Application of silica solubilizing bacteria increases water efficiency in maize

Indah Puspita SARI, Yulin LESTARI, HAMIM HAMIM, Laksmita Prima SANTI



Global climate change will result in decreased rainfall and increased evaporation. Thus, it is estimated that the frequency and severity of drought stress will get worse. Silica increases plant drought resistance by improving water use efficiency in plants. Despite its abundant availability in soil, most silica sources are not available to plants due to their low solubility. Silica solubilizing bacteria (SSB) have an important role in increasing the available silica. This study aims to observe the silica solubilizing activity of three SSB isolates collections of PPBBI on insoluble silica sources, including magnesium trisilicate, quartz, and feldspar, and see their effects on increasing water use efficiency in corn plants via drought experiments. SSB activity was measured using the modified standard method of 4500-SiO2 D Heteropoly blue. Drought control in the greenhouse follows the Snow and Tingey system. The experimental design used a completely randomized design factorial with irrigation conditions and SSB species as variables. Water use efficiency is measured in real-time with a sap flow meter. The results showed that SSB Pseudomonas fluorescens-B41 had the highest silica dissolving activity 81.93 ppm on Mg-trisilicate. The application of SSB can reduce maize transpiration rate and increase water use efficiency up to 84% under moderate drought stress and 46% under normal irrigation, but in severe drought stress, where the nutrient solution was maintained at 25 cm from plant root, water use efficiency was not significant. This is suspected due to the extreme drought conditions in the potting soil so that the applied SSB cannot maintain its activities.

[Keywords: aquaporin, drought stress, Snow and Tingey system, SSB, quartz]


Perubahan iklim global mengakibatkan penurunan curah hujan dan peningkatan evaporasi, sehingga diperkirakan frekuensi dan tingkat keparahan cekaman kekeringan akan semakin tinggi. Silika (Si) diketahui dapat meningkatkan ketahanan tanaman terhadap kekeringan dengan cara memperbaiki efisiensi penggunaan air pada tanaman. Meskipun ketersediaanya berlimpah di tanah, sebagian besar Si dalam bentuk yang tidak tersedia bagi tanaman, karena sifat kelarutannya yang rendah. Untuk meningkatkan silika tersedia bagi tanaman, bakteri pelarut silika (BPS) memiliki peranan yang penting. Penelitian ini bertujuan menguji aktivitas pelarutan silika dari tiga koleksi isolat BPS Pusat Penelitian Bioteknologi dan Bioindustri Indonesia (PPBBI) pada sumber silika tidak larut berupa magnesium trisilikat, kuarsa, dan feldspar, serta melihat pengaruh aplikasi BPS terhadap efisiensi penggunaan air pada tanaman jagung yang diberi perlakuan cekaman kekeringan. Aktivitas pelarutan silika diukur menggunakan modifikasi metode standar 4500-SiO2 D Heteropoly blue. Pengendalian kekeringan di rumah kaca mengadaptasi sistem Snow dan Tingey. Rancangan percobaan menggunakan rancangan acak lengkap faktorial dengan kondisi kekeringan dan jenis bakteri BPS sebagai peubah bebas. Efisiensi penggunaan air diukur secara real time dengan sap flow meter. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa BPS dengan kode Pseudomonas fluorescens-B.41 memiliki aktivitas pelarutan silika tertinggi pada susbtrat Mg-trisilika yaitu 81,93 ppm. Aplikasi BPS menurunkan laju transpirasi jagung dan meningkatkan efisiensi penggunaan air hingga 84% pada cekaman kekeringan sedang dan 46% pada irigasi normal, namun pada cekaman kekeringan parah, dimana larutan hara dipertahankan pada jarak 25 cm dari sistem perakaran efisiensi penggunaan air tidak signifikan. Diduga hal ini disebabkan kondisi kekeringan pada media tanam terlalu ekstrim sehingga BPS yang diaplikasi tidak dapat mempertahankan aktivitasnya.

[Kata kunci: aquaporin, cekaman kekeringan, sistem Snow dan Tingey, BPS, kuarsa]


: aquaporin, drought stress, Snow and Tingey system, SSB, quartz

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