Journal of soil science and plant nutrition
On-line version ISSN 0718-9516
and . Efficacy of natural aluminosilicates in moderating drought effects on the morphological and physiological parameters of maize plants (Zea mays L.). J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. [online]. 2012, vol.12, n.1, pp. 113-123. ISSN 0718-9516. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-95162012000100010.
Natural aluminosilicates, zeolites and phyllosilicate clays are widely used in agriculture as additives to animal nutrition and as fertilizers for soil conditioning and remediation. Antitoxic nutrient (ATN) is a unique combination of naturally-occurring phyllosilicates, zeolite, bentonite and activated charcoal (60:20:1), processed using a specific technology. In the present study, the effects of ATN treatment on the morphological and physiological parameters of maize plants under drought stress were investigated. Seeds were separated into two experimental groups: a control group (no ATN treatment) and an ATN-treated group (~0.01g ATN/seed). After 16 days of growth, these two groups of young plants were further subdivided into two subgroups: a watered group and a water-deficient group. Over the next 20 days, the following morphological and physiological parameters were measured: plant fresh weight, weights of individual vegetative plant parts, leaf area (LA), leaf water potential, proline content, nitrate reductase activity (NR; NADH:nitrate oxidoreductase; EC 126.96.36.199), glutathione S-transferase (GST; EC 188.8.131.52) activity and total nitrogen content. Results from water potential and proline content measurements suggest that ATN exhibits a protective effect on the roots and leaves of water-stressed maize plants, which is more pronounced in the latter. Interestingly, GST activity was detected in plant roots only, and was stimulated under drought conditions.
Keywords : antitoxic nutrient; zeolite; bentonite; water stress.