Nowadays to lessen the influence of salinity on crop performances such as germination, seedling growth and yield, several actions are undertaken; for example the use of different priming methods, antioxidants and plant growth controllers. Seed priming, best fits in this study on maize crop and is controlled by hydration process followed by re-drying that allows pre-germination which enhanced metabolic activities to proceed rapidly. The objective of this study was to investigate how seed salt priming increases maize crop performance thereby enhancing yields by stimulating the plant physiological processes. Here, sodium chloride and calcium chloride primed seeds germinated earlier than unprimed one. Primed maize seeds had better efficiency for water absorption. Likewise, energetic metabolic activities in germination process commence much earlier than radicle and plumule appearance. Priming of seeds with salt solution enables them to break their dormancy and escape from disease causing agents and competent seeds of weeds. Seed priming with NaCl and CaCl2 had significant effects on germination, early growth, number branches, number of cobs and grain yield. This increase in growth traits likely helps to reduce the competition for water and nutrients with associated improvements in seed yield. Besides, it makes seed priming practice a viable option for the successful use of maize in irrigation areas. Sodium chloride (NaCl) priming increases shoot length while, calcium chloride (CaCl2) priming increases root length. Seeds grown in vertisol soil prefers seed priming for better stand establishment and crop yield whereas; seeds in lithosol soils prefer priming for better seed germination and increase number cob.
Key words: Seed salt priming, maize, salt tolerance, germination rate, physiology.
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