Seed Priming (Importance and Methods)

What is priming?

Seed Priming
Seed Priming

Priming is the process in which all the metabolic activities for germination process are completed but radicle emergence is prevented. As different metabolic activities takes place within the seed at different moisture levels. As in the process of germination the last activity is the radicle emergence so, in priming all the activities till radicle emergence are completed by limiting the water. After priming seeds can be stored till sowing.

Why seed priming is done?

Seed priming has the following advantages:

1-It decreases the time to germination for subsequent germination.

2-Increase the rate of germination at a given temperature.

3-Primed seeds emerges from the soil most faster and uniformly.

4-To improve the stand uniformity and crop establishment.

5-It extends the temperature range for germination of seed.

6-Also allows the seeds to germinate at supra-optimal temperature.

7-It alleviates the secondary dormancy mechanism in the seeds.

8-Priming shortens the lag and metabolic phase of the seeds.

9-Reduces the time to germination about 50%.

10-Crops can compete bitterly with the weeds.

11-Proper utilization of water takes place.

12-Reduces the seed born bacteria and fungi.

13-Organisms such as Xanthomonas campestris in Brassica seeds and Septoria in celery have been shown to be eliminated within seed lots as a by-product of priming (Mel Bachman, personal communication).

How priming can be done?

 Seed is soaked In the priming agent mixed with the water of depending upon the type of priming to be done. It must be kept in mind soaking time must be 2 hours less than the chitting period of that crop (every crop has its own chitting period). Proper ventilation must be provided during the soaking of seed. After soaking the seed is dried under the shade. Then seed is sown , primed seed can also be stored but not for a longer period.

Types of priming:

Major types of priming are:

1-      Osmopriming.

2-      Hydropriming (drum priming)

3-      Matrixpriming.

Priming agents:

Following priming agents are being used widely for priming:

1-Tap water.

2-Different salt solutions.

3- Growth hormones.

4- Plant extracts.

5- Osmoticas eg. mannitol, polyethyleneglycol (PEG)

Seed priming is an easy method, an ordinary farmer can perform this on his farm to increase the germination of crop  with uniformity and proper crop establishment.

By Abdul Mannan

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