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Role Of Mineral Nutrition In Alleviation Of Heat Stress In Cotton Plants Grown In Glasshouse And Field Conditions

Muhammad Sarwar, Muhammad Farrukh Saleem, Najeeb Ullah, Shafaqat Ali, Muhammad Rizwan, Muhammad Rizwan Shahid, Mohammed Nasser Alyemeni, Saud A. Alamri, Parvaiz Ahmad

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Abstract Coincidence of high temperature with terminal reproductive pheno-stages of cotton is chief constraint to achieve yield potential. This high temperature interfere plant defensive system, physiological process, water relations and lint yield production. In this study, we modulated the detrimental outcomes of heat stress on cotton through the foliar spray of nutrients. Cotton crop was exposed to sub-optimal and supra-optimal thermal regimes for a period of one week at squaring, flowering and boll formation stages under glass house and field conditions. Foliar spray of potassium (K-1.5%), zinc (Zn-0.2%) and boron (B-0.1%) were applied at three reproductive stages one day prior to expose high temperature regimes. High temperature increased lipid membrane damage through increased malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in cotton leaves. High temperature stress also reduced leaf chlorophyll contents, net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, water potential, averaged boll weight (g) and seed cotton yield per plant. Various nutrients variably influenced growth and physiology of heat-stressed cotton plants. Zinc outclassed all other nutrients in increasing leaf SOD, CAT, POX, AsA, TPC activity, chlorophyll contents, net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, water potential, boll weight and seed cotton yield per plant. For example, zinc improved seed cotton yield under supra-optimal thermal regime by 17% and under sub-optimal thermal regime by 12% of glasshouse study while 19% under high temperature sowing dates of field study than the water treated plants under the same temperatures. Conclusively, increasing intensities of temperature adversely affected the recorded responses of cotton and exogenous application of Zn efficaciously alleviated heat induced perturbations. Moreover, exogenous nutrients mediated upregulations in physiochemical attributes induced heat tolerance at morphological level.