The influence of silica upon quantitative, qualitative, and biochemical traits of tomato under water stress

Zeinab Barzegar

Department of Horticultural Science, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

Mahmood Ghasemnezhad

Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

Jamalali Olfati

Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

Mohammad Reza Khaledian

1) Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht 41635-3756, Iran; 2) Department of Water Engineering and Environment, Caspian Sea Basin Research Center, Iran

Ahmad Khalighi

Department of Horticultural Science, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran


Water stress is by far the most serious limiting factor to tomato (Solanum lycopersicom) production, particularly in Iran where located in arid and semi-arid regions. Silicon (Si) is considered an effective element to mitigate the adverse effects of water stress by promoting plant growth and production. Therefore, the present study was designed to evaluate the effects of the foliar application of Si (0, 100, and 200 mg L–1) and three water regimes – no stress (100), mild stress (80%), and severe stress (60%) – on the growth parameters, the yield, and the fruit quality as well as antioxidant status of the tomato. The imposed water stress significantly increased the total soluble solids (TSS), the total acidity (TA), and the flavonoids as well as antioxidant defense parameters such as catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POX), while the growth parameters (plant height and leaf number) and tomato yield were decreased. In contrast, the foliar application of Si (200 mg L–1) remarkably improved the total yield of tomatoes when exposed to water stress by improving the antioxidant enzyme activities and total flavonoid compounds. In addition, the application of Si could significantly improve the growth parameters (plant height and leaf number) and fruit quality (fruit firmness and size). As a result, the foliar application of Si could be suggested as an effective strategy for imparting water stress resistance in the tomato.


water stress, silicon, tomato yield, growth parameters, antioxidant parameters

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Zeinab Barzegar 
Department of Horticultural Science, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran
Mahmood Ghasemnezhad 
Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
Jamalali Olfati 
Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
Mohammad Reza Khaledian 
1) Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Guilan, Rasht 41635-3756, Iran; 2) Department of Water Engineering and Environment, Caspian Sea Basin Research Center, Iran
Ahmad Khalighi 
Department of Horticultural Science, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran



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