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Minerva Biotecnologica 2013 March;25(1):17-22

language: English

Can Si and nano-Si alleviate the effect of drought stress induced by PEG in seed germination and seedling growth of tomato?

Haghighi M. 1, Teixeira Da Silva J. A. 2, Mozafarian M. 3, Afifipour Z. 3

1 Horticulture Department, College of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran;
2 Faculty of Agriculture and Graduate School of Agriculture, Kagawa University, Ikenobe, Japan;
3 Horticulture Department, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


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Aim: Water stress restricts a crop’s growth stages in arid and semi-arid zones of the world and is one of the most restrictive environmental conditions. In order to evaluate the effects of two alleviating agents, silicon (Si) and nano-Si (N-Si), on water stress induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG-6000), a laboratory experiment was conducted.
Methods: Seeds were placed on filter paper in Petri dishes and treated with four concentrations of PEG and two concentrations of Si and N-Si.
Results and conclusion: PEG induced water stress and reduced germination percentage (GP) and germination rate (GR) of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill cv. ‘Falcato’) seeds although it had no effect on other characteristics of seeds or seedlings as concentration increased from -2 to -8 bars. Surprisingly, PEG at -4 bars improved mean germination time. N-Si at 1 or 2 mM was able to improve GR under PEG-induced stress at -4 and -8 bars.

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mhaghighi@cc.iut.ac.ir