Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) plants were grown with saline–sodic water (SSW) by treating with potassium (K @ 100 and 200 mg K2O kg−1 soil) and farm yard manure (FYM @ 5 and 10% of soil, w/w). Irrigation with untreated SSW caused soil salinization/sodification, leading to an increase in electrical conductivity (EC) of 165% and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) 100% with the subsequent increase of 736% in shoot Na+, a decrease of 52% in shoot K+ and 94% in shoot K+:Na+ratio compared to canal water. SSW also decreased physiological activities: 31% relative water content (RWC), 34% membrane stability index (MSI), 51% protein, 33% chlorophyll and 58% photosynthetic rate compared to canal water. Integrated application of K and FYM, at higher level, decreased soil EC by 54% and SAR 43%, and shoot Na+ 57% with a corresponding improvement in soil organic matter 166%, shoot K+ 360%, shoot K+:Na+ratio 987%, RWC 34%, MSI 37%, protein 60%, photosynthetic rate 102%, superoxide dismutase 92%, peroxidase 78% and catalase 52% compared to SSW without K and/or FYM. In conclusion, exogenous application of K and FYM could be a promising approach to use brackish water in agriculture on a sustainable basis.
- brackish water
- physiological activities
- First received 12 March 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 30 August 2016.
- © 2017 The Authors
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