Document Type: Research paper


1 Graduate student, Shahrekord University, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Iran

3 Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Iran


In the present study, improvement of salt tolerance in basil (as a salt-sensitive plant) was investigated through silicon (Si) nutrition. Basil plants were subjected to silicon (0, 3 mM) and salinity (0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 mM NaCl) for a duration of one month. Salt stress significantly decreased the biomass of basil. Si supplement (3 mM) resulted in a considerable increase (averagely +135%) in the biomass of salinized plants. Salt stress significantly decreased photosynthetic pigments concentrations, but Si supplement improved total chlorophyll concentration (averagely up to +217% compared to salinized plants). This improvement in pigment concentrations also occurred for carotenoids content (+123%). Salinity increased lipid peroxidation and H2O2 level in the aerial parts of the basil plants, but Si decreased lipid peroxidation (-49.1%) and H2O2 content (-29%) under salinity condition. Results showed salinity (alone) or together with Si, increased the level of polyphenols and also the level of radical scavenging activities in the aerial parts of basil but this effect was much more in plants co-treated with Si and salinity. Si nutrition increased the activity of SOD, APX and GPX in response to salt stress, but it did not affect CAT activity. Overall, Si supplement could induce salt tolerance in basil plants by improving photosynthesis, membrane integrity, and detoxification of toxic radicals. Furthermore, silicon increased the medicinal properties of basil via elevating its antioxidant capacity under salt stress.


1. Abbas T, Balal RM, Shahid MA, Pervez MA, Ayyub CM, Aqueel MA, Javaid MM. 2015. Si-induced alleviation of NaCl toxicity in okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is associated with enhanced photosynthesis, osmoprotectants and antioxidant metabolism. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 37, 6.
2. Abbasi GH, Akhtar J, Anwar-ul-Haq M, MalikW, Ali S, Chen Z, Zhang G. 2015.
Benefits of Silicon Nutrition on Growth, Physiological and Phytochemical … 47
Morpho-physiological and micrographic characterization of maize hybrids under NaCl and Cd stress. Plant Growth Regulation 75,115-122.
3. Ahmad R, Zaheer SH, Ismail S. 1992. Role of silicon in salt tolerance of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Plant Science 85, 43-50.
4. Ahmed M, Qadeer U, Ahmed ZI, Hassan FU. 2016. Improvement of wheat (Triticum aestivum) drought tolerance by seed priming with silicon. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 62, 299-315.
5. Al-aghabary K, Zhu ZJ, Shi QH. 2004. Influence of silicon supply on chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and antioxidative enzyme activities in tomato plants under salt stress. Journal of Plant Nutrition 27, 2101-2115.
6. Ali S, Farooq MA, Yasmeen T, Hussain S, Arif MS, Abbas F, ..., Zhang G. 2013. The influence of silicon on barley growth, photosynthesis and ultra-structure under chromium stress. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 89, 66-72.
7. Ashraf M, Rahmatullah AR, Bhatti AS, Afzal M, Sarwar A, Maqsood MA, Kanwal S. 2010. Amelioration of salt stress in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) by supplying potassium and silicon in hydroponics. Pedosphere 20, 153-162.
8. Bélanger R, Benhamou N, Menzies JG. 2003. Cytological evidence of an active role of silicon in wheat resistance to powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici). Phytopathology 93, 402-412.
9. Bradford M. 1976. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantization of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein–dye binding. 72, 248-254.
10. Buchanan BB, Balmer Y. 2005. Redox regulation: a broadening horizon. Analytical Biochemistry 56, 187-220.
11. Chen DH, Ye HC, Li GF 2000. Expression of a chimeric farnesyldiphosphate synthase gene in Artemisia annua L. transgenic plants via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Plant Science 155, 179-185. Chiang LC, Ng LT, Cheng PW, Chiang W, Lin CC. 2005. Antiviral activities of extracts and selected pure constituents of Ocimum basilicum. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 32, 811-816.
12. Coskun D, Britto DT, Huynh WQ, Kronzucker HJ. 2016. The role of silicon in higher plants
under salinity and drought stress. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 7, 1072.
13. Côté-Beaulieu C, Chain F, Menzies JG, Kinrade SD, Bélanger RR. 2009. Absorption of aqueous inorganic and organic silicon compounds by wheat and their effect on growth and powdery mildew control. Environmental and Experimental of Botany 65, 155-161.
14. Epstein E. 1994. The anomaly of silicon in plant biology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 91, 11-17. Eraslan F, Inal A, Pilbeam DJ, Gunes A. 2008. Interactive effects of salicylic acid and silicon on oxidative damage and antioxidant activity in spinach (Spinacia oleracea L. cv. Matador) grown under boron toxicity and salinity. Plant Growth Regulation 55, 207.
15. Flowers TJ. 2004. Improving crop salt tolerance. Journal of Experimental of Botany 55, 307-319.
16. Flowers TJ, Colmer TD 2015. Plant salt tolerance: adaptations in halophytes. Annals of Botany 115, 327-331.
17. Flowers TJ, Glenn EP, Volkov V. 2018. Could vesicular transport of Na+ and Cl– be a feature of salt tolerance in halophytes? Annals of Botany 123, 1-18.
18. Gill SS, Tuteja N. 2010. Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant machinery in abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 48, 909-930.
19. Gong H, Zhu Xu, Chen K, Wang S, Zhang C. 2005. Silicon alleviates oxidative damage of wheat plants in pots under drought. Plant Science 169, 313-321.
20. Guerriero G, Hausman JF, Legay S. 2016. Silicon and the plant extracellular matrix. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 7, 463.
21. Gunes A, Inal A, Alpaslan M, Eraslan F, Bagci EG, Cicek N. 2007. Salicylic acid induced changes on some physiological parameters symptomatic for oxidative stress and mineral nutrition in maize (Zea mays L.) grown under salinity. Journal of Plant Physiology 164, 728-736.
22. Gupta B, Huang B. 2014. Mechanism of salinity tolerance in plants: physiological, biochemical, and molecular characterization. International Journal of Genomics 2014, 1-18.
23. Hanato T, Kagawa H, Yasuhara T, Okuda T. 1988. Two new flavonoids and other constituents in licorice root: their relative astringency and radical scavenging effect.
48 Int. J. Hort. Sci. Technol; Vol. 7, No. 1; March 2020
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 36, 1090-1097.
24. Hashemi A, Abdolzadeh A, Sadeghipour HR. 2010. Beneficial effects of silicon nutrition in alleviating salinity stress in hydroponically grown canola, Brassica napus L., plants. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 56, 244-253.
25. He C, Ma J, Wang L. 2015. A hemicelluloses-bound form of silicon with potential to improve the mechanical properties and regeneration of the cell wall of rice. New Phytologist 206, 1051-1062.
26. Hodson MJ, White PJ, Mead A, Broadley MR. 2005. Phylogenetic variation in the silicon composition of plants. Annals of Botany 96, 1027-1046.
27. Kafi M, Rahimi Z. 2011. Effect of salinity and silicon on root characteristics, growth, water status, proline content and ion accumulation of purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.). Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 57, 341-347.
28. Katalinić V, Možina SS, Skroza D, Generalić I, Abramovič H, Miloš M,., Boban M. 2010. Polyphenolic profile, antioxidant properties and antimicrobial activity of grape skin extracts of 14 Vitis vinifera varieties grown in Dalmatia (Croatia). Food Chemistry 119, 715-723.
29. Kato M, Shimizu S. 1985. Chlorophyll metabolism in higher plants. Plant Cell Physiology 26, 1291-1301.
30. Keller C, Rizwan M, Davidian JC, Pokrovsky OS, Bovet N, Chaurand P, Meunier JD. 2015. Effect of silicon on wheat seedlings (Triticum turgidum L.) grown in hydroponics and exposed to 0 to 30 μM Cu. Planta 241, 847-860.
31. Khatri M, Nasir MKA, Saleem R, Noor F. 1995. Evaluation of Pakistani sweet basil oil for commercial exploition. Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research 38, 281-282.
32. Khoshgoftarmanesh AH, Khodarahmi S, Haghighi M. 2014. Effect of silicon nutrition on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant response of cucumber plants exposed to salinity stress. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 60, 639-653.
33. Kim YH, Khan AL, Waqas M, Lee IJ. 2017. Silicon regulates antioxidant activities of crop plants under abiotic-induced oxidative stress: a review. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 8, 510.
34. Krishnaiah YS. 2010. Pharmaceutical technologies for enhancing oral bioavailability
of poorly soluble drugs. Journal of Bioequivalence and Bioavailability 2, 28-36.
35. Ksouri R, Megdiche W, Debez A, Falleh H, Grignon C, Abdelly C. 2007. Salinity effects on polyphenol content and antioxidant activities in leaves of halophyte Cakile maritime. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 45, 44-49.
36. Kumaran A, Joel karunakaran R. 2006. Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of an aqueous extract of Coleus aromaticus. Food Chemistry 97, 109-114.
37. Lee SK, Sohn EY, Hamayun M, Yoon JY, Lee IJ. 2010. Effect of silicon on growth and salinity stress of soybean plant grown under hydroponic system. Agroforestry Systems 80, 333-340.
38. Liang YC, Zhang WH, Chen Q, Ding RX. 2005. Effects of silicon on H+-ATPase and H+-PPase activity, fatty acid composition and fluidity of tonoplast vesicles from roots of salt-stressed barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Environmental and Experiments of Botany 53, 29-37.
39. Liang Y, Nikolic M, Bélanger R, Gong H, Song A. 2015. Silicon in agriculture. Dordrecht: Springer. Doi 10, 978-94.
40. Liang Y, Sun W, Zhu YG, Christie P. 2007. Mechanisms of silicon-mediated alleviation of abiotic stresses in higher plants: a review. Environmental Pollution 147, 422-428.
41. Lichtenthaler HK, Buschmann C. 2001. Chlorophylls and carotenoids: Measurement and characterization by UV‐VIS spectroscopy. In: Current protocols in food analytical chemistry, F4.3.1-F4.3.8. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York.
42. Mateos-Naranjo E, Andrades-Moreno L, Davy AJ. 2013. Silicon alleviates deleterious effects of high salinity on the halophytic grass Spartina densiflora. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 63, 115-121.
43. Matoh T, Kairusmee P, Takahashi E. 1986. Salt-induced damage to rice plants and alleviation effect of silicate. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 32, 259-304.
44. Moussa HR. 2006. Influence of exogenous application of silicon on physiological response of salt-stressed maize (Zea mays L.). International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 8, 293-297
45. Muneer S, Jeong BR. 2015. Proteomic analysis of salt-stress responsive proteins in roots of
Benefits of Silicon Nutrition on Growth, Physiological and Phytochemical … 49
tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants towards silicon efficiency. Plant Growth Regulation 77, 133-146.
46. Munns R, Tester M. 2008. Mechanisms of salinity tolerance. Annual Review of Plant Biology 59, 651-681.
47. Nag S, Saha K, Choudhuri A. 2000. A rapid and sensitive assay method for measuring amine oxidase based on hydrogen peroxide-titanium complex formation. Plant Science 157, 157-163.
48. Narwal SS, Bogatek R, Zagdanska BM, Sampietro DA, Vattuone MA. 2009. Plant Biochemistry. Stadium Press LLC, Texas.
49. Onoferi V, Teliban GC, Clinciu-Radu RA, Teliban IV, Robu T. 2015. Ocimum basilicum L.: Presence, influence and evolution in human concerns ever. Agronomy Series of Scientific Research/Lucrari Stiintifice Seria Agronomie. 1, 58(1).
50. Özcan M, Chachat JC. 2002. Essential oil composition of Ocimum basilicum L. and Ocimum minimum L. in Turkey. Czech Journal of Food Sciences 20, 223-228.
51. Qiu L, Wu D, Ali S, Cai S, Dai F, Jin X, Wu F, Zhang GP. 2011. Evaluation of salinity tolerance and analysis of allelic function of HvHKT1 and HvHKT2 in Tibetan wild barley. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 122, 695-703.
52. Rizwan M, Ali S, Ibrahim M, Farid M, Adrees M, Bharwana SA, Abbas F. 2015. Mechanisms of silicon-mediated alleviation of drought and salt stress in plants: a review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22, 15416-15431.
53. Romero-Aranda MR, Jurado O, Cuartero J. 2006. Silicon alleviates the deleterious salt effect on tomato plant growth by improving plant water status. Journal of Plant Physiology 163, 847-855.
54. Sairam RK, Veerabhadra RK, Srivastava GC. 2002. Differential response of wheat genotypes to long term salinity stress in relation to oxidative stress, antioxidant activity and osmolyte concentration. Plant Science 163, 1037-1046.
55. Sajjadi SE. 2006. Analysis of the Essential Oils of Two Cultivated Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) from Iran. DARU 14, 128-130.
56. Saqib M, Zörb C, Schubert S. 2008. Silicon-mediated improvement in the salt resistance of wheat (Triticum aestivum) results from
increased sodium exclusion and resistance to oxidative stress. Functional Plant Biology 35, 633-639.
57. Shahid MA, Balal RM, Pervez MA, Abbas T, Aqueel MA, Javaid MM, Garcia-Sanchez F. 2015. Foliar spray of phyto-extracts supplemented with silicon: an efficacious strategy to alleviate the salinity-induced deleterious effects in pea (Pisum sativum L.). Turkish Journal of Botany 39, 408-419.
58. Shahzad M, Zörb C, Geilfus CM, Mühling KH. 2013. Apoplastic Na+ in Vicia faba leaves rises after short-term salt stress and is remedied by silicon. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 199, 161-170.
59. Shi Y, Wang YC, Flowers TJ, Gong HJ. 2013. Silicon decreases chloride transport in rice (Oryza sativa L.) in saline conditions. Journal of Plant Physiology 170, 847–853.
60. Shi Y, Zhang Y, Han W, Feng R, Hu Y, Guo J, Gong H. 2016. Silicon enhances water stress tolerance by improving root hydraulic conductance in Solanum lycopersicum L. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 7, 196.
61. Singh RK, Flowers TJ. 2016. Physiology and Molecular Biology of the Effects of Salinity on Rice. In Handbook of Plant and Crop Stress (pp. 899-939). CRC Press.
62. Sommer M, Kaczorek D, KuzyakovY, Breuer J. 2006. Silicon pools and fluxes in soils and landscapes- a review. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 169, 310-329.
63. Sonobe K, Hattori T, An P, Tsuji W, Eneji AE, Kobayashi S, ..., Inanaga S. 2010. Effect of silicon application on sorghum root responses to water stress. Journal of Plant Nutrition 34, 71-82.
64. Soylemezoglu G, Demir K, Inal A, Gunes A. 2009. Effect of silicon on antioxidant and stomatal response of two grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) rootstocks grown in boron toxic, saline and boron toxic-saline soil. Scientia Horticulture 123, 240-246.
65. Tavakkoli E, Rengasamy P, McDonald GK. 2010. The response of barley to salinity stress differs between hydroponic and soil systems. Functional Plant Biology 37, 621-633.
66. Tuna AL, Kaya C, Higgs D, Murillo-Amador B, Aydemir S, Girgin AR. 2008. Silicon improves salinity tolerance in wheat plants. Environmental and Experimental of Botany 62, 10-16.
67. Vaidyanathan H, Sivakumar P, Chakrabarty R, Thomas G. 2003. Scavenging of reactive
50 Int. J. Hort. Sci. Technol; Vol. 7, No. 1; March 2020
oxygen species in NaCl-stressed rice (Oryza sativa L.) differential response in salt-tolerant and sensitive varieties. Plant Science 165, 1411-1418.
68. Vinson JA, Hao Y, Su X, Zubik L. 1998. Phenol antioxidant quantity and quality in foods: vegetables. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 46, 3630-3634.
69. Wang XS, Han JG. 2007. Effects of NaCl and silicon on ion distribution in the roots, shoots and leaves of two alfalfa cultivars with different salt tolerance. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 53, 278-285.
70. Yeo AR, Flowers SA, Rao G, Welfare K, Senanayake N, Flowers TJ. 1999. Silicon reduces sodium uptake in rice (Oryza sativa L.) in saline conditions and this is accounted for by
a reduction in the transpirational bypass flow. Plant Cell Environment 22, 565 :559.
71. Yin L, Wang S, Liu P, Wang W, Cao D, Deng X, Zhang S. 2014. Silicon-mediated changes in polyamine and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid are involved in silicon-induced drought resistance in Sorghum bicolor L. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 80, 268-277.
72. Yuan YV, Bone DE, Carrington MF. 2005. Antioxidant activity of dulse (Palmaria palmata) extract evaluated in vitro. Food Chemistry 91, 485-494.
73. Zhu ZJ, Wei GQ, Li J, Qian QQ, Yu JP. 2004. Silicon alleviates salt stress and increases antioxidant enzymes activity in leaves of salt-stressed cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Plant Science 167, 527-533.