The potential application of biochar and salicylic acid to alleviate salt stress in soybean (Glycine max L.)

Heliyon. 2024 Feb 19;10(4):e26677. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e26677. eCollection 2024 Feb 29.


Salt stress has been one of the major contributor which affect soybean seed germination, its establishment, growth, and physiology stages. Utilization of strategies such as soil amendment and elicitors are of significant importance to reduce the disadvantageous effects of salt stress. In this regard, the objectives of the present study were to evaluate the effect of biochar and salicylic acid on morphological and physiological properties of soybean subjected to salinity. The first experiment was carried out based on completely randomized design with three replications including 11 soybean cultivars such as Williams, Saba, Kowsar, Tapor, Sari, Telar, Caspian, Nekador, Amir, Katol and Sahar and various levels of salinity such as 0, 2, 4, 6 dS/m of NaCl. The second experiment was performed as factorial design in a randomized complete block design with three replications consisting of treatments of biochar (0, 5 and 10 WP), salicylic acid (0, 0.5 and 1 mM), and NaCl (0, 2.5, 5, 7.5 dS/m). With respect to seed germination result, various concentrations of salt stress showed negative impact not only on all studied traits, but also varied among soybean cultivars indicating Amir cultivar as the best salt tolerant soybean genotype among others. In addition, our data exhibited that the interaction effect of biochar and salicylic acid on salt treated soybean plant were positively significant on some morphological traits such as leaf area, shoot dry/fresh weight, total dry/fresh weight and physiological attributes including chlorophyll a, flavonoid, proline contents, catalase and peroxidase activities. Moreover, the resultant data showed that the combination treatment of 5 and 10 WP of biochar and 1 mM of salicylic acid caused increase of the aforementioned parameters in order to improve their performance subjected to higher concentration of salinity. In final, it was concluded that the coupled application of biochar alongside salicylic acid was recommended as proficient strategy to mitigate the injurious influences of salt stress in soybean or other probable crops.

Keywords: Biochar; Physiological and morphological traits; Salicylic acid; Soybean.