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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 834630, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/834630
Research Article

Responses of Seed Germination, Seedling Growth, and Seed Yield Traits to Seed Pretreatment in Maize (Zea mays L.)

1College of Animal Science and Technology, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin 130118, China
2Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Processes and Ecological Remediation, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yantai, Shandong 264003, China
3Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, Jilin 130102, China
4Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (Alliance between NSW Department of Primary Industries and Charles Sturt University), Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia

Received 3 June 2014; Accepted 12 June 2014; Published 26 June 2014

Academic Editor: Hongbo Shao

Copyright © 2014 Yu Tian et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A series of seed priming experiments were conducted to test the effects of different pretreatment methods to seed germination, seedling growth, and seed yield traits in maize (Zea mays L.). Results indicated that the seeds primed by gibberellins (GA), NaCl, and polyethylene glycol (PEG) reagents showed a higher imbibitions rate compared to those primed with water. The final germination percentage and germination rate varied with different reagents significantly ( ). The recommended prime reagents were GA at 10 mg/L, NaCl at 50 mM, and PEG at 15% on account of germination experiment. 15% PEG priming reagent increased shoot and root biomass of maize seedling. The shoot biomass of seedlings after presoaking the seeds with NaCl reagent was significantly higher than the seedlings without priming treatment. No significant differences of plant height, leaf number, and hundred-grain weight were observed between control group and priming treatments. Presoaking with water, NaCl (50 mM), or PEG (15%) significantly increased the hundred-grain weight of maize. Therefore, seed pretreatment is proved to be an effective technique to improve the germination performance, seedling growth, and seed yield of maize. However, when compared with the two methods, if immediate sowing is possible, presoaking is recommended to harvest better benefits compared to priming method.