The study was carried out to evaluate the effects of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) on vegetative growth of maize under saline conditions at Rafsanjan, Iran in 2009. A factorial experiment based on a completely randomized design with three replicates was used. Treatments consisted four salinity levels (0, 4, 8 and 12 dS/m) and three salicylic acid concentrations (0, 100 and 200 ppm). Traits such as shoot dry weight, stem length, number of leaves, leaf area and chlorophyll were measured. Results of analysis of variance showed that salinity levels and SA concentrations affected shoot dry weight, stem length, number of leaves, leaf area and chlorophyll content significantly (P<0.01). By increasing salinity to 12 dS/m, the earlier mentioned traits decreased to 79.96, 61.2, 25.6, 73.31 and 20.42% respectively. Mean comparisons indicated that plant vegetative growth traits were improved by increasing SA concentration up to 200 ppm. As a result, these traits increased by 84.64, 44.65, 28.20, 74.94 and 38.66% respectively. Salinity and SA interaction had no significant effect on shoot dry weight, stem length, number of leaves, leaf area and chlorophyll of plants.
Key words: Corn, salicylic acid, salinity, vegetative growth.
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