AS  Vol.4 No.12 , December 2013
The role of seed priming in improving seedling growth of maize (Zea mays L.) under salt stress at field conditions
Abstract: Salinity is considered as a major abiotic stress affecting germination, seedling growth and crop production in arid and semi-arid regions. Many techniques are used to improve tolerance to salinity. Priming is believed to be an effective solution that increases germination, plant growth and improve yield of several vegetables and crops under saline soil condition. The objective of this study was to see the effect of seed priming with 5 g/L NaCl on maize seedling growth exposed to five salinity levels under field conditions. Maize seeds were soaked in 5 g/L NaCl solution for 12 h at room temperature. Primed and unprimed seeds were sown in pots and were irrigated with saline solutions of five concentrations (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/l NaCl). Each pot was irrigated with 200 ml saline solution of the desired treatment in two days interval. Priming seeds with NaCl significantly (P < 0.05) improved growth of maize plants. As a result, fresh and dry weights of shoots and roots were improved. Seed priming alleviated the inhibitory effect of salt stress on seedling growth of maize under salt stress. Thus, seed priming with 5 g/l NaCl could be used to improve early growth of Zea mays. Further, this study needs to be continued if performance of mature maize plants could also be improved and yield could be increased by sowing primed seeds in saline soils.
Cite this paper: Abraha, B. and Yohannes, G. (2013) The role of seed priming in improving seedling growth of maize (Zea mays L.) under salt stress at field conditions. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 666-672. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.412089.

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