The potential of seed priming to enhance germination and yield of canola
Canola (Brassica rapa L., B. napus L.) seed germination is reduced and delayed by low soil temperatures and low soil water potentials in the spring of the main canola production areas of western Canada. Canola seed is also very sensitive to the salinity effects of high rates nitrogen fertilizer placed with the seed, especially when the seed bed is relatively dry. The effect of priming on canola (Brassica rapa, B. napus) seed germination, seedling emergence and yield under various stress conditions was investigated. Compared to non-primed control seeds, the primed seeds demonstrated more rapid, synchronous and greater germination and seedling emergence, particularly when the seeds were subjected to stress conditions of salinity, low moisture and soil-borne fungus at low temperatures. Field studies were conducted in 3 growing seasons at 3 different locations, demonstrating 5 to 50% increase in yield from the seeds either primed with water or primed with 50 PM ABA solution compared to non-primed control seeds, particularly when the seeds were sown in early spring.
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