Effects of zearalenone and 24-<i>epi</i>brassinolide on the salt tolerance of select monocotyledonous crop plants
Salinity has an increasing impact on crop production worldwide. Contemporary agricultural practices increasingly use plant biostimulants that protect plants against various environmental stresses. The aim of the work was to investigate whether such stimulants as 24-epibrassinolide (EPI) and zearalenone (ZEN) may alleviate effects of salinity in bread and durum wheat, maize, and sorghum plants. Plants were grown in glasshouse, in pots filled with perlite under continuous salinity stress (120 mM of NaCl). Four-week-old plants were treated with the stimulants. The plant responses to salinity were determined analyzing the following parameters: fresh and dry weights of plants, water content, electrolyte leakage, proline, abscisic acid, and the soluble carbohydrate contents in the leaves. The positive effect of ZEN on the studied parameters was more frequently observed than in the case of EPI. ZEN increased the root mass of both wheat species, as well as the stem and root masses of sorghum. This stimulant improved water relations in bread and durum wheat. Both stimulators increased the content of soluble carbohydrates. ZEN elevated significantly abscisic acid content in sorghum plants as well as it increased strongly proline level in all studied plant species. ZEN was more effective in alleviation salinity disorders than EPI.
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