved. So, the best salinity concentration to increase the biochemical factors was 25 mM of sodium chloride and the best concentration of silicon to reduce the negative effects of salinity stress was 2. 25 mM.

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