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Plant hormone treatments to alleviate the effects of salt stress on germination of Betula platyphylla seeds

Li, Zhixin, Pei, Xiaona, Yin, Shaopeng, Lang, Xianbo, Zhao, Xiyang, Qu, Guan-Zheng
Journal of forestry research 2019 v.30 no.3 pp. 779-787
Betula pendula subsp. mandshurica, benzyladenine, gibberellic acid, hormones, melatonin, naphthaleneacetic acid, salt stress, salt tolerance, screening, seed germination, seeds
We analyzed the germination traits (germination rate, germination potential, and germination index) of seeds from 23 half-sib families of birch (Betula platyphylla). The germination rates of the 23 families ranged from 38.57 to 76.50%. Seeds from the eight families germinating at the highest rates were then used for germination experiments under salt stress. Germination rate, germination potential, and germination index of these eight half-sib families decreased with increasing salt concentrations. The effects of four different hormones (6-benzylaminopurine, 6BA; gibberellin, GA₃; naphthalene acetic acid, NAA; and melatonin) at various concentrations on the germination of seeds from the eight half-sib birch families under salt stress were investigated. Treatments with 6BA and GA₃ alleviated the effects of salt stress on seed germination, whereas treatments with NAA and melatonin aggravated the effects of salt stress. The most effective treatments for alleviating the effects of salt stress on birch seed germination were 10 mg/L 6BA and 300 mg/L GA₃. This study provides practical information for screening birch families for salt tolerance at the seed germination stage, and for cultivation of birch in saline environments.