SALINITY TOLERANCE AND PHYTOREMEDIATION OF Na + AND K + IONS BY USING HALOPHYTES FROM CHOLISTAN RANGELAND, PAKISTAN
Muhammad Rafay 1**, Muhammad Abid 1*, Zaffar Malik 2, Muhammad Madnee 1, Hamza Basit 1 and Muhammad Usman Ghaffar 1
1 Forestry, Range & Wildlife Management, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan
2 Department of Soil Science, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan
Corresponding Authors: firstname.lastname@example.org (MA)*; email@example.com (MR)**
Salinity has been considered as the most important factor which adversely affects the plant growth and metabolism in arid and semi-arid areas. Salinity is increasing with times and is expected that 50% of arable land would be salinized till 2050. Present study investigated salinity tolerance and phytoremediation of Na+ and K+ by using halophytes; Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Aeluropus lagopoides, Panicum antidotale and Cenchrus setigerus. Plants were grown for 40 days in hydroponic solution for biomass productions, chlorophyll contents, membrane stability index (MSI) and phytoremediation. Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with four treatments and replications was used to check significance level at 5%. Fresh and dry biomass of each species was increased with increasing salinity level but decreased under highly saline conditions. P. antidotale contained highest fresh/dry weight (20.4 A) and (4.2A) at 140 mM NaCl treatment that decreased at 210 mM NaCl. A. lagopoides showed highest MSI at T3 (46.3 A) significance level that reduced at 210 mM NaCl (20.7 D). K+ concentrations in leaves/roots of all species reduced with elevated salinity (9327.4 A) was the highest K+ in leaves of A. lagopoides which reduced to (3976.2 D) at 210 mM NaCl. Na+ concentrations in the selected halophytes increased with the growing salt levels. Na+ concentration in leaves were (2331.8 D) and (3834.7 ppm) at 0 mM NaCl level while it was (9078 A) and (7494.3A) in P. antidotale and A. lagopoides at 210 mM NaCl respectively. Phytoremediation by halophytic grasses is time saving, economically viable and novel approach towards reclaiming saline soils.
Keywords: Salinity, Halophytes, Biomass, Phytoremediation, MSI, Na+