Physiological Responses of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) Under Irrigation With Saline Water and Biostimulant Treatment

  •  Leonardo Vieira de Sousa    
  •  Rayanne Maria Paula Ribeiro    
  •  Manoel Galdino dos Santos    
  •  Fernando Sarmento de Oliveira    
  •  Hugo Ferreira    
  •  Francisco Rafael Rodrigues Gerônimo    
  •  Antônio Genilson Rodrigues Araújo    
  •  Toshik Iarley da Silva    
  •  Aurélio Paes Barros Júnior    


Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is one of the world’s main crops, and it is a fundamental source of protein for semiarid regions population. In these regions, the use of high salts concentration water in irrigation systems is one of the major factors that contributes to reduced cowpea yield. One way to alleviate the negative effects of salinity is through the biostimulants application, which is a product that has beneficial substances to the plants metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the application of biostimulant in cowpea cultivars under irrigation with saline water. The study was carried out in the Agrarian Sciences Center, of the Department of Agronomic and Forest Sciences of the Federal Rural University of the Semi-Arid, in the city of Mossoró, RN. The experimental design was completely randomized, with four replications. The treatments were arranged in 5 × 2 × 2 factorial scheme, with five doses of biostimulant (0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 mL L-1), two electrical conductivities of the irrigation water (0.5 and 5.0 dS m-1), and two cowpea cultivars (IPA-206 and BRS Guariba). The evaluated characteristics were: chlorophyll content index, stomatal conductance, net photosynthesis, internal CO2 concentration, transpiration rate, shoot height, stem diameter and shoot dry mass. The biostimulant application was not efficient in attenuating the salinity stress effect on the development of cowpea cultivars. The higher biostimulant concentrations along with the use of saline water increased the negative effects of salinity on the cowpea plants physiology. There was no difference between the cultivars regarding the tolerance to saline stress and the application of biostimulant.

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