Effects of Salinity and Drought Stresses on Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of Desert Wheatgrass Agropyron desertorum

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


1 Range Management, Department of Reclamation of Arid and Mountainous Regions, University of Tehran

2 College of Natural Resources, Agriculture Science and Natural Resources University of Sari

3 Combat Desertification, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Science, University of Kashan


Considering forage grass species, germination is one of the important stages
concerning the growing stage that is often influenced by environmental stresses,
particularly salinity and drought stresses. Thus, this study aims to assess the effects of
salinity and drought stresses on germination characteristics and seedling growth of desert
wheatgrass, Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult. in laboratory conditions. Two
separate experiments were conducted using completely randomized design with four
replicates. Six salinity treatments (control, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 300 mM NaCl) and six
drought treatments (control, -0.2, -0.4, -0.6, -0.8 and -1 MPa polyethylene glycol) were
utilized in four replicates. Germination percentage and rate were calculated while
computing the germinated seeds every day. Growth parameters (rootlet, shoot and seedling
length), allometric index and seed vigor have been accordingly given. For each
experiment, one-way ANOVA was used to determine significant effects of treatments and
mean comparison was done by the means of Duncan method using SPSS software. Results
showed that salinity and drought stresses had the significant effects on germination and
growth indices of Agropyron desertorum so that germination rate and percentage, root
length, shoot length, seedling length and seed vigor indices were decreased by increasing
the concentrations of salinity and drought treatments. Also, seed germination and growth
were observed only until -0.4 MPa drought level so that germination at φs = -0.6 MP was
completely stopped.


Akhavan Armaki, M., Azarnivand, H., Asareh, M.
H., Jafari, A. A. and Tavili, A., 2012. Effects of
water stress on germination indices in three
species of Bromus, Iranian Jour. Range and
Desert Research, 18(4): 558-568. (In Persian).
Azarnivand, H. and Zare Chahouki, M. A., 2010.
Range Improvement. University of Tehran
Press, 354p., Tehran, Iran. (In Persian).
Abdul Baki, A. A., and Anderson, J. D., 1973.
Vigor determination in soybean seed by
multiple criteria. Crop Science, 13: 630-633.
Fowden, L., Mansfield, T., and Stoddart, J., 1993.
Plant adaptation to environmental stress.
Chapman and Hall, London, 88pp.
Ghaderi, Sh., Ghorbani, J., Gholami, P., Karim
Zada, A., and Salarian, P., 2011. Effect of
drought and salinity on germination index
(Vicia villosa L.), Jour. Agriculture Ecology,
3(1): 130-121. (In Persian).
Gholami, P., Ghorbani, J., Ghaderi, Sh., Salarian,
P. and Karim, A., 2010. Index of seed
germination in tropical vetch (Vicia monantha)
salt and drought stress conditions. Rangeland
Jour., 4(1): 1-11. (In Persian).
Greenwood, M. E. and Macfarlen, G. R., 2009.
Effects of salinity on competitive interactions
between two Juncus species. Jour. Aquatic
Botany, 90: 23-29.
Kafi, M., and Keshmiri, A., 2011. Indian landrace
and cultivar yield and yield components of
cumin (Cuminum cyminum) salt and drought
conditions. Jour. Horticultural Science
(Agricultural Sciences and Technology), 25(3):
327-334. (In Persian).
Khan, M. A., and Ungar, I. A., 2001. Seed
germination of Triglochin maritima as
influenced by salinity and dormancy relieving
compounds. Biological Plant, 44: 301-303.
Kaufman, M. R. and Eckard, A. N., 1971.
Evaluation of stress control by polyethylene
glycols by analysis of guttation. Plant
Physiology, 47: 453-456.
Mehrabi, A., Omidi, M., and Fazelinesab, B.,
2011. Effect of salinity on seed germination
growth and callus culture what rapeseed. Jour.
Plant Crop Science, 42(1): 81-90. (In Persian).
Manchanda, G. and Garg, N., 2008. Salinity and
its effects on the functional biology of legumes.
Acta Physiology Plant, 30: 595-618.
Maguire, J. D., 1962. Speeed of germination-aid
in selection and evaluation for seedling
emergence and vigour. Crop Science, 2: 176-
Sharma, A. D., Thakur, M., Rana, M. and Singh,
K., 2004. Effect of plant growth hormones and
abiotic stresses on germination, growth and
phosphates activities in Sorghum bicolor (L.)
Moench seeds. African Jour. Biotechnology, 3:
Singh, J. and Patel, A. L., 1996. Water statues,
gaseous exchange, prolin accumulation and
yield of wheat in response to water stress.
Annual of Biology Ludhiana, 12: 77-81.
Tamartash, R., Shokrian, F. and Kargar, M., 2010.
Effects of salinity and drought stress on
Trifolium alexandrinum L. seed germination
properties, Rangeland Jour., 4(2): 288-297. (In
Wahid, A., Rasul, E. and Rao, A. R. 1997.
Germination responses of sensitive and tolerant
sugarcane lines to sodium chloride. Seed
Science and Technology, 25: 467-470.
Zirezadeh, M., Shahin, M. and Tohidi, M., 2010.
Effect of drought and salinity on seed
germination Thyme. Jour. Crop Physiology,
1(4): 61-70. (In Persian).
Zia, S. and Khan, M. A., 2004. Effect of light
salinity and temperature on seed germination of
Limonium stocksii. Canadian Jour. Botany, 82: