The impact of endosulfan (an organochlorine insecticide), at four concentrations (0.015, 0.03, 0.045 g/L and its recommended field rate 0.06 g/L) on some morphological and biochemical parameters was investigated during the germination process of tomato seeds. The seeds germinating in presence of endosulfan had less and later emergence than the control seeds; the insecticide caused a decrease in both roots and shoots length. Protein patterns showed an over expression in all seeds exposed to endosulfan treatment during germination. Even at low concentration (0.015 g/L), six fold higher esterase activity was recorded compared to control. The same effect was shown on protease activity which was three fold greater compared to control at concentration of 0.06 g/L; however, a significant inhibition of α-amylase activity was detected. At concentration of 0.015 g/L, the activity was around 60% compared to control. On the other hand, an increase in proline levels was observed in response to endosulfan application.
Key words: Insecticide, endosulfan, tomato, seed germination.
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