Volume 14, Issue 4 (12-2023)                   2023, 14(4): 13-30 | Back to browse issues page


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Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, Rafsanjan.
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Abstract
In order to investigate the effect of calcium-enriched sepiolite under stress conditions on the concentration of nutrients in cucumber, an experiment was conducted with two factors of stress (control, salinity stress: 70 mM sodium chloride, alkalinity stress: 70 mM sodium bicarbonate, and combined salinity and alkalinity stresses: 70 mM sodium chloride + 70 mM sodium bicarbonate) and the levels of sepiolite (0, 10 and 20% w/w) in a completely randomized design. The results showed that calcium-enriched sepiolite had favorable effects on the concentration of nutrients and the dry weights of plant root and shoot. For example, in non-stressed conditions, with the application of 10 %w/w sepiolite, in addition to a 94% increase in the dry weight of the shoot, the concentrations of Mg and Ca in the shoot increased by 15 and 45%, respectively. With the application of 20% w/w sepiolite, the dry weight of the shoot increased by 80% in the conditions of salinity stress. Additionally, this treatment resulted in significant increases in the concentration of Cu in the shoot, Ca in the root, Mg in the root and shoot, and Fe in the root, with increases of 89, 63, 230, 38, and 656%, respectively. Overall, the findings of this research showed that the use of sepiolite in stressful conditions can be beneficial in improving the concentration of nutrients, especially Fe, Mg and Ca, and reducing sodium accumulation in cucumber.

Background and Objective: Previous studies have shown that salinity and alkalinity stresses caused a reduction in growth of plants (Roosta, 2011). Sepiolite mineral has been found in different regions of Iran and its agricultural and industrial uses have been started (Galan, 1996). Although some researches have been done on the environmental applications of this mineral as an adsorbent, there is very little information about the use of calcium-enriched sepiolite in the plant culture environment. Therefore, considering the role of salinity and alkalinity in reducing the production of products and the characteristics of sepiolite clay, this research was conducted to investigate the effect of calcium-enriched sepiolite as a soil conditioner to reduce the adverse effects of salinity and alkalinity stresses on cucumber.

Methods: The studied sepiolite was obtained from a mine in Fariman and after being grinding it was saturated with calcium chloride. This research was carried out in the greenhouse of Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan as a hydroponic culture in a medium containing perlite and Ca-enriched sepiolite. The experiments included three levels of sepiolite (0, 10% and 20% w/w) and four levels of stress (no-stress conditions as control, salinity stress by 70 mM sodium chloride, alkalinity stress by 70 mM sodium bicarbonate, and combined salinity and alkalinity stresses by sodium chloride 70 mM and sodium bicarbonate 70 mM). The treatments were arranged in a factorial way in the form of a completely randomized design with three replications. At the end of experiment, the plants were completely removed from the pots and the aerial and root parts were separated, and after washing with distilled water, they were dried at 70 ºC for 48 hours and then powdered. The total concentrations of Ca, Mg, Na, Cl, Zn, Cu, Fe and Mn in plants shoot and root were determined according to standard methods.

Results: The results showed that the use of Ca-enriched sepiolite reduced the adverse effects of stress on the concentration of nutrients. In non-stressed conditions, the concentrations of Mn and Mg in the root and shoot increased due to 10% sepiolite application. The concentration of Ca in the root and shoot increased in all sepiolite-treated pots, and Ca-enriched sepiolite decreased Na concentration in the root and shoot. Under salinity stress, the concentration of Cu in the shoot, Fe and Ca concentrations in the root and Mn concentration in the shoot and root increased, but the concentrations of Zn and Mn in the root and shoot decreased due to 20% sepiolite application. Under alkalinity stress, the concentration of Cu in the shoot, Mn and Ca concentrations in the root, and Mg and Fe concentrations in the root and shoot increased while the Na concentration in the root decreased. Under the combined salinity and alkalinity stresses, the concentrations of Cu and Mn in the shoot, and Fe and Mg concentrations in the shoot and root increased.

Conclusions: Based on the results of this research, calcium-enriched sepiolite had favorable effects on the concentration of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron in cucumber plants, and by removing sodium from the reach of the plant, it reduced the adverse effects of salinity and alkalinity stresses of the culture medium. Therefore, calcium-enriched sepiolite can be suggested as an amendment under salinity and alkalinity stress conditions.

References:
1. Roosta, H.R., 2011. Interaction between water alkalinity and nutrient solution pH on the vegetative growth, chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf Mg, Fe, Mn and Zn concentration in lettuce. J. Plant Nutr. 34, 717731. https://doi.org/10.1080/01904167.2011.540987.
2. Galan, E., 1996. Properties and applications of palygorskite-sepiolite clays. Clay Miner. 31(4), 443435. https://doi.org/10.1180/claymin.1996.031.4.01.
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Type of Study: Applicable | Subject: Availability of soil water and nutrients for plant
Received: 2023/08/26 | Accepted: 2023/12/12 | Published: 2024/03/12

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