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Research Article
Enhancing Seed Germination of Chlorophytum borivilianum Sant. Et Fernand. with PGRs, Steroidal Hormones and Zinc

R. Kaur, S. Arora and A.K. Thukral

Research Journal of Seed Science, 2009, 2(2), 32-39.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to improve the seed germination of Chlorophytum borivilianum Sant. et Fernand. It is a small perennial and rare herb having aphrodisiac, antiaging, health restorative and health promotional properties. There is a great demand for this herb all over the world. In the field, the plant is grown from the tubers, making the cultivation of this plant costly and labour intensive. The plant sets a large number of seeds, which have a poor germination (8-13%) thus not being preferred by the farmers for cultivation. It, therefore, makes it imperative to understand seed germination studies to improve germination of the seeds of C. borivilianum through seed treatment with hormones or chemicals which would also otherwise add to its properties. In the present study seed treatments were given with indole butyric acid, kinetin and 24-epibrassinolide (plant growth regulators) testosterone and cholesterol (steroidal hormones) and zinc (known for vital reproductive functions in man). Characteristics of the fruits, seeds and seed viability were also evaluated. Seed germination and seedling growth of C. borivilianum were studied when given various treatments of plant growth regulators, steroids and Zinc (II). The highest germination percentage occurred with 10-6 M concentrations of testosterone (36.45%) followed by cholesterol (35.17%) with respect to control (8.5%). The maximum shoot length of seedlings was observed when seeds were treated with 10-6 M concentration of testosterone (4.43 cm), cholesterol (4.27 cm) and 24-epiBL (4.25 cm) with respect to control (2.80 cm). The maximum root length of seedling was observed in 10-6 M of cholesterol (3.83 cm) and 24-epiBL (3.65 cm) as compared to control (0.87 cm). Maximum fresh weights of seedlings were seen in seeds treated with 10-6 M concentrations of cholesterol (28.03 mg), 24-epiBL (26.21 mg) and testosterone (26.16 mg) as compared to control (10.87 mg).

ASCI-ID: 89-11

Table 1). Differences in seedling emergence were significant in treatments with kinetin (10-10 M, 10-8 and 10-6 M) and cholesterol (10-10 M and 10-8 M). When effect of different treatments on seed germination was studied it was found that all concentrations of all treatments were significantly different from each other (Table 2). Maximum seed germination was found 35.17 and 36.45% for 10-6 M concentrations of cholesterol and testosterone, respectively.


Table 1: Effect of different treatments on seedling emergence of Chlorophytum borivilianum
Results expressed as Mean±SD, *Asterisks represent the level of significance for ANOVA p≤0.05, **Asterisks represent the level of significance for ANOVA p≤0.01, *Values with the same letter in the same row does not significantly differ at p≤0.05 in Tukey’s multiple comparison test

Table 2: Effect of different treatments on % germination of Chlorophytum borivilianum after 21 days
Results expressed as Mean±SD, **Asterisks represent the level of significance for ANOVA p≤0.01, *Values with the same letter in the same row does not significantly differ at p≤0.05 in Tukey’s multiple comparison test

Table 3: Effect of different treatments on shoot length of seedlings of Chlorophytum borivilianum after 21 days
Results expressed as Mean±SD, **Asterisks represent the level of significance for ANOVA p≤0.01, *Values with the same letter in the same row does not significantly differ at p≤0.05 in Tukey’s multiple comparison test

Table 4: Effect of different treatments on root length of seedlings of Chlorophytum borivilianum after 21 days
Results expressed as Mean±SD, **Asterisks represent the level of significance for ANOVA p≤0.01, *Values with the same letter in the same row does not significantly differ at p≤0.05 in Tukey’s multiple comparison test

Effect of different treatments on shoot length of seedlings of C. borivilianum was found to be significant in all concentrations except at 10-10 M concentration of 24-epiBL (Table 3). Testosterone and cholesterol enhanced the shoot length at all concentrations. 24-epiBL at 10-6 M and 10-8 M concentrations also increased the shoot length of seedlings. Root length of seedlings was also significantly affected by different treatments. Maximum root length was observed in all concentration of cholesterol, testosterone and 24-epiBL (Table 4). Similar trend was also noticed in seedling biomass (fresh weight), where maximum biomass was contributed by cholesterol, testosterone and 24-epiBL in all concentrations. IBA also significantly enhanced the seedling biomass (Table 5).

Table 5: Effect of different treatments on seedling biomass of Chlorophytum borivilianum after 21 days
Results expressed as Mean±SD, *Asterisks represent the level of significance for ANOVA p≤0.05, **Asterisks represent the level of significance for ANOVA p≤0.01, *Values with the same letter in the same row does not significantly differ at p≤0.05 in Tukey’s multiple comparison test

The inference that can be drawn from the present study is that plant growth regulators IBA, kinetin, 24-epiBL, testosterone and cholesterol and Zn (II) can significantly enhance the seedling growth. These substances are also found in plants and it has been observed that certain steroids if applied exogenously to plants stimulated cell division (Geuns, 1978), pollen germination (Ylstra et al., 1995) and growth and flowering (Kopcewicz, 1970; Kopcewicz and Porazinski, 1974; Bhattacharya and Gupta, 1981; Gregory, 1981; Shore et al., 1992; Hayat et al., 2001). Steroids may also increase the metabolism of plants by synthesizing more nucleic acids, proteins and enzymes (Cerana et al., 1983; Kalinich et al., 1985; Dogra and Thukral, 1994). Germination percentage and seedling growth were significantly increased by 10-6 M concentration of cholesterol and 17 β-estradiol in 10 days old seedlings of T. aestivum (Dogra and Thukral, 1991). Bhattacharya and Gupta (1981) studied the effect of steroid hormones on growth and apical dominance of sunflower. Many studies has shown that substances like brassinolide, can regulate plant growth (Franck-Duchene et al., 1998; Hayat et al., 2001; Shore et al., 1992), the division of isolated protoplasts (Oh and Clouse, 1998), the rate of photosynthesis (Guang-Jian et al., 1998), sugar uptake (Nakajima and Toyama, 1999), uptake and translocation of K+ and PO4¯ ions (Jin-Xin et al., 1995). Brassinosteroids are reported to increase the crop yield, stress tolerance (Sharma and Bharadwaj, 2007) and disease resistance (Ohri et al., 2005) in many crops. 24-epiBL significantly affected the biomass, growth and free proline concentration in Spirulina platensis under salt stress (Saygideger and Deniz, 2008). Zinc is an essential element for both plants and animals and it plays an important role in several plant metabolic processes, activates number of enzymes involved in protein synthesis and carbohydrate, nucleic acid and lipid metabolism (Marschner, 1986; Pahlsson, 1989). Similarly Kinetin and IBA have been used by many researchers for root production in different plants (Romanov et al., 2000; Ozelbaykal and Gezeral, 2005). Large scale adventitious roots of Echinacea purpurea were produced using IBA for the production of secondary metabolites in airlift bioreactor (Wu et al., 2007).

CONCLUSION

Chlorophytyum borivilianum is a medicinal herb, getting extinct because of it’s over exploitation from its natural habitat. So, cultivation of this important medicinal plant should be encouraged and for this establishment of good seedling stand is prerequisite for the improvement of yield and quality. The present study establishes that steroids, PGRs and Zn (II) can significantly enhance germination and seedling characteristics of C. borivilianum by inducing the metabolic activity of embryos required for germination. The most effective treatments were 10-6 M concentrations of testosterone, cholesterol and 24-epiBL which enhanced germination and seedling growth several times more than control. The study further reveals that the seeds of C. borivilianum can be used for seedling production at commercial level by giving the above said treatments. This will also help in the ex-situ conservation of C. borivilianum.

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