Effect of Foliar Zinc Application on Yield, Physiological Traits and Seed Vigor of Two Soybean Cultivars under Water Deficit
In order to study the effect of water deficit stress and zinc foliar application on yield, physiological traits and also on seed vigor and seedling emergence percentage in two soybean cultivars, an experiment was conducted as randomized complete block arrangement in split factorial design with three replications. The main factor was drought stress in three levels of optimal irrigation, withholding irrigation from vegetative growth stage and withholding irrigation from flowering stage; subordinate factors were the combination of foliar zinc application in three levels and two cultivars (‘L17’ and ‘Clark 63’). Water deficit stress obviously decreased the yield, soluble protein and chlorophyll content in leaves. Proline and soluble sugars content were significantly increased in response to stress. Water deficit stress increased antioxidant enzymes activity. Also, water deficit stress decreased the germination rate, radicle and plumule dry weight. Foliar application with zinc sulfate increased the yield, germination rate and percentage, radicle and plumule weight. Zinc prevented the harmful effects of stress which caused decreasing of leaf protein, chlorophyll content and increasing proline and carbohydrate accumulation. In general, foliar application of zinc decreased the harmful effects of oxidative stress due to water deficit stress and improved growth conditions of plants.
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