INFLUENCE OF FOLIAR APPLICATION OF ZINC SULFATE ON PEA (Pisum sativum L.) UNDER SALINE CONDITIONS
Keywords:Foliar application Zinc sulfate, Saline and non-saline conditions , Antioxidants Enzymes, Pisum sativum L.
Plants have to face different harsh environmental conditions among which salinity is a major widespread abiotic stress for plants. Salinity imposes serious threats to the growth of plants, soil fertility, and agriculture production. Pea stands as a versatile crop, rich in protein and offering high nutritional value; however, its vigor is hampered by salt stress. Within plant mechanisms, zinc assumes a pivotal role. A pot-based experiment was conducted to explore the response of two pea cultivars (Tiger and EP-190). Employing a completely randomized design with 3 replicates, the study aimed to uncover the potential impacts of foliar-applied ZnSO4 (at concentrations of 0, 500, and 1000 ppm) on pea plants under the influence of NaCl stress (at levels of 0 and 120 mM). The outcomes revealed that salt stress exerted a negative influence on all growth parameters, the fresh and dry weights of roots and shoots, as well as physiological factors, antioxidant enzymes, and plant yield. In contrast, the levels of MDA, H2O2, and membrane permeability surged in the presence of salt stress, although these effects were mitigated with the application of foliar ZnSO4 spray. Notably, the application of ZnSO4 at 500 ppm exhibited enhanced effectiveness in maintaining chlorophyll content, boosting antioxidant enzymes, and enhancing overall growth and yield attributes in the presence of both 0 and 120 mM NaCl. Overall, the cultivar Tiger (in contrast to EP-190) had comparatively higher yield under salt stress and ZnSO4 treatment in terms of the number and weight of seeds. Hence, foliar ZnSO4 may improve the productivity of pea under the control and stressful environment.