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Article

The Use of Red Shade Nets Improves Growth in Salinized Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Plants by Regulating Their Ion Homeostasis and Hormone Balance

1
Department of Plant Production and Agrotechnology, Institute for Agri-Food Research and Technology of Murcia (IMIDA), C/Mayor s/n, E-30150 Murcia, Spain
2
Department of Plant Nutrition, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC), Campus Universitario de Espinardo, E-30100 Murcia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(11), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111766
Received: 15 October 2020 / Revised: 3 November 2020 / Accepted: 9 November 2020 / Published: 12 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hormone Signaling and Regulation in Cultivated Plants)
The actual climate crisis scenario is aggravating the abiotic stress episodes that crop plants have to face. Salinity is one of the most important abiotic stresses directly impairing plant growth and productivity. Several strategies have been developed to minimize the negative effects of salinity in agricultural industry, mainly at the plant level, while management strategies, such us the control of microclimate conditions and light quality over plant canopy, have also been used. Indeed, shading plants with photoselective nets has been considered an efficient management strategy to modulate solar radiation to improve crop productivity. The aim of this work was to gain insights about the physiological factors underlying the salinity-alleviating effect of using red shading nets. For that, pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) were grown under control (0 mM NaCl) and moderate salinity (35 mM NaCl) conditions, with half of the plants covered with a red net (30% shading). The shoot growth impairment provoked by salinity was in part minimized by shading plants with red nets, which can be explained by their higher capacity to exclude Na+, control of K+ homeostasis and regulation of hormonal balance. Indeed, the concentrations of the most active cytokinin in pepper, trans-zeatin, as well as its metabolic precursor, zeatin riboside, increased in shaded plants, associated to shoot growth recovery and photosynthetic rate maintenance under salinity. Furthermore, the stress-related hormone abscisic acid (ABA) increased with salinity but in a lower extend in the plants shaded with red nets, suggesting a fine tune of stomata opening by ABA which, in crosstalk with salicylic acid increment, improved plant water relations. Likewise, the concentrations of gibberellins and the ethylene precursor, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid, also changed during salinity stress in shaded plants but those changes were uncoupled of growth responses as indicated by the principal component analysis and thus they seem to play a minor role. Our data demonstrate that shading pepper plants with red nets is an efficient management strategy to modulate microclimate conditions at crop level thus controlling the ion homeostasis and hormonal balance of the plant to cope with salinity stress. This is especially important due to the actual and expected changes of the global climatic conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: pepper; red net; salinity; ion homeostasis; potassium; plant hormones; cytokinins; abscisic acid pepper; red net; salinity; ion homeostasis; potassium; plant hormones; cytokinins; abscisic acid
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gálvez, A.; Albacete, A.; del Amor, F.M.; López-Marín, J. The Use of Red Shade Nets Improves Growth in Salinized Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Plants by Regulating Their Ion Homeostasis and Hormone Balance. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1766. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111766

AMA Style

Gálvez A, Albacete A, del Amor FM, López-Marín J. The Use of Red Shade Nets Improves Growth in Salinized Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Plants by Regulating Their Ion Homeostasis and Hormone Balance. Agronomy. 2020; 10(11):1766. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111766

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gálvez, Amparo, Alfonso Albacete, Francisco M. del Amor, and Josefa López-Marín. 2020. "The Use of Red Shade Nets Improves Growth in Salinized Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Plants by Regulating Their Ion Homeostasis and Hormone Balance" Agronomy 10, no. 11: 1766. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111766

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