The effect of sodium chloride (NaCl) and gibberillic acid (GA3) on seed germination and seedling growth of 11 medicinal and aromatic crops was studied under controlled conditions. For this various aqueous solutions of NaCl (0.05, 0.5 and 1.5 mol/l NaCl) and GA3 (50, 100, 200, 400 ppm GA3) were used solely or combined as germination and growth substrates. Two of the aqueous solutions of NaCl (0.5 and 1.5 mol/l NaCl) negatively affected seed germination of all 11 species even when combined with GA3. One NaCl aqueous solution (0.5 mol/l) impeded germination of rosemary, dill, lavender and oregano seeds, whereas it did not affect germination of spearmint, anise, coriander, parsley, sage, basil and cress. The highest seed germination was recorded in cress and basil (6.6 and 5.7%, respectively) and the lowest in mint and rosemary (1.7 and 0.6%, respectively). The treatment with 0.5 mol/l NaCl significantly increased the seedling length in mint, oregano, coriander, parsley, dill, anise and lavender. The highest relative growth rate was observed in dill, rosemary, anise and parsley, and the lowest in mint, sage and cress. The results suggest that germination and seedling growth of the 11 species responded differently to low and moderate levels of NaCl.
Key words: Salinity, germination velocity, relative growth rate.
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