ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 95 Special Issue 2, October 2018
Ascophyllum nodosum (Linnaeus) Le Jolis seaweed extract improves seed germination in tomato and sweet pepper under NaCl-induced salt stress
Salt stress is a major concern and a limiting factor to proper seed germination and healthy plant establishment which ultimately affects crop production. Macroalgae such as Ascophyllum nodosum have been shown to possess several bioactive compounds which when applied in a usable form can mitigate plant stresses such as salinity stress. The current study looked at utilizing a commercially available A. nodosum seaweed extract to investigate its ability to relieve salt-induced stress in tomato and sweet pepper seeds when sown under varying saline concentrations. Compared to controls, pre-soaked seeds in A. nodosum extract had significantly improved germination percentage as well as other growth parameters, including root and shoot length and seedling dry weight at all subjected NaCl concentrations. Furthermore, the activity of ascorbate peroxidase and catalase were significantly increased with increasing NaCl concentrations in A. nodosum pre-soaked seed derived plants. These effects could be caused by the bioactive factions present in the seaweed extract, particularly betaines.
Keywords: Ascophyllum nodosum extract, tomato, sweet pepper, germination, NaCl stress, antioxidant activity