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Effect of aluminium and calcium on growth of wheat seedlings and germination of seeds

Shen, Z., Wang, J., Guan, H.
Journal of plant nutrition 1993 v.16 no.11 pp. 2135-2148
Triticum aestivum, aluminum, phytotoxicity, calcium, nutrient availability, seedling growth, seed germination, calcium nitrate, calcium chloride, leaf area, dry matter accumulation, root shoot ratio
Two separate experiments were conducted to investigate the aluminum (Al) and calcium (Ca) effects on wheat seedling growth and on seed germination. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L, cs Yangmai No. 5) seedlings were grown for a 15-day period and treated with 0.5 mM Al with low Ca (1 mM Ca) or high Ca (5 mM Ca). The growth of seedlings was significantly inhibited by Al. Supplement of Ca improved the growth of Al-treated plants, increased dry matter weight of plant and leaf area, and decreased shoot/root ratio. This showed that Ca ameliorated Al toxicity in wheat. In experiments on seed germination, Al concentrations less than 2 mM in the germinating medium had little or no visible effect on length of shoot and root of germinating seed. The germinating rate of seed was not affected significantly by Al, when Al concentrations lower than 5 mM Al. The addition of 3 mM Ca did not increase the length of shoot and root and germination rate of seeds. Both pretreatments with 6 mM Ca and 1 micromolar GA had no significant effect on the length of shoot and root and amylolytic activity of Al-treated germinating seeds. No significant differences were found in the total amylolytic activity in Al-treated and control seeds two days and five days after germination. The results of Al and Ca effects on seedlings and seed germination showed that Al-toxicity on germinating seeds was different from on seedling growth. The high concentrations of Al inhibit growth of roots and shoots of germinating seeds by other toxicity mechanism rather than interaction of Al with Ca and mobilization of carbohydrate reserves.