The study was conducted on dry maize seed and seed subjected to sub optimal germination temperature. Four lines of maize seeds were used, two were classified as susceptible to low temperature (44 and 54) and two tolerant to low temperature (64 and 91°C). Water content and germination tests were performed at different temperatures (10 and 25°C) to evaluate the physical and physiological quality of maize seeds. For molecular study, activity of heat-resistant proteins, esterase, superoxide dismutase, catalase and α-amylase enzymes were assessed. Study of AOX1, ZmMPK5, SOD, APX, SAD, ENR and LEA genes with real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were carried out. AOX, SAD and LEA genes that are related as tolerant to abiotic stress showed higher expression in line 64, which was classified as tolerant to low germination temperature. The ZmMPK5 gene is associated with increased production of abscisic acid and expressed more in line 54, which was considered as susceptible to low germination temperature.
Key words: Zea mays, seed vigor, abiotic stress.
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