Seed yield and quality of pepper plants grown under salt stress
The effect of salinity on seed yield and quality of pepper plants were evaluated. Plants were grown in five salt levels (electrical conductivity, EC): 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 4.0 to 6.0 dSm-1 in glasshouse. Seed yield was assessed by seed weight/fruit, seed weight/plant and individual seed weight. Seed quality was measured by germination, mean germination time, seedling growth and germination percentages after cold (10°C, 7 days, 25°C 10 days) accelerated ageing (45°C, 48 h) and high temperature germination (35°C, 14 days) tests. Results indicate that seed yield per fruit greatly reduced from 1990 mg at control to 460 mg at 4 dSm-1 but individual seed weight did not change until 1.5 dSm-1 EC. Seed quality concerning all criteria maintained high up to 2.0 dSm-1 EC while seed germination and vigour were significantly reduced at 4.0 dSm-1 EC. Pepper plants did not yield seeds at 6 dS-1 EC. It can be concluded that pepper seed yield reduced significantly at even very low salinity (1 dSm-1), however, quality began to decline after 2.0 dSm-1 EC.
Key words: Pepper, fruit yield, seed quality, salinity.