Salinity is the most damaging factor towards crop production. Observing the possible role of thiourea in salinity tolerance, experiments were carried out using optimized thiourea level (400 µM) at which two maize hybrids may show improved growth and physiological attributes in autumn and spring seasons. Salt stress caused a substantial suppression of growth and damaging effects were observed as reduction in shoot and root length, fresh and dry weights, leaf area and increased accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA) and of some key osmolytes like proline, glycinebetain (GB), soluble sugars, total free amino acids (TFAA), proteins and anthocyanins in both maize hybrids. Medium supplemented thiourea was found to be very effective in improving growth attributes like shoot and root length, fresh and dry weights, improved leaf area, controlled H2O2, MDA and enhanced accumulation of osmolytes like proline, glycinebetain (GB), soluble sugars, total free amino acids (TFAA), soluble proteins and anthocyanins under control and saline conditions. Salinity tolerance produced by TU was superior in the spring than in autumn grown maize. From the changes in the growth and physiological attributes of maize, it is concluded that thiourea application owes a great potential to alleviate the deteriorating effects of salt stress on maize, and is recommended for improving growth in marginally to moderately saline soils.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN