EFFECTS OF SEED PRIMING WITH SALICYLIC ACID ON ZEA MAYS SEEDLINGS GROWN UNDER SALT STRESS CONDITIONS
Keywords:Zea mays, salt stress, seed priming, seedling biomass, exhaustive crop
Maize crop is cultivated as the 3rd most important cereal crop after wheat and rice in Pakistan. As an exhaustive crop maize required all essential nutrients at all crop growth stages. Among essential nutrients nitrogen involved with the greenish colors of the vegetative parts, leaves production, branching and end up with drier biomass. Hydro-priming and osmo-priming are the commonly used priming techniques. In both techniques the seeds were soaked in treatments for overnight followed by air drying before sowing. To overcome several a-biotic stresses of field crops seed priming techniques have been used globally. The current study was planned to evaluate effect of different salt treatments on the growth traits of maize. Two maize verities Raka-Poshi and Pak-Afgoi were evaluated for the effect of salts stress on maize. Three salts ZnSO4, MgSO4 and NaCl were used @0.5 M and 0.25M solutions. Treatments used in the experiment were ZnSO4 (0.5M), ZnSO4 (0.25M), MgSO4 (0.5M), MgSO4 (0.25M), NaCl (0.5M), NaCl (0.25M), ZnSO4 (0.5M) + MgSO4 (0.5M), ZnSO4 (0.25M) + MgSO4 (0.5M), ZnSO4 (0.5M) + MgSO4 (0.25M), ZnSO4 (0.25M) + MgSO4 (0.25M), ZnSO4 (0.5M) + NaCl (0.5M), ZnSO4 0.25M + NaCl (0.5M), ZnSO4 (0.5M) + NaCl (0.25M), ZnSO4 (0.25M) + NaCl (0.25M), ZnSO4 (0.5M) + MgSO4 (0.5M) + NaCl (0.5M), ZnSO4 (0.25M) + MgSO4 (0.25M) + NaCl (0.25M). Maximum growth was observed in the plants that were primed with ZnSO4 used alone @ 0.5M and 0.25M or in combination with MgSO4. However, NaCl retard the growth of plant used alone or in combination with other salts. Seed priming by 30 mg/l salicylic acid solution not only found vital to enhance the uniform seed germination and rate of seed germination but also are environment friendly, simple, low cost low risk techniques and easily adoptable
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