The impact of different Zinc (Zn) levels on growth and nutrient uptake of Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) grown under salinity stress

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PLOS ONE, vol.16, no.2, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246493
  • Journal Name: PLOS ONE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Psycinfo, zbMATH, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Salinity is among the most important abiotic stresses, which negatively affect growth, nutrient uptake and yield of crop plants. Application of different micronutrients, particularly zinc (Zn) have the potential to ameliorate the negative impacts of salinity stress. However, the role of Zn in improving salinity tolerance of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is poorly understood. This study evaluated the impact of different Zn levels (0, 5 and 10 mg kg(-1)) on growth and nutrient acquisition traits of basil under different salinity levels (0, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5% NaCl). Data relating to biomass production, chlorophyll index, sodium (Na), potassium (K) uptake, K/Na ratio, Zn, copper (Cu), manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) uptake were recorded. Increasing salinity level reduced biomass production, chlorophyll index and nutrient uptake traits (except for Na and Fe accumulation) of basil. Zinc application (10 mg kg(-1)) improved biomass production, chlorophyll index and nutrient acquisition traits under normal as well as saline conditions. The reduction in chlorophyll index and biomass production was higher under 0 and 5 mg kg(-1) than 10 mg kg(-1) Zn application. The K concentration decreased under increasing salinity; however, Zn application improved K uptake under normal as well as saline conditions. Different growth and nutrient acquisition traits had negative correlations with Na accumulation; however, no positive correlation was recorded among growth and nutrient uptake traits. The results revealed that Zn application could improve the salinity tolerance of basil. However, actual biochemical and genetic mechanisms involved in Zn-induced salinity tolerance warrant further investigation.