Salinity and high temperature are major abiotic stresses limiting sustainable crop production. Seed priming is a useful tool to enhance seedling growth and the antioxidant defence system of crops under salinity and temperature stress. This experiment was designed to determine the effects of gibberellic acid (GA3, 288.7 µm), kinetin (232.2 µm) and salicylic acid (362 µm) on some morphological and physiological parameters of sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) hybrid Yajin 13 under salinity (0, 100 and 200 mm NaCl) and temperature (25°C and 37°C) stress. Salinity and high temperature significantly reduced emergence percentage, shoot and root lengths, number of leaves, shoot fresh and dry weight, and chlorophyll a and b content. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) content were increased with an increase in both salinity and temperature stress. Hormone treatments positively affected all parameters except root fresh and dry weight, number of leaves, SOD activity and chlorophyll a. Under salinity stress at 200 mm NaCl, treatment with salicylic acid increased emergence percentage, emergence rate, chlorophyll b and protein content by 82.0%, 130%, 7.9% and 1.9%, respectively, relative to the control (no treatment). At 37°C, salicylic acid increased emergence percentage, emergence rate and number of roots by 72.5%, 108.5% and 63.8%, respectively, and decreased MDA content by 17.6% relative to the control. Our study indicated that seed priming with an appropriate concentration of exogenous hormones (salicylic acid, kinetin, GA3) is a useful, easy method for improving germination, seedling growth and the antioxidant defence system of sweet sorghum under conditions of high temperature and salinity.
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Vol. 66 • No. 2