Comparative evaluation of hydro-, chemo-, and hormonal-priming methods for imparting salt and PEG stress tolerance in Indian mustard (BrassicajunceaL.)

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The present study was aimed to evaluate the effect of different seed priming methods to enhance the sodium chloride (NaCl) and polyethylene glycol-8000 (PEG-8000) stress tolerance in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.). Seeds subjected to different priming treatments such as water (hydro-priming), calcium chloride (CaCl2) (chemo-priming), and abscisic acid (ABA) (hormonal-priming) showed increased rate of germination as compared to non-primed seeds. The primed and non-primed seeds were grown for 15 days and then the seedlings were independently subjected to iso-osmotic salt (150 mM NaCl) or PEG-8000 (20%) stress. The different biochemical responses were studied 10 days after treatment. Under NaCl and PEG stress, the dry weight and total chlorophyll content were higher in primed sets as compared to non-primed treatment which was also evident by the phenotype of the seedlings. In general, the higher activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase resulted in lower oxidative damage, in terms of malondialdehyde content, under NaCl and PEG stress in hydro-primed set as compared to non-primed, ABA-, and CaCl2-primed treatments. Besides, the level of total phenolics and accumulation of osmolytes such as free proline, glycine betaine, and total soluble sugars was also lower in hydro-primed set as compared to other primed and non-primed treatments. The study thus suggests the use of hydro-priming as a simple and cost-effective strategy to alleviate the NaCl and PEG induced stress in B. juncea.

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