A laboratory experiment was carried out to assess the possibility of decreasing the negative effects of salinity on seed germination and early seedling growth of canola by hydro-priming of seeds. A 7×5 factorial experiment based on completely randomized design was employed to compare the treatments. Seed priming comprised 0.0, 4.0, 8.0, 12.0, 16.0, 18.0 and 24.0 h seeds soaking in distilled water, and salinity stress was simulated by the solutions of 0.0, 25.0, 50.0, 75.0 and 100.0 mM NaCl. Germination percentage and uniformity, germination speed and seedling dry weight were measured as germination performance indicators. Results showed that all traits were significantly affected by salinity stress and seed priming. Germination uniformity and seedling dry weight were affected by the interaction of salinity × seed priming. Germination percentage and speed were slightly affected by the interaction of salinity × seed priming. However, it was not significant. Increasing in salinity stress from control to the highest level (125 mM NaCl) resulted in 26% reduction of germination percentage of rapeseed. However, germination speed was a trait showing higher sensitivity to the salinity stress. The difference between control treatment and the highest salinity stress in terms of germination speed was 45%. Hydro-priming improved germination percentage and speed of rapeseed seeds. The highest germination percentage and speed was observed in the treatment of 24 h which was not significantly different with 20 h hydro-priming. Germination percentage and speed of rapeseed improved 25 and 30 by hydro-priming of seeds, respectively. Generally, the length of hydro-priming solutions improved the performance of seeds and seedlings of rapeseed. Higher levels of hydro priming duration reduced negative effects of sever salinity stress, where there was no significant difference between two last salinity levels in terms of salinity.
Key words: Germination, rapeseed, salinity, seedling dry weight.
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