Sugar beet extract acts as a natural bio-stimulant for physio-biochemical attributes in water stressed wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Abstract

The present study investigated the role of sugar beet extract (SBE) as a bio-stimulant to ameliorate the adverse effects of drought on seed germination and growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Different concentrations of SBE (0, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50%) were used for priming the wheat seeds. The experiment was conducted in laboratory (PEG-8000 was used to create water stress) as well as under natural environmental conditions (using soil with 100 and 60% field capacity). Significant ameliorating effects of seed priming with SBE were recorded on different germination attributes, i.e., time to 50% emergence (E50), germination index (GI), mean emergence time (MET), germination percentage (G%), coefficient of uniformity of emergence (CUE) and germination energy (GE) under water stress. Without priming, the plants exhibited symptoms of water stress like decreased biomass, reduction in photosynthetic pigments, e.g., chlorophyll, carotenoids. Seed pre-conditioning with SBE improved the plant growth, photosynthetic pigments, antioxidants’ activities and nutrient homeostasis of plants facing water deficit and grown under well-watered conditions. The maximum increase in biomass, content of chlorophyll, carotenoids and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) was 13.4, 8.5, 11.9, 7.6, 13.6, 42.0, 19.8%, respectively, with SBE seed priming under water stress. In conclusion, SBE seed priming effectively reduced the negativities of water stress on seed germination which resulted in better plant growth in terms of enhanced biomass, photosynthetic pigments, antioxidant defense mechanism and better nutrient homeostasis. Overall, the findings suggest that seed pre-conditioning with SBE as a bio-stimulant will be helpful for better crop stand establishment under low field capacity, especially in semi-arid and arid agricultural fields.

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Correspondence to Ali Noman.

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Noman, A., Ali, Q., Naseem, J. et al. Sugar beet extract acts as a natural bio-stimulant for physio-biochemical attributes in water stressed wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Acta Physiol Plant 40, 110 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11738-018-2681-0

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Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Oxidative stress
  • Photosynthetic pigments
  • Seed priming
  • Seed germination.