Assessment of Selenium Role in Promoting or Inhibiting Potato Plants under Water Stress

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Two field experiments were conducted during two seasons of 2014 and 2015 to study the effect of foliar application of selenium (Se) as Na2SeO4 at 0, 10 and 100 µM on potato plants grown under two different levels of irrigation (50 and 100% of irrigation requirements (IR)). Obtained results showed that there were dual effects of foliar applied Se on potato plants according to its concentration. The lower concentration (10 µM) revealed multiple positive effects; whereas, the high concentration (100 µM) showed adverse influences without observing any toxic features. Applied Se at 10 µM achieved significant (P ≤0.05) increases in the plant growth under well-watered condition; whereas, these increments were found to be mostly insignificant under water stress compared to the untreated plants. The biochemical constituents revealed that total chlorophyll was affected significantly by the treatment of Se at 10 µM under both levels of irrigation; but this response was only obvious in carotenoids under well irrigation level in the first season. Both proline and soluble sugars showed significant increases by the same treatment compared to the control plants under water deficit in both seasons. Moreover, modifying the accumulation rate of H2O2 in leaf tissues and altering the activity of antioxidant enzymes including catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) had been observed. Additionally, morphological studies of the stomatal parameters by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were also examined. Finally, Tuber yield was increased significantly by the treatment of Se at 10 µM compared to the untreated plants under well irrigation conditions in both seasons and under drought stress in the second one. The parameters of quality including the average weight of individual tuber, starch and specific gravity were also investigated. Water use efficiency (WUE) for yield (kg.m-3 ) showed significant increases under water stress conditions

M.F.M. Ibrahim
Huda A. Ibrahim
Journal of Horticultural Science & Ornamental Plants