Evaluation of drought and salinity stress effects on germination and early growth of two cultivars of maize (Zea mays L.)
To study the effect of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and NaCl stress on germination and early seedling stages on two cultivars of maize, two separated experiment were laid out at seed laboratory in Iran in 2011. This investigation was performed as factorial experiment under completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. Cultivar factor contains two cultivars (SC666 and SC704) and six levels of stress (0, -2, -4, -6, -8 and -10 bar). The principal aim of this current study was to compare the two cultivars of maize relative to the stress conditions. Results indicate that significant decrease was observed in germination percentage, germination rate, length of radicle and plumule and length of seedling traits in both conditions. We conclude that at each level of osmotic potentials, the inhibitory effect of salinity stress on germination was more than that of drought stress. SC666 cultivar had more tolerant than SC704 cultivar in both stress conditions.
Key words: Maize, early growth, germination, PEG and NaCl stress.