J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (11): 1315-1325.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00163.x

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Presowing Seed Treatment with Cytokinins and Its Effect on Growth, Photosynthetic Rate, Ionic Levels and Yield of Two Wheat Cultivars Differing in Salt Tolerance

Muhammad IQBAL and Muhammad ASHRAF   

Abstract: The effects of presowing seed treatment with different concentrations of cytokinins (kinetin and benzylaminopurine; 100, 150, and 200 mg/L) on growth, photosynthetic capacity, and ion homeostasis were investigated in two spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars, namely MH-97 (salt sensitive) and Inqlab-91 (salt tolerant). Primed and non-primed seeds were sown in a field in which NaCl salinity of 15 dS/m was developed. Of the different concentrations of priming agents tested, the effect of a moderate concentration of kinetin (150 mg/L) was very pronounced, particularly in improving growth and grain yield, in both cultivars. In addition, priming with kinetin alleviated the adverse effect of salt stress on gaseous exchange characteristics (net CO2 assimilation rate and water use efficiency) in both cultivars. Seed priming with a moderate concentration of kinetin also altered the pattern of accumulation of Na+ and Cl– in the shoots, irrespective of the wheat cultivar, under conditions of salt stress. However, all other priming agents at the different concentrations tested did not show any consistent effect on ion levels, except hydropriming, which increased K+ levels in the shoots of both cultivars under salt stress. In conclusion, a moderate concentration of kinetin showed a consistent effect in altering the growth and grain yield of both wheat cultivars, which was related to the beneficial effects of kinetin priming on water use efficiency and photosynthetic rate under conditions of salt stress.

Key words: growth, hormonal priming, photosynthesis, pre-treatment, salt stress, yield.

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