Seed germination and plant stand is a major problem in cotton especially under rain-fed cultivation. Various seed hardening treatments have been recommended in cotton for combating the moisture stress during germination. The role of H2O2 as a seed treatment for enhancing cotton seed performance has not been determined. The present study was therefore undertaken to study the effect of H2O2 on germination under moisture stress in comparison with the reported KCl treatment and water treatment with untreated control. The results suggested that seed priming with H2O2 at 80 mM is an effective method for obtaining superior germination and seedling growth under moisture stress condition. Lower values for electrical conductivity of seed leachates as well as malonaldehydes released during germination in the H2O2 treated seeds revealed the improved membrane stability of treated seeds. Parallely, an increase in activities of anti-oxidants viz. Peroxidase and Catalase as well as Malate dehydrogenase was also observed supporting the positive role of H2O2 in enhancing the seed germination of cotton.
Key words: Cotton, seed germination, H2O2 seed pre-treatment, antioxidant enzymes.
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