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Seed Priming with Selenium: Consequences for Emergence, Seedling Growth, and Biochemical Attributes of Rice

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The present study was undertaken to appraise the role of selenium priming for improving emergence and seedling growth of basmati rice. Seeds of two fine rice cultivars (Super and Shaheen Basmati) were primed with concentrations of 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, and 105 μmol L−1 selenium. Untreated dry- and hydro-primed seeds were maintained as the control and positive control, respectively. Selenium priming resulted in early commencement of emergence, triggered seedling growth irrespective of rice cultivar over untreated control, and was more effective than hydro-priming except at higher concentrations. Lower electrical conductivity of seed leachates, reduced lipid peroxidation, greater α-amylase activity, higher soluble sugars, and enhanced activities of enzymatic antioxidants (superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POX), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX)) were observed in seeds primed with selenium. Rice seedlings derived from selenium-primed seeds exhibited more chlorophyll contents, while total phenolics were comparable with those of the control seedlings. The improved starch metabolism, greater membrane stability, and increased activity of antioxidants were considered as possible mechanisms responsible for such improvements in emergence and seedling vigor of rice mediated by selenium priming. Priming with selenium (15–60 μmol L−1) favored rice emergence and seedling growth. Nevertheless, soaking seeds in relatively concentrated (90 and 105 μmol L−1) selenium solution had overall detrimental effects.

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Fig. 1

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E 50 :

Time taken to 50 % emergence


Emergence index


Final emergence percentage


Glutathione peroxidase


Glutathione reductase




Mean emergence time




Reactive oxygen species




Superoxide dismutase


Time to start emergence


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The authors are grateful to the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for providing financial support for these studies under the Indigenous 5000 Ph.D Fellowship Program.

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Correspondence to Saddam Hussain.

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Khaliq, A., Aslam, F., Matloob, A. et al. Seed Priming with Selenium: Consequences for Emergence, Seedling Growth, and Biochemical Attributes of Rice. Biol Trace Elem Res 166, 236–244 (2015).

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