Seed priming is a simple pre-germination strategy to improve seed performance and alleviate the negative effects associated with stress exposure. Seed priming technique was used in capsicum (Capsicum annuum L. cv. California Wonder) to improve seed germination and tolerance on subsequent stress exposure. Capsicum seeds were treated with various priming agents for 24 h with moderate shaking. The effect of priming was assessed on germination and survival on subsequent exposure to salt (NaCl, 200 mM) or cold (4°C) stress for 10 days. Seed priming treatments significantly (p≤0.05) affected rate as well as the germination percentage under control, non-stressed condition. Seed priming with normal water (NW), warm water (40°C; WW) or NaCl (50 mM; NA) significantly (p≤0.05) increased the germination percentage by 7 to 17% as compared to the control. On cold exposure, the highest rate of seed germination and opening of cotyledonary leaves recorded in terms of Timsons index (94 and 56.9 respectively) was observed in thiourea (TU, 1.3 mM) primed seeds. The germination percentage was also significantly (p≤0.05) higher in primed seeds (97.5 to 100%) as compared to the control (85%). Only the seedlings grown from TU, hydrogen peroxide (HP, 1.5 mM) or ABA (AB, 100 μM) primed seeds tolerated the cold or salt stress exposure of 10 days with 100% survival. However, the control seedlings could not survive the salt or cold stress exposure. The plants grown from primed seeds under controlled conditions flowered earlier than the control and produced more number of fruits than the control. Thus, the results suggest chemical seed priming as an efficient approach for cold or salt stress tolerance in capsicum.
Patade Vikas Yadav, Maya Kumari and Zakwan Ahmed, 2011. Seed Priming Mediated Germination Improvement and Tolerance to Subsequent Exposure to Cold and Salt Stress in Capsicum. Research Journal of Seed Science, 4: 125-136.