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Alleviation of salt stress in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) through seed treatments

Ashraf, Muhammad, Kausar, Abida, Yasin Ashraf, Muhammad
Agronomy for sustainable development 2003 v.23 no.3 pp. 227-234
Pennisetum glaucum, adverse effects, calcium, cold treatment, cultivars, germination, heat, polyethylene glycol, potassium, roots, salt stress, salt tolerance, sand, seed treatment, seeds, shoots, soaking, sodium, sodium chloride, vegetative growth
The study was carried out to assess whether salt tolerance could be improved in pearl millet at the germination stage and vegetative stages by soaking the seeds of two cultivars, IC-8206 and 18-BY, for 8 h in distilled water, 150 mol m-3 NaCl , or polyethylene glycol (PEG-8000, -0.672 MPa), or by subjecting the seeds to chilling (5 °C) or heating (60 °C) for two days. Germination of both treated and non-treated seeds of both the cultivars was assessed for 8 days in Hoagland solution amended with 0 or 150 mol m-3 NaCl. Chilling, and to a lesser extent, PEG, increased the final germination percentage but not the germination rate of both the cultivars under both saline and non-saline conditions. Chilling alleviated the adverse effect of salt stress on IC-8206 in terms of fresh and dry weights of shoots and roots following 42 d in sand culture that received 150 mol NaCl m-3. Chilling also reduced Cl- accumulation and, to a lesser extent, that of Na+, and enhanced K+ and Ca2+ accumulation in the shoots and roots of both cultivars under both saline and non-saline substrates. The reverse was true in plants raised from seeds treated with NaCl or PEG.