Basil (Ocimum basilicum) growth under saline stress and salicylic acid
Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is an aromatic and spice plant used around the world in cooking, in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and flavoring industries. Salicylic acid has been used to mitigate the deleterious effects of salinity on plants. The objective of this work was to evaluate the growth of basil under saline stress and salicylic acid. The experimental design was in randomized blocks. Five electrical conductivities of irrigation water (ECw - 0.5, 1.3; 3.25; 5.2 and 6.0 dS m-1) and five salicylic acid doses (SA - 0.0, 0.29, 1.0, 1.71 and 2.0 mM) was used. Plant height, number of leaves, stem diameter, leaf area, specific leaf area, relative growth rate, leaf area ratio, leaf mass ratio, relative leaf growth rate and chlorophyll a, b and total indices were evaluated at 32, 39, 46, 53 and 60 days after irrigation with saline water (DAI). The increase in the electrical conductivity of irrigation water (ECw) negatively affected growth and increased the basil chlorophyll index. The application of salicylic acid attenuated the negative effects of salt stress on the number of leaves and leaf area and had negative effects on the stem diameter, but did not affect the other growth variables and chlorophyll indices.
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