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Role of Potassium in Reducing Oxidative Damage in Maize under Salt Stress.

Saline soil and water are the major constraints in reduced agricultural yield of many crops (Chaum et al., 2011; Ashraf, 2009; AzevedoNeto et al., 2006; Alam et al., 2000). The metabolic activities in most crops ceased due to higher salt concentration in soils that ultimately results in low agricultural productivity (Karsensky and Jonak, 2012; Munns and Tester, 2008; Cramer et al., 1996).

Along with osmotic stress, ionic imbalance and specific ion toxicity, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is also coupled with salinity (Ali et al., 2011; Nabati et al, 2011; Gapinska et al., 2008; Mittler, 2002).

Among all other macro nutrients potassium has the significant role in plant survival under salt stress (Mahmood, 2011; Cherel, 2004; Mengel and Kirkby, 2001).

Keeping in mind these factors this study was planned to assess the ameliorative efficiency of potassium under salt mediated oxidative stress.

This study was conducted in the Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan. Three potassium levels (3, 6 and 9 mM) were applied with 100 mM NaCl stress. Maize genotype (Pioneer-3335) was used for this study. Maize seeds were germinated in sand containing trays and were transplanted in thermo pore sheets floating over Hoagland solution containing tubs at two leaf stage (Hoagland and Arnon, 1950). In respective saline treatments salinity was developed after two days of transplantation in 3 increments. 8 h daily aeration was provided through aeration pump and pH was maintained daily from 6-6.5.

After four weeks plants were harvested, recorded the growth attributes and stored in refrigerator for further analysis. The samples were analysed for membrane stability index according to method of Sairam et al. (2002). Sodium and potassium ion concentration was analysed using flame photometer.

Antioxidant enzymes activity (SOD, CAT, POD) was recorded using spectrophotometer from enzyme extract (For extracting antioxidant enzymes, 0.5 g fresh leaf samples were ground using a tissue grinder in 5 mL of 50 mM cooled phosphate buffer (pH 7.8) placed in an ice bath. The homogenate is centrifuged at 15000 x g for 20 min at 4[degrees]C. The supernatant is used for determination of antioxidant enzymes) following the method of Giannopolitis and Ries (1977) for SOD by recording the decrease in absorbance of nitro blue tetrazolium 560 nm (1955). Catalase enzyme activity was recorded by calculating the decomposition of [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] at 240 nm and peroxidase enzyme activity was determined by recording the absorbance at 470 nm after 0 sec for 5 min (Chance and Maehly, 1955). The experiment was laid out using CRD-Factorial arrangement and data was analyzed statistically using statistics 8.1. Plant growth attributes under salt stress have been shown in Table 1.

The data regarding [K.sup.+]/[Na.sup.+] ratio in maize genotype (Pioneer-3335) has been showed in Table 2. These results depicted the fact that saline environment subjects the plants to uptake more [Na.sup.+] as compared to [K.sup.+] hence decreasing the [K.sup.+]/[Na.sup.+] ratio. This ratio in plants grown in saline soils could be improved by the application of K. Results regarding antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT and POD) activity are presented in Table 3.

These results are supported by the facts that under salt stress plant photosynthesis rate, plant growth and biomass production is reduced (Akram et al., 2011; Sun et al., 2011; Cicek and Cakirlar, 2002). Application of K under saline treatment significantly improved membrane stability and plant growth parameters as supported by the fact that plant growth and yield of the crop is significantly increased by increasing the potassium dose (Fayez and Bazaid, 2013; Kaya et al., 2007; Nadia and Bardan, 2006).

From these results it is clear that ROS production is triggered under saline treatment (100 mM NaCl) and suppressing the activity of antioxidant enzymes (Yu and Rengel, 1999; Hernandez et al., 1995). Potassium is the major macro-nutrient that helps out the plants to overcome the salt stress conditions and its role in activating the enzymes is clearly depicted in this study that enhanced levels of K were helpful in improving the antioxidant enzymes activity. Such results are also previously revealed by Soleimanzadeh et al. (2010); Zheng et al. (2008).

(received August 24, 2016; revised February 6, 2017; accepted May 10, 2017)


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Table 1. Effect of potassium on growth parameters of
maize grown under salt stress

Treatments                 Pioneer-3335

               SL (cm)   SFW (g)   RL (cm)   RFW (g)

Control         99.9       45       42.4      6.47
100 mM NaCl     50.1       21       22.5      3.25
                (50)      (47)      (53)      (50)
100 mM          53.3      23.9      24.2      3.67
NaCl +3 mM K    (53)      (53)      (57)      (57)
100 mM          58.1       28        27       4.44
NaCl +6 mM K    (58)      (62)      (64)      (69)
100 mM          61.2      31.5      30.6      5.12
NaCl +9 mM K    (61)      (70)      (72)      (79)

Values in () are the percentage of control. (SL, SFW, RL and
RFW are the abbreviations of shoot length shoot fresh weight,
root length and root fresh weight), respectively.

Table 2. Effect of potassium on [K.sup.+]/[Na.sup.+] ratio and
membrane stability index of maize grown under salt stress

Treatments            Pioneer-3335

                      [K.sup.+]/   MSI

Control               2.67         88.6
100 mM NaCl           0.46         60.2
                      (17)         (68)
100 mM NaCl +3 mM K   0.51         66.5
                      (19)         (76)
100 mM NaCl +6 mM K   0.56         71.2
                      (21)         (80)
100 mM NaCl +9 mM K   0.60         75.6
                      (22)         (85)

Values in () are the percentage of control.

Table 3. Effect of potassium on antioxidants enzyme
activity (SOD, CAT and POD) of maize grown under
salt stress

Treatments         Pioneer-3335

              SOD     CAT       POD

                   (Unit/g FW)

Control       25.6    64.6      43.8
100 mM NaCl   24.7    53.4      41.9
              (96)    (82.8)    (95)
100 mM NaCl   26.9    58.7      44
+3 mM K       (105)   (91)      (100)
100 mM NaCl   32.1    61.9      47
+6 mM K       (125)   (95.9)    (105)
100 mM NaCl   35.5    65.6      49.6
+9 mM K       (138)   (101.6)   (113)

Values in () are the percentage of control.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Suhaib, Muhammad; Mujtaba, Asma; Ullah, Muhammad Arshad; Badar-uz-Zaman; Mahmood, Imdad Ali; Asadull
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research Series B: Biological Sciences
Article Type:Report
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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