How Strigolactone Helps Chili Peppers Tolerate Salt Stress

Greg Howard
24th March, 2024

How Strigolactone Helps Chili Peppers Tolerate Salt Stress

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a study at Bahauddin Zakariya University, strigolactone helped chili plants grow better in salty soil
  • Chili plants treated with 20µM strigolactone showed up to 60.74% more fruit yield under salt stress
  • This treatment also increased chlorophyll and essential nutrients in the plants, improving overall health
Salinity stress is a significant factor that hampers agricultural productivity by affecting plant growth and crop yields. High salt levels in soil can lead to poor plant health by interfering with the uptake of water and essential nutrients. As a result, finding effective ways to mitigate salinity stress is crucial for sustainable agriculture. Recent research from Bahauddin Zakariya University has shed light on the potential of a plant hormone known as strigolactone to combat the adverse effects of salinity stress in plants[1]. This study focused on chili plants, which are economically important but can be sensitive to high salt conditions. The researchers designed an experiment with four different treatments, administering 0, 10µM, 20µM, and 30µM concentrations of strigolactone to chili plants under both normal and saline soil conditions. The effectiveness of strigolactone was assessed by measuring various growth parameters and physiological attributes of the chili plants. The findings were clear: the 20µM strigolactone treatment stood out, significantly increasing plant height, dry weight, fruit length, girth, and yield by up to 60.74% under salinity stress compared to untreated controls. Additionally, this treatment resulted in a notable boost in the levels of chlorophyll a and b, as well as total chlorophyll, which are critical for photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy. Moreover, the study confirmed that strigolactone treatment improved the concentrations of vital nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the leaves of chili plants. These nutrients are essential for plant growth and development, and their increased uptake suggests that strigolactone helps plants cope better under stressful saline conditions. The positive effects of strigolactone on chili plants under salinity stress build upon earlier scientific explorations into soil salinity mitigation strategies. Previous research has demonstrated the benefits of biochar, particularly deashed biochar, in enhancing crop production under saline conditions[2]. Deashed biochar was shown to improve growth and physiological attributes in Fenugreek, a finding that complements the current study's results with strigolactone. Additionally, the impact of heavy metal contamination, such as cadmium (Cd) in the soil, has been examined in relation to plant stress responses[3]. While the current study did not directly investigate heavy metal stress, the understanding of plant stress mechanisms and the role of antioxidant enzymes gleaned from such research provides a broader context for the strigolactone findings. Furthermore, the use of osmoprotectants and the symbiotic relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizae (AMF) have been previously studied for their potential to alleviate salinity stress in crops[4]. These studies emphasized the importance of maintaining cellular osmotic balance and nutrient uptake, which are also key aspects addressed by the strigolactone treatment in the current research. The integration of strigolactone into agricultural practices offers a promising solution for farmers dealing with saline soils. The recommendation from Bahauddin Zakariya University to apply 20µM strigolactone to chili plants indicates a practical and accessible approach to enhance crop resilience against salinity stress. In conclusion, the current study contributes to the growing body of knowledge on plant stress mitigation. It highlights strigolactone as an effective agent for improving chili plant growth and productivity in salt-affected soils. By integrating such findings, agricultural practices can be adapted to ensure better crop performance even in challenging environmental conditions, ultimately supporting global food security.

BiochemPlant ScienceAgriculture

References

Main Study

1) The role of strigolactone in alleviating salinity stress in chili pepper.

Published 23rd March, 2024

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-024-04900-4


Related Studies

2) Evaluating the hidden potential of deashed biochar in mitigating salinity stress for cultivation of fenugreek.

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-49063-8


3) Differential responses of chili varieties grown under cadmium stress.

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-023-04678-x


4) γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) and ectoine (ECT) impacts with and without AMF on antioxidants, gas exchange attributes and nutrients of cotton cultivated in salt affected soil.

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-023-04486-3



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