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Cross-tolerance is associated with temperature and salinity stress during germination of barley seeds

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Effects of temperature and salinity on germination of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. 'Pijiu') seed, and cross tolerance between temperature and salinity during seed germination were studied. The optimum temperatures for germination were 5∼20°C, and for germination rate were 15-20°C, and for seedling growth were 25°C. Germination of seeds at 35 and 40°C was 5% and 0%, respectively. Concentrations of NaCl>100 mM inhibited seed germination and seedling growth, and the sensitivity of shoot growth to salinity stress was greater than that of the radicle. Compared to germination at 35°C, that of seeds pre-treated at 0°C for 3 days increased by 95%, and dry weight of radicle and shoot increased by 38 and 61%, respectively. After pre-treatment at 5 or 30°C, the seeds were transferrd to 35°C to germinate continuously. Germination and seedling growth of seeds pre-treated at 5 and 30°C for different time also increased when they were at 35°C, but these increases of seeds pre-treated at 0 or 5°C were much greater than those of seeds pre-treated at 30°C.

Barley seeds pre-treated at 0°C for 3 days had increased tolerance to 200 and 400 mM NaCl stress, and those pre-treated with 100-400 mM NaCl for 12 or 24 h had markedly increased tolerance to high-temperature (35°C). These results provide a new concept for seed germination under stress environments. Pre-treatment at low temperature to increase tolerance to subsequent high temperature stress during germination will become an excellent model system for the study of cross tolerance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 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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