DOI: 10.3390/plants12152838 ISSN: 2223-7747

Application of Silicon, Zinc, and Zeolite Nanoparticles—A Tool to Enhance Drought Stress Tolerance in Coriander Plants for Better Growth Performance and Productivity

Abdel Wahab M. Mahmoud, Hassan M. Rashad, Sanaa E. A. Esmail, Hameed Alsamadany, Emad A. Abdeldaym
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Drought stress in arid regions is a serious factor affecting yield quantity and quality of economic crops. Under drought conditions, the application of nano-elements and nano-agents of water retention improved the water use efficiency, growth performance, and yield quantity of drought-stressed plants. For this objective, two field experiments were performed and organized as randomized complete block designs with six replications. The treatments included kaolin (5 t. ha−1) bentonite (12.5 t. ha−1), perlite (1.25 t.ha−1), N-zeolite (1.3 L.ha−1), N-silicon (2.5 L.ha−1), and N-zinc (2.5 L.ha−1). The current study showed that the application of silicon, zinc, and zeolite nanoparticles only positively influenced the morphological, physiological, and biochemical properties of the drought-stressed coriander plant. Exogenous application of N-silicon, N-zinc, and N-zeolite recorded the higher growth parameters of drought-stressed plants; namely, plant fresh weight, plant dry weight, leaf area, and root length than all the other treatments in both seasons. The improvement ratio, on average for both seasons, reached 17.93, 17.93, and 18.85% for plant fresh weight, 73.46, 73.46, and 75.81% for plant dry weight, 3.65, 3.65, and 3.87% for leaf area, and 17.46, 17.46, and 17.16% for root length of drought-stressed plants treated with N-silicon, N-zinc, and N-zeolite, respectively. For physiological responses, the application of N-zeolite, N-silicon, and N-zinc significantly increased leaf chlorophyll content, photosynthetic rate, water use efficiency, chlorophyll fluorescence, and photosystem II efficiency compared with the control in both seasons, respectively. Similar results were observed in antioxidant compounds, nutrient accumulation, and phytohormones. In contrast, those treatments markedly reduced the value of transpiration rate, nonphotochemical quenching, MDA, ABA, and CAT compared to control plants. Regarding the seed and oil yield, higher seed and oil yields were recorded in drought-stressed plants treated with N-zeolite followed by N-silicon and N-zinc than all the other treatments. Application of N-zeolite, N-silicon and N-zinc could be a promising approach to improve plant growth and productivity as well as to alleviate the adverse impacts of drought stress on coriander plants in arid and semi-arid areas.

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