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Priming enhances germination of spring maize (Zea mays L.) under cool conditions

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Reduction and delay in the germination of spring maize (Zea mays L.) may be a problem due to low soil temperatures and low water potentials. However, seed priming is used to improve rate and speed of germination, and expand temperature limits for germination under normal and stressful conditions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the physiological and biochemical basis of primed maize seeds under low temperature conditions. Maize seeds were subjected to hydropriming, hormonal priming with 100 mg L-1 GA3 or IAA solutions and halopriming with 50 mM CaCl2 or 50 mg L-1 ascorbate (ASA) for 24 h. All pre-sowing seeds treatments resulted in a higher germination percentage and germination index, lower mean germination time and mean emergence time. All seed treatments resulted in higher seedling fresh and dry weight compared with that of control with maximum dry weight recorded for seeds subjected to ASA, CaCl2 and GA3. Performance was better in seeds subjected to CaCl2 or ASA followed by GA3 for 24 h than for the other priming agents. This could be ascribed to the effect of lower T50, higher reducing and total sugars as well as higher α-amylase activity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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