Assessment of Seed Priming Effect on Germination and Cotton Productivity of Two Cotton Varieties in Multan

Zoia Arshad Awan, Fawad Sufyan, Syed Azaz Mehdi, Liaqat Ali Khan, Asad Ullah Imran


Background: Cotton is one of the important cash crops for fiber production globally. It is highly sensitive to abiotic stresses such as temperature, drought and salinity resulting in poor seedling germination and emergence leading to a decline in cotton productivity. Seed germination can be improved through physiological techniques mainly seed priming, which is a pre-sowing treatment that enables the seed to germinate more efficiently. Therefore, to assess the effects of seed priming on growth and yield production an in vivo study was performed with two different cotton cultivars (namely, BS-13 and FH-Lalazar).

Methods: A field trial was conducted at Multan that comprised six treatments including T1: non-primed seeds (control) and treated seeds such as T2: hydro-priming (water), T3 & T4: hormonal priming (two different concentrations of indole acetic acid) and T5 & T6: halo-priming (two different concentrations of KNO3). The data were collected to evaluate the rate of seed germination, growth and yield of cotton under the effect of seed priming.

Results: The study revealed that halo priming treatment with KNO3 enhanced the rate of seed germination by 83% as well as seedling emergence by ~90% in both cotton cultivars. Results showed that seed priming with KNO3 (3 g L-1) had the most promising effect on growth traits up to a variant extent as compared to the control plant. Meanwhile, yield attributes such as the number of cotton bolls and boll weight per plant significantly increased by 45% as compared to non-primed plants. Similarly, priming with KNO3 treatment displayed a significantly high cotton yield by 17% (767 kg ha-1) in both cotton cultivars as compared to their respective control treatment.

Conclusion: Current study concluded that seed priming is an efficient and cost-effective technique that plays a vital role in better crop establishment consequently increasing germination rate, plant growth attributes and productivity of the cotton crop.

Keywords: Multan; Cotton; Seed germination; Seed priming; Yield; KNO3   

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