Mitigating the Harmful Effect of Salinity on Maize Plants Using Fish Waste-Derived Biochar

Heba Sallam *

Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt.

Mervat Abdel Nasser

Students of Professional Diploma in Plant Clinic and Phytosanitary Tecnologies, Egypt.

Hager Mohamed

Students of Professional Diploma in Plant Clinic and Phytosanitary Tecnologies, Egypt.

Marwa Bahy

Students of Professional Diploma in Plant Clinic and Phytosanitary Tecnologies, Egypt.

Hager Khalil

Students of Professional Diploma in Plant Clinic and Phytosanitary Tecnologies, Egypt.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aim: This study was conducted to determine if applying biochar made from fish waste to the soil can alleviate the adverse impacts of salinity stress on maize (Zea mays L.) seedling growth.

Materials and Methods: Maize plants were cultivated in two groups of pots; the first group had the soil without any additions, and the second group had the soil mixed with biochar (1% w/w). Each group was irrigated with saline water (0, 50 and 150 mM NaCl).

Results: According to the findings, Zea mays exposed to salt stress showed a significant decrease in growth traits such as shoot and root length, fresh weight, and dry weight of shoot and root, compared to untreated control. The addition of biochar significantly enhanced these attributes. As salinity levels increased, the value of photosynthetic pigments gradually declined. Applying biochar to the soil significantly increased the amounts of Chl a, Chl b, and carotenoid. Salt-stressed seedlings treated with biochar have lower levels of soluble sugars, soluble proteins, and total free amino acids at 150 mM NaCl + FWB of the shoot. The findings demonstrate that applying biochar to salt-stressed seedlings caused their proline content to increase noticeably at the highest salinity level (150 mM NaCl). The contents of Na+ and Cl- were positively affected by increasing salt stress. Increasing salt stress had a deleterious impact on K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ levels. On the other hand, applying FWB raised the content of K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ while decreasing the amounts of Na+ and Cl-.

Conclusion: Biochar made from fish waste has the potential to reduce salinity stress significantly.

Keywords: Saline water, biochar, photosynthesis, plant growth, maize seedlings

How to Cite

Sallam , H., Nasser , M. A., Mohamed , H., Bahy , M., & Khalil , H. (2023). Mitigating the Harmful Effect of Salinity on Maize Plants Using Fish Waste-Derived Biochar. Asian Journal of Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, 15(3), 20–31.


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