Abstract

ABSTRACT Globally, the demand for food and consumer products has accompanied population growth, forcing the agriculture and livestock sector to optimize the production systems. In the specific case of agriculture, using improved edible and energetic plant cultivars associated with abiotic stress-reducing substances is a strategy adopted to solve this problem. This investigation aimed to evaluate whether silicon (Si) promotes physiological adjustments, an increase in production, higher yield, and improved quality of naturally colored cotton fibers. Five doses of silicon (0 (control), 5, 10, 15, and 20 kg ha−1) were tested in a completely randomized design. The variables assessed were physiological adjustments, production, yield and quality of fibers produced by BRS Rubi cultivar. Data were submitted to principal component analysis, multivariate and univariate analyses of variance, and multiple linear regression analysis. Silicon promotes physiological adjustments, enhanced production, yield, and quality of naturally colored cotton fibers of BRS Rubi cultivar grown in the Brazilian semiarid region. Fiber quality in plants that have been treated with Si is within the expected values for this cultivar and by the international standard D-4605 of the American Society for Testing and Materials. 10 kg ha−1 of Si is recommended to increase fiber quality of naturally colored cotton cv. BRS Rubi.

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