Seed Priming with Melatonin Improves the Seed Germination of Waxy Maize under Chilling Stress via Promoting the Antioxidant System and Starch Metabolism.
Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 21 ;9(1):15044. Epub 2019 Oct 21. PMID: 31636312
Chilling stress is one of the major abiotic stresses affecting waxy maize plant growth. Melatonin (MT) is able to improve tolerance to abiotic stress in plants. To investigate the effects of seed priming with MT on tolerance to chilling stress in waxy maize, the seed germination characteristics and physiological parameters were tested with varied MT concentrations (0, 50, 100 µM) and treatment times (12, 24 h) at ambient (25 °C) and chilling (13 °C) temperature. MT primed seeds significantly enhanced the germination potential (by 20.29% and 50.71%, respectively), germination rate (by 20.88% and 33.72%), and increased the radicle length (by 90.73% and 217.14%), hypocotyl length (by 60.28% and 136.14%), root length (by 74.59% and 108.70%), and seed vigor index (46.13%, 63.81%), compared with the non-priming seeds under chilling stress. No significant difference was found in priming time between primed and non-primed seeds. In addition, lower HOand malondialdehyde concentrations, increased antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase and ascorbateperoxidase), and promoted starch metabolism were found in primed seeds compared to non-primed ones. It was suggested that seed priming with MT improved waxy maize seed germination under chilling stress through improving antioxidant system and starch metabolism, which protected from oxidative damage.