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Effect of Methyl Jasmonate Pre-Treatment on Germination Indices and Biochemical Traits of Stevia Seedlings (Stevia rebuadiana) under Salt Stress  [2018]

Elnaz Mohamadian Hormozdyar Kianmehr Hojjat Ataei Somagh Neda Azad Nafas Mahjor et al.

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Extended abstract Introduction: Stevia is a perennial short day plant, belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is also called sugar leaf. Poor germination of this plant serves as a barrier for its planation on a large scale, which contributes to its scarcity and expensivenss as a medicinal herb. In many plants, seed germination is sensitive to salinity, which determines the survival of the plants in saline soils. High levels of soil salinity can significantly reduce germination and seedling growth due to the effects of high osmotic potential and ion toxicity. Jasmonates represent new plant growth regulators that play an important role in increasing the resistance of plants to environmental stresses, including salinity stress.Therefore, this experiment was conducted to study the effect of pre-treatment of seed with methyl jasmonate on germination indices and biochemical traits of stevia, as a medicinal herb, under salinity stress.Materials and Methods: They study was conducted, adopting a completely randomized design with three replications in the year 2016 in the Professor Hassabis Laboratory of Plant Biology, Islamic Azad University, Islamshahr Branch. The factors were pre-treatment of methyl jasmonate in 5 levels (0, 2.5, 5, 10 and 15 M) and salinity stress at 4 levels (0, 3, 6 and 9 dS m-1). At the end of the experiment, germination traits percentage and germination rate, mean germination time, germination value, seedling length, seedling index, total ch
lorophyll, proline, activity of the enzyme catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase were measured.Results: The results of the study showed that effects of salinity stress, methyl jasmonate and interaction between salinity and methyl jasmonate were significant on the germination percentage and germination rate, mean germination time, germination value, seedling index, total chlorophyll, proline and catalase enzyme activity. Seed priming with 5 M methyl jasmonate at salinity level with electrical conductivity of zero ds/m, had the highest germination percentage and rate, germination value, seed vigor index, and total chlorophyll content. Increases in salt stress and methyl jasmonate increased the activity of catalase enzyme. Salinity reduced germination index and seedling stoichiation and increased activity of peroxidase and superoxide dismutase enzymes. However, seed priming with methyl jasmonate improved seed germination through germination percentage, germination rate and seed vigor index and moderated the effects of salt stress.Conclusions: Given the results of this study, it could be said that methyl jasmonate, as a potent inhibitor, can reduce the negative effects of salinity and by increasing germination indices such as germination percentage and germination rate, it can be effective in improving the growth of Stevia. Of course, further research can produce more definitive results.Highlights:Salinity had a negative effect whereas methyl jasmonate had a positive effect on germination indices and activity of antioxidant enzymes of Stevia seeds.Application of 5 M of methyl jasmonate, as a pre-treatment, can be effective in improving the growth of the stevia plant and reducing the negative effects of salinity.

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Iranian Journal of Seed Research

ISSN : 2383-1480