The effect of biological fertilizer and salicylic acid on the physiological and biological characteristics of corn under drought stress

Abstract

Lack of water resources, drought, and uncertainty about water resources available on land has raised concerns for farmers. Given that agricultural products play an important role in compensating for human food, researchers are now looking for ways to increase agricultural production. Numerous studies have been performed on various fertilizer treatments, but so far the combined methods of different treatments have not been investigated under drought stress. The present study aims at investigating the changes in corn production by the application of mycorrhiza and pre-treatment with salicylic acid under drought stress. The experiments were performed as double-split plots in the form of a randomized complete block design with 3 replications in Fars province. the treatments under examination included different levels of drought stress (75 mm, 95 mm, and 135 mm evaporation from class A evaporation pan), mycorrhiza (control (without mycorrhiza), one kg/ha mycorrhiza simultaneous with the planting time, mycorrhiza as half of the recommended amount of phosphorus fertilizer based on soil test) and pre-treatment with salicylic acid (dry seeds, 750 and 2250 μM/24 h). Physiological characteristics including height, cob length, cob diameter, the number of grains in the cob and the weight of a thousand grains, and the biological characteristic of leaf area index were measured. The results showed significant differences between height, leaf area, cob diameter, number of grains in the cob, and weight of one thousand grains due to salinity stress, but salicylic acid and mycorrhiza treatments improved the negative effects of reducing plant production because of drought stress in all treatments.

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