Influence of Seed Hardening Techniques on Vigor, Growth and Yield of Wheat under Drought Conditions

Amir Zaman Khan


Exploring ways to improve stand establishment and crop productivity under abiotic stresses like drought is important. Two years experiments were conducted at University of Agriculture, Peshawar-Pakistan to examine the efficacy of six pre-sowing seed hardening agents. Seeds of wheat cultivar Uqab-2000 were hardened in six different chemicals of various concentration viz; PEG-8000 (10%), CaCl2 (4%), KNO3, (3%), Mannital (4%), NaCl (5%), Na2SO4 (2%) along with water soaking and dry seeds as control for 24 hours and drying back to original moisture content at room temperature. The soaking and drying of seeds was repeated twice for 12 hours. The results showed that pre-sowing hardening of seed with PEG-8000, CaCl2 and KNO3 gave higher germination, decreased days to 50% germination, increased shoot length, root length, seedling fresh and dry weight in laboratory experiment as compared with other hardening and control treatment. Under field conditions, maximum plant height (93.53cm), spikelet’s spike-1 (17.16), grains spike-1 (50.82), 1000 grain weight (39.97 g), grain yield (3482 kg ha-1) and maximum harvest index (32.5%) were observed in PEG-8000 hardened seed than control treatment (2872 kg ha-1). Seed hardened in PEG-8000, CaCl2 and KNO3 gave 30% increase in grain yield as compared to Mannital, NaCl and Na2SO4 which gave 15% increase in grain yield over control treatment.

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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