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Effect of Chitosan on Seed Germination and Biochemical Traits of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Seedling under Salt Stress  [2017]

Aghighi Shahverdi, Mehdi Omidi, Heshmat Mousavi, Sayed Esmail

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For the purpose of evaluating the effect of chitosan on seed germination and some biochemical characteristics of the milk thistle herb in the conditions of salinity, an experiment was conducted as factorial in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications in the Laboratory of Seed Science and Technology of Shahed University, Tehran in 2015. Experimental factors comprised salinity levels (0, 4, 8 and 12 dS.m-1) and different levels of Chitosan (0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1 percent). The results showed that salt stress reduced germination percentage, germination coefficient, germination speed, weight and length vigor index, radical, plumule and seedling length and total biomass and increased mean germination time. Seed priming with chitosan up to 0.5% concentration increased germination coefficient, weighted index vigor and plumule length. The highest amounts of total chlorophyll and total protein were obtained in seed priming with 0.5% chitosan levels in zero salinity level (control). By increasing salinity levels, the activity level of catalase and peroxidase increased, so that the highest level of the activity of these two enzymes was obtained in the salinity level of 12 dS.m-1 in pre-treatment with 0.5% Chitosan. The results showed that seed priming with chitosan of 0.5% could reduce harmful effects of salt stress on some traits of milk thistle seedlings and could even improve their growth.

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Iranian Journal of Seed Research