Resistance of highland barley seedlings to alkaline salt and freeze-thaw stress with the addition of potassium fulvic acid

Qu Y., Bao G.Z., Pan X.Y., Guo J.C., Xiang T., Fan X.Y., Zhang X., Yang Y.N., Yan B.R., Zhao H.W., Li G.M. (2022): Resistance of highland barley seedlings to alkaline salt and freeze-thaw stress with the addition of potassium fulvic acid. Plant Soil Environ., 68: 299–308.

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Crops are commonly subjected to freeze-thaw and salt stress factors simultaneously in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In the agricultural field, potassium fulvic acid can not only promote plant growth and increase crop yield but also enhance plant resistance to stress. In this study, the changes of osmotic adjustment substances, antioxidant enzyme activities and photosynthetic characteristics of barley seedlings under alkaline salt and freeze-thaw stress were investigated by laboratory simulation. The results showed that under single alkaline salt stress, the soluble protein content increased significantly (P < 0.05), and the malondialdehyde (MDA) content of seedlings increased by 63.1%; however, antioxidant enzymes activities and photosynthetic rate of barley seedlings decreased. Under combined stresses of alkaline salt and freeze-thaw, the soluble protein content, antioxidant enzyme activities, and photosynthetic rate of barley seedlings decreased; in contrast, the MDA content of seedlings increased. With the addition of potassium fulvic acid, the soluble protein content of seedlings increased, MDA content decreased significantly (P < 0.05), and enzyme activities tended to be stable. This study revealed that the addition of a proper amount of potassium fulvic acid could mitigate the damage of alkali salt and freeze-thaw stress on barley seedlings.

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