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Effects of Salinity and Drought Levels in Seed Germination of Five Crop Species

Authors: Ahmad Gholami, Saeed Sharafi, Hamid Abbasdokht


The heterotrophic seedling growth can be defined as a product of two components: (1) the weight of mobilized seed reserve, and (2) conversion efficiency of utilized seed reserve to seedling tissue. The first component can be further divided into (1) initial seed weight, and (2) the fraction of seed reserve, which is mobilized. The objective of this study was the identification of the sensitive seedling growth component(s) in response to drought and salinity stresses. Two experiments were separately conducted using various salinity levels (osmotic pressure) of 0, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1, 1.25 and 1.5 MPa created using NaCl as first experiment and by polyethylene glycol (drought stress) of 0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.2 and 1.4 MPa in second experiment. Seeds of five crops species (Hordeum vulgare, Brassica napus, Zea mays, Medicago sativa and Medicago scutellata) were used in each experiment. In both experiments, seedling growth, fraction of seed reserve utilization and weight of mobilized seed reserve decreased with increasing drought and salt intensity. However, drought and salinity stresses had no effect on the conversion efficiency. It was concluded that the sensitive component of seedling growth is the weight of mobilized seed reserve.

Keywords: Salinity, Drought, Seed reserve, Seedling, Cropsspecies

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