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Effect of salt stress on germination and seedling growth in serially harvested aubergine (Solanum melongena L.) seeds during development

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Serially harvested aubergine (Solanum melongena L.) seed lots of 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, and 42, 45, 50, 55, 60, 70, and 80 days after anthesis (daa) in 1999 and 2000, respectively, were incubated and germinated in 0, 35, 70, and 140 mM NaCl in order to assess the effect of salt stress on germination and seedling growth in relation to seed development. Germination percentage, total and normal emergence, and seedling fresh and dry weight were all inhibited by NaCl treatment. The strongest inhibition of germination occurred in earlier (40, 42, 45 daa) and later (70, 80 daa) harvests and at 140 mM NaCl. Seedling growth was more sensitive to salt stress than was germination. Seedling abnormalities, (chlorosis, cotyledon unfolding, necrotic areas) increased at higher NaCl concentrations. Results indicated that the developmental stage of seeds affected sensitivity to salt stress. In order to get the maximum germination, and rapid and well-developed transplant production, aubergine seeds should be harvested between 50 and 60 daa. A mixture of seeds at various developmental stages, particularly a high proportion of immature and overmature seeds in a once-over mechanical harvest, reduces the overall performance of the lot under salt stress.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, University of Ankara ; 2: Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, University of M. Kemal ; 3: Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, University of Ankara


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