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Seed priming and soil incorporation with silicon influence growth and yield of maize under water-deficit stress

Sirisuntornlak, Napat, Ghafoori, Salim, Datta, Avishek, Arirob, Wallop
Archiv für Acker- und Pflanzenbau und Bodenkunde 2019 v.65 no.2 pp. 197-207
Zea mays, application methods, biotic stress, corn, grain yield, hybrids, plant growth, seed priming, seeds, silicon, soil, soil water regimes, water stress
Silicon (Si) has been known to enhance plant tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses besides its beneficial effects on plant growth and yield. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of Si against water-deficit stress in maize (Zea mays) applied through seed priming and soil incorporation methods, and to find out the optimum dose of Si under each method. In the seed priming experiment, seeds were exposed to different Si levels, up to 2 mM l–¹, germinating under three soil moisture regimes (100%, 75% and 50% field capacity-FC). In the soil incorporation study, the treatments included were six Si doses from 0 to 600 kg ha–¹ under the same soil moisture regimes. Grain yield was reduced by 59% and 69% in the seed priming and soil incorporation study, respectively, at 50% FC. Si application was effective irrespective of the application methods with higher cob length, 100-kernel weight and grain yield than the control. Application of Si at 1 mM l–¹ as seed priming and 300 kg ha–¹ as soil incorporation was more effective than other doses and could be recommended as optimum dose for Nakhon Sawan 3 hybrid maize variety under water-deficit stress.