Biostimulants: A Sustainable Solution to Combat Soil Salinity in Modern Agriculture
ID: 613 / 297
Proposed Symposium Title: Biostimulants: A Sustainable Solution to Combat Soil Salinity in Modern Agriculture
Affiliations: Department of Agronomy, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh
Soil salinity poses a significant threat to global agriculture. This issue adversely affects various aspects of plant biology: from ion toxicity and membrane irregularities to the growth and expansion of cells and the development of plant shoot and root systems. As we navigate the 21st century, devising strategies to enhance plant salt tolerance becomes paramount for crop improvement. In our tech-driven world, the maxim "work smarter, not harder" has never been more relevant. The advent of sustainable agriculture has spotlighted bio-stimulants. These agents, when applied to crops or seeds, induce alterations in physiological and structural processes. The result is optimized plant growth achieved through reduced reliance on synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. The benefits are manifold: heightened stress tolerance, increased nutrient uptake efficiency, and better yields of superior quality. Biostimulants encompass a variety of substances and microorganisms known to foster plant growth, improve nutrient availability, and bolster salt stress resilience in crop plants. Primarily, they are exogenous compounds or beneficial microorganisms introduced to plants or their root zones (rhizosphere) to promote nutrient absorption, plant development, crop quality, and salt tolerance. Recent years have seen a rise in the use of biostimulants such as humic and fulvic acids, seaweed extracts, and beneficial fungi and bacteria. These biostimulants not only promote plant growth and development but also bolster resistance to salt stress. The aim is to enhance crop yield and quality without augmenting inputs. While species-specific breeding programs offer potential solutions, they can be time-consuming. Furthermore, a cultivar emerging from such a program may not inherently possess salt tolerance and might only be resilient against a limited number of specific abiotic stressors. Given these challenges, biostimulants present a compelling alternative. They have the potential to boost plant growth, enhance nutrient absorption, amplify salt stress resilience, and elevate both crop quality and yield.