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    Soil salinization leads to a significant decline in crop yield and quality, including licorice, an important medicinal cash crop. Studies have proofed that the application of exogenous silicon can significantly improve the ability of licorice to resist salt stress, however, few studies concentrated on the effects of foliar silicon application on the morphology, physiological characteristics, and anatomical structure of licorice leaves under salt stress. In this study, the effects of Si (K2SiO3) on the structural and physiological characteristics of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. and G. inflata Bat. leaves under different salt concentrations (medium- and high-salt) were studied. Compared with the control (without salt), the plant height, total dry weight, leaf area, leaf number, relative water content, xylem area, phloem area, ratio of palisade to spongy tissue, gas exchange parameters, and photosynthetic pigment content of both licorice varieties were significantly reduced under high-salt (12S) conditions. However, the thickness of the leaf, palisade tissue, and spongy tissue increased significantly. Applying Si to the leaf surface increased the area of the vascular bundle, xylem, and parenchyma of the leaf's main vein, promoted water transportation, enhanced the relative leaf water content, and reduced the decomposition of photosynthetic pigments. These changes extended the area of photosynthesis and promoted the production and transportation of organic matter. G. uralensis had a better response to Si application than did G. inflata. In conclusion, foliar application of Si can improve water absorption, enhance photosynthesis, improve photosynthetic capacity and transpiration efficiency, promote growth and yield, and alleviate the adverse effects of salt stress on the leaf structure of the two kinds of licorice investigated. © 2022. The Author(s).


    Zihui Shen, Xiaojiao Cheng, Xiao Li, Xianya Deng, Xiuxiu Dong, Shaoming Wang, Xiaozhen Pu. Effects of silicon application on leaf structure and physiological characteristics of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. and Glycyrrhiza inflata Bat. under salt treatment. BMC plant biology. 2022 Aug 04;22(1):390

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    PMID: 35922748

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